Rece Davis Comparison Lights Fire Under Unbeaten Northwestern

There’s nothing quite like an everyday sportscaster to get you motivated and help you stay undefeated.

That is at least part of the story behind Northwestern surging to a 17-7 win over No. 10 Wisconsin on Saturday to improve to 5-0.

The sportscaster in question is ESPN’s Reece Davis, who asked analyst Joey Galloway his thoughts on Northwestern last week on Tuesday Night Football.

Galloway intended to compliment the Wildcats’ scrappiness by comparing them to Davis.

Now, Davis is a fine sportscaster, but no one will be mentioning him in the same breath as a world-class athlete.

“Honestly, they’ve got a bunch of Rece Davises running around out there,” Galloway said, playfully.

Davis laughed.

“High-level athletes, huh?” he responded.

Galloway implied that was his point — that Northwestern is getting it done despite lacking the natural athletes of a typical Big Ten power.

“They play the game the right way. They’re scrappy,” Galloway said. “They don’t make a lot of mistakes. They find ways to win.”

That’s not so bad, is it?

Well, depends on who you ask. If you ask Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald (and someone did), it was a dig at his team.

“I mean, that really ticked guys off, I’m not gonna lie to you,” Fitzgerald told reporters after the big win. “It was, I thought, incredibly disrespectful. I just talked to the guys about putting fuel in their engine, man. Just use that as fuel in the engine and just go out and play the way we’re capable.”

Fitzgerald continued, the Wildcats aren’t lacking the the department of pure natural gifts.

“We’ve got really, really good football players. We’ve got outstanding football players, in my opinion,” he said. “We’ve got a bunch of guys who are going to be potentially All-Big 10, potentially All-American and potentially in the NFL.”

So far, the Wildcats are backing up their coach’s words. They are simply overpowering opponents. There has been nothing soft about them as they march through the conference. They have three very winnable games remaining — at Michigan State, at Minnesota and home vs. Illinois, respectively.

And hey, they at least have a catchy moniker. They ran off the field Saturday referring to themselves as the “Fighting Rece Davises.”

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side,


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  1. Credit to coach Fitzgerald for finding a way to motivate his guys, that’s what the smartest coaches do. But what Galloway said its 100% accurate, Northwestern is never going to have the number of 4 and 5 star recruits that you find at OSU, Penn St, even Michigan, so its absolutely a compliment to say they are scrappers who don’t make mistakes and find a way to beat more athletic teams. Jimmy Valvano once said he wanted an entire rosters of guys who play like rats, they dive on the floor, they fight tooth and nail on every single possession.

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