Ohio Head Coach Frank Solich
"It's a good win for our guys, they bounced back off of a difficult game. I am pleased with what they got done today. There are certainly things we need to get better at though, but it was a good win for us. We had some problems with personnel, defensively. Quentin played hurt, Chad was out and so was Cody. Our linebacking core was pretty depleted and we used a nickel back defense a lot. I thought they did some good things however. Certainly we will look at the big and explosive plays that we gave up and see how we can get that under control. Overall our team battled, offensively we played well, our receiving core did a good job, quarterbacks did a good job, running backs did a good job and so did the offensive line. So I thought it was a complete game from the offensively standpoint. We also got things done on the special teams stand point, so all in all it was a good day."
On Quentin Polling Playing:
"He got hurt and played the second half and then did play in Purdue. Unfortunately, the injury carried over into this week. It's the kind of injury that can keep guys out two to three weeks, but he said he thought he could get it to a spot where he could play with it and that's what he did. He is a tremendous competitor, he wanted to play and the type of injury he has isn't a threat to him. It is more so of him just withstanding a bit of pain."
On Nathan Rourke:
"I thought he showed well right at the beginning, he put points on the board right away for us. So I was pleased with how he responded to starting."
On the 3rd Quarter:
"It is certainly what you look for. We got the kickoff and points on the board right away, which is a must. You can also expand on that, which we did and I never really thought we were threatened at the moment. However, a game like this can turn into a situation where you are battling at the end if you are not careful. Never felt completely comfortable, but I was proud of the way those guys hung in there. I only see us playing one poor quarter of football, second quarter at Purdue. Other than that, I have been pleased and proud of how our guys have fought."
On Run Game in Second Half:
"Most teams are going to have their run game hit-and-miss in the first half. It is what college ball is about. If you are able to run the ball easily in the first half, you are going to have an easy day. That doesn't come along very often, especially against a Power-five team. They had an All-American defensive end, and their defensive tackle is also a great football player for them. You just weren't going to jam it down their throat, so I was pleased with the fact that every now and then we could get something going with the running game. But the passing game came in to play in the first half to help us open things up in the running game in the second half. On the last drive, they were putting a lot of people in to the box and we were able to find Meyer on a glance route. So one will help the other and we ran well enough again to have a good passing game"
On Papi White:
"He is probably out two to three weeks, which is a tough deal for him and us. He is a great athlete and competitor so we hope he can get back as soon as possible."
On Rourke Losing Helmet:
"I wouldn't say I was scared; I was concerned though. I have seen hats come off over the years and he's a tough kid so I knew that unless he strained his neck or had something happen that he was going to shake it off and keep on going."
On Troy Mangen"
"He can be an impact player. There were things, game plan wise, where we thought we would have a great shot getting it to our tight end and especially in the red zone. We also had a couple of throws to tight ends that seemed to work during the game. I was glad to get them the ball because sometimes they are lost guys in the game. They don't get a lot of credit although they block considerably in the running game. You like to find a game where you can get them the ball. You like to get that done on a consistent basis, but sometimes you can and sometimes it doesn't work."
On Defensive Line:
"I thought their play was good. They were pretty gap-oriented during the game, although Kansas had that long sixty yard run but there was a missed tackle on it. All in all, I thought they played pretty well. I thought we mixed in some blitzes that were helpful to us and they held up. I don't know how many passes Kansas threw today, but I thought our conditioning was good.
On Nickle Package
"In all honesty, you want to have your three linebackers on the field because we have three really good ones. So when Chad comes back, the nickle package can still be used, but we don't have to go to it. And that is the thing you want. You want to be able to have it available, use it every now and then, but not have to wholesale go to it."
On QB Competition
"I think we have two quarterbacks that can play and win for us and we have gotten both of them a lot of snaps. How we will work it from here on out, we will see. They are both capable of getting snaps in a game and winning for you, but in saying that you have to see how the game goes. We will take it week-by-week. They are both tremendous competitors. They are going to continue to improve and practice well. If they are both playing at a high level, we will use both guys. If only one is playing at a high level, he is the guy."
On Quinton Maxwell"
"He is a very team-oriented guy and you have to like that. He is a great competitor and I felt that he would bounce back. He practiced well and I knew that he would play well. He had one interception, but other than that he played a very good football game."
On Ouellette and Cope:
"That was great to see for those guys to be at 100%. A.J. hasn't gotten a lot of reps because we have played three runningbacks. Dorian hasn't gotten a lot of reps either. None have had a tremendous amount. That is pretty good in terms of them playing healthy going in to this game and they should be healthy going in to the next one. So in that regard it feels good to be able to play three backs and keep all of them fresh. Cope has had a history of injuries that were tough. They kept him off the field for a while when you'd like to see him play at times. He has speed, good hands, was a great basketball player in high school so he is a tremendous athlete. With all that in mind, we felt that he would keep coming for us. If he could keep healthy then he would have a great year."
On Odom and Meservy not playing as much:
"Cam was not able to finish the game so that limited his reps, but it shouldn't be an injury that keeps him out. He should be able to bounce back from it. Hagan has gotten a lot of reps in the first two games, so we were giving some of our guys breaks. We were able to give Jake some breaks, which the previous year we weren't able to. So being able to give guys breaks as you go through the season, especially up front is important and we try to look for ways to do that."
On Run Game with Offensive Line:
"He isn't an ordinary freshman and an ordinary freshman wouldn't play. He has a lot of things going for himself though and he has showed very early on that he is capable of handling it mentally, as well as physically. I gave him a shot early and he just kept going with it."
On Secondary Against Kansas:
"We knew he was going to throw the ball a fair amount and he is going to get his completions and his yards. The key is to not let him get the explosive plays and just put points on the board. We did a pretty good job of keeping that from happening, but he is a pretty composed guy and a good throwing quarterback. So I was pleased with the fact that he wasn't hurting us with big plays and the fact that we were able to put points on the board with a lot of drives kind of eased that a little bit. It would be a nightmare if you are not putting points on the board and he is doing that. Their three-and-outs were hard to get with that guy."
Ohio Player Quotes
Quarterback Nathan Rourke
On being the starting quarterback:
"During the week they said 'Hey, we're going to put you in first,' and I didn't think too much of it. We were always going to play both quarterbacks, so I approached this game the same way I approached the other two weeks."
On leading from the start:
"For sure. I think that helped everyone's confidence. It's definitely a great way to start; I would have liked to have had a touchdown on the first drive, but it's still good to get some points up."
On his broken helmet in the third quarter:
"Well it didn't feel good. I've never really had a situation like that. They really bent my facemask; I couldn't wear it anymore. Our equipment guy was really tested there—he showed what we had because the pressure was really on.
"I would have liked to have gone back in, even if I couldn't fit it on, but it was bent. It was crazy."
On settling in with the playbook
"Really comfortable. I'm really excited to see what we can do in the next couple of games. In terms of the different looks, I think our coaches put together a really good game plan. I'm excited to see what we will do next week and the week after that."
Running Back A.J. Ouellette:
On running 100 yards:
"It felt good. I did my job, which was run behind the big boys—I think I broke maybe two tackles the whole game. The holes were wide open.
On being apart of the Power 5:
"Oh yeah, I mean, since I had to watch them last year I had this date circled on the calendar this year.
On owning the line of scrimmage:
"At first I felt like we weren't getting close, but after the O-line said 'Run right here,' and they pointed to the gap they wanted me to run, I wasn't touched until safety. I feel like we dominated the line.
Wide Receiver Brendan Cope
On receiving 100 yards:
"It feels great. Last season I was out pretty much the whole season. In the first two games this year, both teams played a lot of cover threes with their corners, dropping back and now we finally saw a team that's playing man. They love to play man and I love to play against man. We had some good passes and good faith with the quarterbacks and I'm excited to see where the future goes with that. I heard a lot of the teams will play a lot more man than the first two teams.
On being in sync:
"We woke up after last week—last week was kind of an eye-opener. We really zeroed in in practice this week and ultimately it doesn't matter who is back there at quarterback. Everyone knows what they're doing and there is a good connection between the wide receiver and the quarterback.
On the need to win before heading back on the road:
"We take it one week at a time."
On the improvement from last week:
"We simplified things a little bit and we handled the pace much better this week. I took it upon my shoulders to get us set up on the defense as opposed to get a call in. We did a lot better job at getting lined up and that was the big thing last week; we just found ourselves out of position. Obviously we'd like to be able to change it up and run some blitzes but as long as everyone knows what we're doing and we're on the same thing, even if it's simple, we'll be in a lot better shape."
On playing in a game without practice reps:
"It truly was a game-time decision. It did feel good; it was nice. I did a good job of taking mental reps and paying attention in practice so I would be prepared as well in case I did feel well enough. Having over 2,500 college snaps usually doesn't hurt your case. I mean, they had a couple longer drives where I was definitely gassed, not having broken a sweat in the last seven days got to me on those 15-play drives. I was a little tired, but besides that, it went well.
On Kansas scoring late in the game:
"I mean, the Kansas coaches are in a position, whether they're doing it for stats or to make games appear closer than they are, they do things for reasons that they do. I don't take it too hard; we should still stop those plays and not get up so many yards. Ultimately, we're playing some less aggressive defenses and forcing their hands in some four-man and two-man offenses for the whole fourth quarter. We were in control, so I don't feel bad about it.
Kansas Head Coach David Beaty
"I think we started slow and that is something that we had as a goal to not do. We wanted to start fast particularly on the road against a good football team. We wound up getting ourselves into a hole and we wound up fighting our way back into the game, which was good to see in that second quarter. We gave up some third downs. We had a chance to get off the field several times and he would slip out of it and just didn't tackle well down there in those situations. A couple times we had penalties extend drives – I give the poor kid credit ducking out of the way and we're trying to tackle him and he winds up getting in position where we would pull his helmet off. Unfortunately, I don't know how he else you'd do it, because the guy is ducking and weaving. He did a good job. I think he came in and gave them a spark."
"Ouellette playing was a big deal for them. He did some good things starting the game off with a really long run".
"And the tight ends in the passing game was something we hadn't seen them do, but they utilized those guys to their advantage in that first half particularly."
"I thought they'd come back to it more in the second half but they didn't. I felt like we were continuing trying to chase getting it back down to a one-score game. And that is kind of the deal, getting it back within closing distance and is able to get it done. We just ran out of time there. We needed some stops and we didn't get them."
On Rushing offense:
"We looked early at what Dom [Williams] was doing and we weren't going to hesitate to go to Khalil [Herbert] We challenged him this week and told him that we need more out of him, particularly with Taylor Martin out, and he responded; that was really good to see. He broke a bunch of tackles today and was a very powerful back. He had an urgency about him, which was good, and he pretty much went the rest of the way, which was really good for us. There were some things on third downs offensively that I'm not really happy about. We just didn't do a very good job on third downs at times. We held the ball way too long at times and Peyton [Bender] has to be better at that. He did some really nice things today, but he took some sacks in situations that where it was zero-blitz and we knew we only had a couple different things we could do with the ball and you hold it and you're going to get sacked. You have to do one of two things, get rid of the ball, and snap it again or try to find your quick answer. We just didn't do a great job at that and it hurt us."
On Toby Hall and Williams – first start:
"Toby has been a guy that has been standing out to us for a while. Jason wasn't unavailable, but he wasn't fully healthy. It was good to see Toby step in there and get his first play. I'll have to watch the tape to be able to tell, but I didn't see him giving up a lot. He played a bunch of snaps today, too. I was worried about him towards the end, but he kept going. Hall is another guy that has just continued to build himself into a guy that can use in packages and at that full back spot. Dom got a start today, and I thought he was going to have a really good day starting off. We slipped a couple times starting off in open-field situations where we just have to do a better job of cutting on the outside foot and not getting on those inside cleats."
On Zack Hannon:
"I think he definitely did with his experience and he kept himself out of trouble a couple times. I thought that was good to be able to balance there between him and Antoine. Zack went in and ended up playing most of the rest of the game, which was good. The good news is, we feel like we have a lot of guys that can play up front and we utilized quite a bit of them today. We're going to have to continue to do that and that's a leg up that we didn't have in the past."
Defending Quinton Maxwell:
"Yeah, I think they did a good job using two quarterbacks. I honestly didn't recognize a lot of difference on the field. Obviously, Rourke is a really good runner – dynamic guy. And he did some really good things. Maxwell is capable of doing that, too. They looked very similar when they were out there. I think its something that they were able to open their playbook and can do the same things with each guy. That makes it a bonus for them."
Peyton came behind Sims and got the interception… on that sequence…:
"You don't want that to happen. But, it happened. He put it behind him, Sims stuck his hand out and it fell right into the hands of the cornerback. He was in the right spot at the right time. And we still had them backed up on their own 40 or so and we gave up a touchdown. We just have to do a better job of being found and when that happens, we have to get off the field. We did a better job of that last year than we have this year, but we have to be able to get off the field. It wasn't like that had, I mean they got a touchdown, but they were backed up almost to the 40. We should be able to get off the field, and we weren't able to do it."
Where Kansas is right now:
"We have to do a much better job of limiting big plays in the passing game. I mean that's not something that you're not going to be able to see when you look at tape. We have some young safeties back there that are playing, and they just have to grow up fast. And we have to find some guys that can go back there and stabilize everything. Against the run, we played fairly decent against a very explosive, good-running football team. I thought our guys actually played a lot better this year than they did last year against their misdirection and non-option attack that they do. It is very difficult on the eyes. We still gave up some explosives, but the majority of the damage came through the air. I give those guys credit, that number nine made a couple of catches and I was like, "Wow." That dude made some ball plays. He made a catch against us last year, too. When they get them close, those boys make some plays."
Kansas Player Quotes
Quarterback Peyton Bender
On how game changing the pick into another pick was:
"Yeah we came out and wanted to try to cut the deficit to one possession. That's huge by the defense, getting that interception and unfortunate we couldn't connect but definitely swinging the game and it ended up going in off that but one we wish we could have back."
On if he threw the ball too far behind Sims"
"Yeah it was little bit, little bit behind him. You know tip balls get intercepted and that's what happened."
On his reasoning why he can get the deep balls on target but not the medium targets:
"Nah I don't really know, I'll have to go back and watch the film but i'll evaluate when I watch the film."
On Ohio's solid pass rush and five sacks:
"Great defense, great defensive front. Their front seven is pretty good, you know the linebacker core and defensive line but some of those you know they just made nice plays and other times, a few instances, I could've got the ball out of my hand seeing blitz. Missed a few blitz pickups but I can help my O-line out by getting the ball out a little quicker."
On the play where his line cut block in front of him and he was sacked:
"That's a call, I'll give the line the cut call if I want them to cut and I was hoping Quan was going to get open over the middle of the field and he got walled off and I held on it too long, I just need to check that down for cutting that much time you got to get it out."
On whether Kansas got a strong line by changing out Hand and Tovi on the right side:
"Yeah definitely. I thought in the second half they blocked pretty good, I don't remember being heated up that much in the second half so that was good to see, that's encouraging and hopefully we can keep that going into next week."
On what made Herbert so effective today:
"I think just going a little bit up tempo, catching the defense off guard on that touchdown, you know he's a hard runner, that's what he's going to do and the O-line played good in the run game. I thought we blocked really well on the run game."
Linebacker Joe Dineen Jr.
On if there's new hurdles that come up every game that set the team up to lose:
"I don't think it was that. We were ready to play, we had guys in position to stop them every time. Personally I didn't play well enough for us to win. I missed a bunch of tackles that I normally make but I over an them today and that hurt us big time. A lot of third downs got outside and converted on third and long."
On whether Ohio came out throwing the ball in the second half more than Kansas was expecting:
"A little bit maybe but we were prepared for the run and the pass. We had guys in every hole and we just didn't make the plays."
On preparing for and then seeing Ohio's two quarterback system:
"Hats off to them, they prepared well and they came out and whooped us. The two quarterbacks, they played great. We knew when seven came in he was more of a thrower and 12 could run a little bit more, they both played really well tonight."
On what he saw from the line of scrimmage on the 63-yard run
"Yeah they just got around the outside, just came up field, maybe missed a tackle or something and I really feel like a lot of the time we were in position to make plays, we just didn't make them."
On where the defense is at after week three
We have a lot of improvement but I feel like we are getting better and I don't feel like it was on the secondary. There was a lot of runs that us as linebackers and me in particular, we missed. The third and long stuff when they're running the ball, we have to get a stop there and that's me, that's on me so we have to pick that up."
Safety Mike Lee
On what he thought of the first-half offense:
"They just came out with a lot of energy, they ran the ball down our throats. We watched that all week on film, we did that all practice, we could've stopped them but I guess they had more momentum from running the ball in the first half."
On how hard it was to get his interception and stay in bounds:
"It was really tough because he was trying to knock the ball out of my hands so I caught the pick and I got my two feet in bounds then he rolled over me and he tried to take it out so when I saw the ref say it was a pick, I dropped the ball and was celebrating with all my teammates."
On how sure he was that it was pick
"I was sure, I knew I caught the ball."
On whether he caught the ball by the time he had to go on defense again after the following interception:
"No I did not, our offense threw the pick so fast I was like, 'Dang, we just caught a pick and we just turned the ball over again?' I still was tired a little."
On the challenge of covering a tight end who wasn't utilized this season until today:
"You really just got to put your hands on him really. If he gets a free release, he's like 6' 7", 235 so if he gets a free release on you, get behind you, he's going to catch the ball but really when I was covering him all I was doing was putting my hands on him so he wouldn't catch the ball."
On how Joe said he felt the defense was in the right position but they couldn't make tackles and whether he agrees:
"Yeah, that's what it was. The defense was in the right position to make plays and stuff like that but there was just missed tackles that were going on so really we just need to work on tackling wise and we'll be ok with it."
On whether he can evaluate the secondary:
"We're a young secondary so that's what it is. They were covering and they were getting beat so really we just need to work on that."
Running back Khalil Herbert
On his the 51-yard run:
"I just did what my coach been telling me all week, pressed and it popped open pretty good so I just ran."
On sparking the team and coming back into the game:
"I just want to help my team out any way that I can and I guess I did so I was just trying to bring a spark to the side"
On how the offensive line is doing blocking on the runs:
"They're doing really well. There's a few things we're going to go back to in film and fix but other than that I think they improved a lot."
On Zach Canyon and Andrew Tovi playing on the line and whether they stabilized the line:
"Oh nah, I think the O-line is really plug and play so anybody who gets in is going to do a good job and I'm proud of them boys, they did a good job today so that's really really it."
On the back to back interceptions and how that felt:
"We just do whatever our coach says, one play at a time so once the defense gets the stop we're going to get back on offense and do our thing."
On why his last touchdown was so important to him and why he fought so hard for it:
"It's what our coach instills in us, never to quit. So I just ended the game, three seconds left, just tried to get in the endzone."
On how he feels about the offense:
"We have some things to fix but we're on the up and up so I'm excited to see what we do in the rest of the season."
Wide Receiver Steven Sims
On what happened with his missed catch turn interception:
"I don't know, I really don't know how to explain that. I just tipped the ball and they intercepted it."
On whether it was behind him:
"Yeah it was but it touched my hands so I have to catch it."
On how deflating that is for both sides of the ball:
"I feel like that drop right there was a big turning point of the game. We really needed points that drive. And interception caused by me, a tipped pass, so that was a bad play by myself."
On whether he was surprised by how effective he was given his experience last week:
"I mean I knew coach was going to come to me. I'm a big help to the team but we just have to make more plays on offense."
On the stability on the offensive line:
"I didn't pay much attention to the line, not going to lie."
On does he feel better about his ankle and if he's still a deep threat:
"Yes sir I do believe I can run anybody deep."
On how he thinks the defense can help limit big plays:
"Really the defense just needs to play with their eyes, they can't get caught with their eyes in the backfield and things like that. They just need to do their one 11 and we're going to be alright."
On what is the wide receiver's responsibility on blitz pick ups:
"Well we just have run our route."
On whether they can call it out:
"That's on the quarterback. If it's blitz, we know when the blitz is coming be we just have run our routes, we don't have much to do with that."
On whether the team is getting more offensive balance:
"Yeah I do feel like we're more balanced, we just have start early and start faster and that will take care of everything."