ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio Football head coach Frank Solich met with the press on Monday to discuss the Bobcats' upcoming Homecoming game against Central Michigan on Saturday, Oct. 7. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. at Peden Stadium. Here is the complete transcript.
Head Coach Frank Solich
Weekly Press Conference Quotes
Oct. 2, 2017 – Central Michigan Week
"I was certainly pleased with back-to-back road wins. I thought it was a good effort by our team. I thought we learned a lot about ourselves in these last two games. There are some things we need to get done to make us a better football team and we're in the process of doing that. I was pleased we were able to get the win. We put a lot of points on the board and we allowed them to put too many points on the board."
On possible defensive issues during the UMass game:
"We just didn't execute very well defensively. Maybe our coaching staff is throwing to much at our guys. Maybe it's just a day of them not executing the way we know they can. We are looking at everything from alignments to coverages, how we coach it to how we call our defensive formations. We will make some changes."
On the historical struggles against Central Michigan (CMU):
"I wish I had a good answer. They've been a good, physical football team when we've played them. You would think that would be a good matchup, but for some reason we just have not gotten it done. We have another opportunity this week at home. There will be a lot of excitement with homecoming weekend. You just hope that excitement carries over to the football field and they have their mind on the game and what they need to get done. We have a great team to work with so I have no question that is the case."
On the end of the non-conference portion of the schedule:
"I think it went okay. We played a Big Ten team and a Big 12 team. Obviously, the game against Purdue was a difficult time for us. I guess it was a really difficult two quarters for us and that made a huge difference. All in all, not bad. One loss in the non-conference play; we wanted zero losses, but it is what it is and we're going to move forward."
On the success of the running game in the first five contests:
"We worked hard at establishing the running game in fall camp and spring ball. Our intent was to have a good running game. We had a lot of guys coming back and we felt that we had a very good and physical offensive line. Consequently, that can lead to a pretty good ground game. I know there were some questions about us running the ball too much at the beginning of the year, but we stuck to it and I think it's played out pretty well. Also, it's allowed us to be multi-dimensional. We're getting very good quarterback play, which adds to it. We're somewhere in the top-20 in red zone offense. We've been in the red zone 27 times and scored all but once. That's a symbol of being able to run the ball well. You can't get into the red zone if you can't run the ball well, and once you get down there you can't just throw, throw, throw and think you're going to come out with a good scoring average. The running game just adds to what we're all about."
On watching the CMU vs Kansas tape due to the common opponent:
"At this point in the season you have to break down every game. We'll spend as much time on it as we do the other games."
On what he learned from his team after two close road games:
"They're able to win tight games. They're a good fourth quarter team. I like that makeup; they never quit, they believe they're going to win. That's a huge quality in the sport of football. We have great leadership. We have some depth that has shown to some degree in the course of our five games. Every team starts to get bumps and bruises along the way, and that can change the makeup of your football team. Our guys still believe that no matter who plays, we always have a shot."
On the targeting calls in the UMass game:
"It was difficult to determine from our film. We would love to have the replay film. There were only four cameras in that game, but that's better than our two cameras. They were able to zero in and get much closer shots than we were. You couldn't tell from our footage. It was not a "drive the helmet into the guy" hit. The officials told me one of the hits was described as a forearm [to the head]. It's one thing to deliver a forearm to the head, which is certainly a foul, but it's another thing to be going in on a tackle while off balance and hit a guy with an unintentional blow. You really just can't tell, but you can tell neither guy was trying to put anyone in danger."
On Quentin Poling looking more like himself:
"He's an amazing young man; he's bright, he's athletic, keeps himself on the field. The hip pointer that he had, many guys wouldn't have been able to come off of that and play in the next game the way that he did. And then he played in the one after that and has twenty tackles. He's special in a lot of ways, and I'm amazed at his whole makeup and how looks at the game, how he plays the game, how tough he is, it's all top of the line."
On concern about defensive fatigue and adding more reps for depth players:
"We do get concerned when you're getting those kind of reps. We have looked at that and are going to address that. Sometimes you get caught where you don't have the depth to do anything. We have some good young players that are continuing to get work and we are going to try to use some of them in this game."
On Austin Conrad converting from defensive end to tight end:
"Great job by him being able to give us the confidence to put him on the field, with all the more work he has had at rush end. He has done an excellent job; he keeps getting better with every snap. We have confidence in him now to put him in at any time to get reps. He really adds to the depth at rush end, which is an area that we needed to have some depth at because of what has transpired from fall camp to now at that position. He is bright, he is physical, one of the stronger guys on the team when you look at the weight room charts, in terms of strength he is a very powerful guy. The transition was not all that difficult for him, at times you'd like to have him on offense but it's where its at. He made that move with a great, unselfish attitude."
On Shane Morrison changing the offensive style of Central Michigan this year:
"They would have a fullback and tailback back there, running a power offensive at you. They would come at you with play action passes and spread out every now and then, but now they are spread out and all over the field. He gives them that ability to do that; he's a big, strong guy. In that regard he is able to sit in the pocket and take some hits at times and keep himself in the game, and keep playing at a high level. He has some tall receivers to throw to, so they have a good offense right now. It's an offense we will have to contend with in terms of the passing game. They run enough out of it to where you cannot forget about the running game."
On Central Michigan previously having an old school offensive approach, and now shifting to a spread seen more often:
"You do see that style more often, so it can help in preparation, but if you look at different teams that do spread you out, there's differences in those teams. Some guys will bunch quite a bit and do a lot of crossing routes and those kinds of things off of it, and some guys will just spread you out and put the wide out all the way out there, so he is juts one on one. So there's different styles of spread offenses, they do a combination of it. They will put guys together sometimes and not have really wide splits, sometimes they will have three tight ends on the field but their tight end may be split out there as a wide receiver. Sometimes they lob him the ball and jumps up and he makes great catches. And your small DB has a hard time stopping those throws sometimes. It is what it is, you try to make some adjustments per every teams offense, but you have to be careful not to get caught up in making so many adjustments that your execution on the football field is not good."
On Kalvin McRae being inducted into the OHIO Hall of Fame:
"He ended up being a great running back for us. When we first got here and looked at Kalvin, I thought well, okay, he's probably going to be a good running back. But he really turned into a special running back for us. He was kind of amazing. There have been faster guys but he had the knack of finding the creases, and accelerating off of those creases. He had enough speed to make the big play for you, and he was tough. An all around back, he would block, he would catch passes, come out of the backfield, he would get the short yardage for you, the tough yardage that sometimes you need. Even though when I first got here I didn't think he had great speed, on the football field he didn't seem to get caught from behind. He was a great back, and a great kid too."
On having a building block like McRae during a program rebuild:
"No question. At that time, the offense we were running he ended up fitting to a tee. I didn't know at first that that was going to play out, but he was great in our offense."
On the linebackers different personalities:
"They are a different group, basically you're talking about Quentin and Chad, the other guys are a little more normal. Quentin and Chad are special, I love what they are all about football wise, but they really have fun with the game. They have fun with me, they have fun at practice, but when it comes time to get serious, they are deadly serious on how they play the game. You have to love what they are all about."