If Northwestern loses to Nebraska on Saturday, it won't be because the Wildcats are tired.
Earlier this year, Northwestern got off to a slow start during an afternoon game against Boston College, prompting coach Pat Fitzgerald to ask his team what the matter was. Apparently, the Wildcats tend to nap during that period of the afternoon, so they were a bit groggy during the game.
Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune reports that during the week, Northwestern players have meetings and practice from 8:50 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and then they rush off to the class. The early afternoon is nap time for the Wildcats.
So with Saturday's game against Nebraska having the same 2:30 p.m. CT kickoff as the Boston College game, Fitzgerald has re-arranging Northwestern's game day schedule to give his players some extra time in bed. Breakfast will be early so players can snooze at 9:30 a.m.
"Unbelievable," Fitzgerald told the Chicago Tribune. "This is what I get paid to do. Seriously. Create nap time. It's pathetic."
Just in case anyone thought he was kidding, Fitzgerald even included the "Mandatory Cat Nap" in Northwestern's schedule for Saturday.
While Fitzgerald couldn't believe his players' unusual ritual (and request), quarterback Kain Colter was thrilled to hear the news.
"We'll wake up, have our pregame meal, do our mental things and then have a mandatory nap," Colter told the Tribune. "Those hotel beds are really comfortable and the pillows are soft. (Then) we'll come down refreshed and ready to kick some butt."