Autry Speaks His Peace about NU Loss

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Byline: Lindsey Willhite Daily Herald Sports Writer

Darnell Autry is making the most of his theater education at Northwestern.

That, or Autry rebounded from last week's stunning loss to Wake Forest with incredible swiftness in preparation for today's 2:30 p.m. truth-teller at Duke (Ch. 7; WNUR 89.3-FM).

Either way, the Wildcats' junior tailback put on an extemporaneous speaking performance to remember this week.

Asked a routine question about the benefits of returning to North Carolina for the second Saturday in a row, Autry started slowly.

"It kind of makes it easier," he said. "We now know the weather. We now know the atmosphere."

Then Autry started a majestic broken-field run.

"We've just got to let this (loss) go. We can't sit on this one too long because we've got a long season ahead of us.

"If we keep harping on this loss and (saying), 'Oh, man, how bad we feel and it's so terrible and now we've got to go back and figure out what kind of team are we going to be and questioning every position,' we can't do that.

"We've just got to let it go and play our game. We've got to go back to basics and be prepared to strap it on again.

"There's nothing that anybody here can do about it. All we can do is regroup and say, 'OK, we played bad and we lost our focus, but now we've got to have our focus for this week.' "

Not a bad job of improv for someone who still hasn't gotten into the meat of the Northwestern theater curriculum.

Then again, as the nation discovered last year, Autry is ahead of the curve in many aspects of collegiate life.

His 1,785 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns earned him a fourth-place finish in the Heisman Trophy balloting. …