ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio Football head coach Frank Solich met with the press on Monday to discuss the Bobcats' upcoming game against Eastern Michigan on Saturday, Sept. 23. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. at Rynearson Stadium and can be seen on ESPN3. Here is the complete transcript.
Head Coach Frank Solich
Weekly Press Conference Quotes
Sept. 18, 2017 – Eastern Michigan Week
"I was pleased with the fact that our players bounced back after a difficult game the previous week, so that was very gratifying. I thought they played well. There is always a few things you would like to do over again, but in general all three phrases of football added to the win. We are going to face a two-game road trip here coming up and that is challenging. Eastern had a bye week so that adds into the challenge. It brings in to play the no limits phrase. We will get ready to undertake that."
On preparing to play a team coming off a bye week, and if they will do anything differently:
"Not really, the thing that added to it, we had a big recruiting weekend. We had nine official visits in this weekend so most of those guys left this morning with their families, so it was a busy weekend along those lines. Because of that, we weren't able to have a normal Sunday, in terms of preparation, so we're playing catch up right now. We did a lot of work this summer on Eastern knowing this was going to be the case so we feel we have the opportunity to be well prepared."
On the two quarterback system working so well to start the season:
"They're both good quarterbacks; if you have guys that are both good players the system has a chance to work. Quinton [Maxwell] had time in our system the previous year, played in a lot of games and did a lot of good things. Nathan [Rourke] showed himself very well this spring, this fall, and the first couple games that he had the chance to play in. They both have done good things so we will continue to go with this system. It's a little bit like the running back system we are using right now. We have three running backs that are getting a lot of playing time. That limits A.J.'s [Ouellette] snaps a little but they're feeling pretty fresh at this point. Hopefully the rotation we're having will have a chance to keep guys a little but healthier as you go down the stretch of the conference race. In saying that, if one guys hot, were going with a guy, weather it's at the quarter back position, weather it's at the running back position it makes no difference."
On MAC play starting early:
"It's the way it is in scheduling, and Eastern has the same set up, we have three games under our belt they have two games under their belt. Sometimes that plays in your advantage sometimes it doesn't. Same with the off week, sometimes the off weeks can play into your hand very well, specially if you're trying to recover from bumps and bruises with your team and you have a conference game you're able to zero in on. That extra week can help, but there are times when it doesn't help. They are 2-0 they had great momentum, so will that carry over? Most likely it will, most likely it does. You just never know until you line up and play the game with those matchups coming into play."
On what stood out about their win against Rutgers:
"They're very physical. I thought they were in all phases of the game. I've said it a hundred times in this program, if you're a very physical football team you always have a chance. They're very physical and they have talent along with that. That makes them especially dangerous. Their quarterback can hurt you in both running and throwing, he's really good at both. Their receivers make great catches. They are very big in back shoulder throws and building some passing schemes off of the back shoulder throws and they get a lot of reps on that. They get good at it. They're running game, they have big backs, their starter is 220 and the other two guys are listed at 210, so pair that with their offensive line that's big and physical, and you have yourself an offense. Same thing with them on defense, they're very big inside, 320 and 325. That's a lot of weight to try and move around. Their rush ends have really good size, good heights and good weight. They're not an easy team to displace and move around. So a lot of times we will slow down the running game. They're good in the secondary and at the linebacker spots. If you look at their stats you can see that all comes into play."
On the status of Quentin Poling and Chad Moore's health, and how important they will be this Saturday:
"Quentin is certainly no worse than what he was at this time the previous week so we expect that Quentin will be ready to play. We will have to be careful with how he practices this week. Chad should be cleared and ready to practice and play in the game. In that respect we will be healthier than what we were at the linebacker spot. I will say our young guys that came in and played, played well. So, we are real pleased with how they're playing."
On what they're looking for from Nathan Rourke to make him a steady starter:
"He will start in this game. He has done a lot of good things, there's no question about it, but so has Quinton. Sometimes you look at interceptions or turnovers and it's not necessarily the true fault of the one guy. He has played really well at times, there's been a short time when he wasn't playing so well, not a lot of plays, but a short time. So we've got a lot of confidence in him, were prepared to play the guy that's playing extremely well. Were hoping that it continues that we have two quarterbacks that play really well, that makes things easy on us."
On Tursting the quarterbacks:
"Nathan built his trust up. We have trust in him or else we wouldn't have gotten him in that first ball game in the first half like we did. We would've waited until games where the game was put away, which we didn't do. He came in and played when the game wasn't put away. And starting a game and seeing him respond to the way he played after starting a game last week gives us great encouragement with him. But Quinton has responded well, came back off of not starting this past game and did an excellent job when his tie came, so we're pleased with the play of both guys."
On getting Troy Mangen involved in the offense:
"It was good to see him have the opportunity to catch some passes. He has really good hands and is a good all around football player for us, and you want to use his talents. It just so happened that when you draw plays up, we felt we had some good things ready from a tight end position to use. Especially as we got down into the red zone. We will continue to try to move the ball around a little bit, and in saying that it makes sense to do it because I think we have talented receivers across the board. Its easy to look at ways to try and get different guys to have the ball verses having maybe one guy that stands out, and you know you're trying to get him the ball, they know you're trying to get him the ball, the people in the stands know you're trying to get him the ball. It makes it a little easier when you have an array of receivers that are capable of making big plays."
Update on Papi White and Cam Odom:
"Papi will not play in this game. Cameron is going to play in the game, but we'll know a little bit more as we move later into the week."
On the success of the Red Zone offense this year:
"We looked at that hard in the offseason. Last year we weren't satisfied with what we were getting done on both sides of the ball in the red zone. We laid out some plans that are going to get things done in a manner that gives us a better chance. Number one would be taking some chances when it comes to fourth down. We haven't had a lot of opportunities to do that in those 14-15 tries, but there were a couple, and that all adds up. We spent time on it in practice. We take the ball down in the red zone and drive that home. The quality of players you have on offense can also determine how well you do in the red zone, and this group had played pretty well offensively."
On the physicality of the offensive line this year:
"We've played some pretty stout guys so far this year. One of [Kansas'] inside guys is a really good player. They have their All-American at rush end, a couple of their linebackers could run, they were physical, but you don't move the ball and put points on the board unless you're physical upfront and that goes for the running game or the passing game. I like what these guys have accomplished so far. It doesn't show every play. When you have a physical group of linemen it doesn't show every play, but as the game goes on you can start to see your offense get a little more done, and usually that comes from pounding people down."
On Nathan Rourke's athletic ability at the quarterback position:
"His running ability showed in junior college. The reason it did is because he had to scramble quite a bit in the passing game. You saw him scrambling and make plays with his legs. The other thing you saw when he scrambled was that he never seemed to panic. He was still able to move when he was under pressure, which allowed to get him out of some tight situations and find receivers down field. It comes back to being instinctive and I think he has a lot of that in him."
On why Michael Farkas executes fakes so well:
"He's an experienced player for us. As a kickoff guy he's done a great job. He may have had an errant one or two last game, but generally has done a great job. I think he's an outstanding punter. We ask him to sacrifice yards on some punts to pooch punt the ball and down it inside the five a fair number of times. He's a really talented guy. On a bad snap he can jump up and bring it down with one hand and get the ball off. He can throw the ball. He's just an athlete. He's not a punter or a kicker, he's an athlete. We're able to use that athleticism in a lot of different ways."
On the successful pass rush against Kansas:
"It was important obviously because [Peyton Bender] is a good thrower. You know he's going to put the ball in the air a bunch. If you're not getting any pressure on him they're going to keep control of the ball and he's going to hurt you with explosive plays. It's just a losing situation if you're not pressuring him to make a few erratic throws versus him sitting back in the pocket and having time to pick out a receiver and deliver the ball. Getting pressure on him in general was great. Five sacks in the game is tremendous. We blitzed a little more than what we have some games, which probably helped us more too."
On if the plan is to pass rush the same amount against Eastern Michigan:
"It'll be a different game in that regard. We'll see how it plays out. You're up against different personnel. I see them as being able to protect the quarterback very well. You go back through their films of last year and [Brogan Roback] is a good thrower, but he really hurts people with his legs. He can get a key first down or two or three in a game that help put points on the board for them. He's an all-around quarterback and it won't be easy to get pressure on him, but we have to find a way to not let him sit in the pocket and make those throws. In saying that, the get the ball off quick. You can be the best pass rusher in the world and you may have some trouble because they don't mess around. Especially on some of those back-shoulder throws. That ball gets out. That's what they've had a lot of success with, so we'll see how that plays out in this game. You can't just say you're going to put a great pass rush on him, and blitz him, and outnumber the linemen protecting him because that's just not going to work."
On Bradd Ellis at cornerback this season:
"I think he's had a good start to the season. He's been hampered a little bit, he hasn't been 100% in a couple of these games. You put that in with the fact that he's covering guys one-on-one out there and I've been really pleased with him so far. He had a good year last year and once he's totally healthy he'll play really well."
On Bradd Ellis starting as a walk-on and becoming a starter:
"He's a good athlete, and you start with that obviously. He's a very bright guy and a very smart football player. He doesn't make the same mistakes time after time. He's a quick learner so he uses his intelligence to make himself a great cornerback."