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OHIO vs. KENT STATE | POST GAME QUOTES

Ohio Head Coach Frank Solich

Opening Statement:
"I thought we got off to a slow start; I was impatient initially because I wanted to take them out of the game as quick as possible. When that didn't happen I was a little frustrated, but I thought our guys played much better as the game went on and finished it very well. I think our offense beat them down a little bit, to where things got easier in the second half in terms of our linemen our backs. Things opened up and became easier in the second half. Defensively we seemed to have control; they had some frustrating plays that would keep the drive going, but in the end our defense played better as the game went on. Overall it was a good game, too many penalties with special teams that cost us yardage, but all in all everyone is pleased with the win. Kent state has always been a battle so we appreciate getting the victory."

On setting a record high yardage of 336, and seeing rushing players thrive:
"It has been huge in terms of point production and getting into the red zone. A good share of the time when were in the red zone we get points on the board. The running game has played a big role in that. We can be a good passing football team, but we've had to many drops in the last couple weeks, so that has to get corrected."

On Nathan Rourke's rushing ability:
"He has enough speed to make big plays in the rushing game. He also is excellent at being able to make a player miss. He will get more yards on a given play that what it seems he should get, which is huge. When you have running backs getting yards, an offensive line getting things done, and now he is picking up yardage; it allows you to have a number of yards in terms of rushing when you look back. And Nathan keeps drives alive with his ability to rush and make a big play. I think teams know they have to contend with that as they go into the game." 

On Rourke's ability to throw:
"His statistics won't show a lot from the past two games if you factor in the drops. Everyone has some drops through the season, but we are having a few too many this season by guys who are good receivers with good hands. We will have to address this issue."

On the defense having the ability to close the game out in the second half:
"I think they got it to the point that Kent was discouraged. If you're playing at a level that our defense was playing at in the second half, it makes for great individual plays. We are getting better as a unit defensively, and that showed at times during this game. We're hoping this shows even more as we get into the last part of our season."

On scoring over 40 points in five games this season: 
"Scoring points is built around players, and we have an excellent group of players. Staying healthy as the season goes on is a blessing. Having a quarterback that can run and throw, having backs that can get you first down after first down, linemen who can wear people down, and tight ends getting catches and blocks, you have something going for you. We will be tested by good teams this year, it's never easy to get 40 plus points on the board, it takes talent, and I think we have talent."

On being bowl eligible: 
There was no talk about winning this game and being bowl eligible; I did talk to the team prior to the game, I mentioned that to them. I said "hey, there hasn't been a coach that has said 'get this game and we're bowl eligible again.' There wasn't a player that said, 'hey coach we're going to be bowl eligible with this win.' There wasn't anybody that talked about becoming bowl eligible with this win. I think this is a great step for our program. We don't even consider that, and they're thinking about other things, which I think is great.

On Ouellette moving into 10th-all-time career rushing yards:
"I had no idea. A.J. didn't tell me either."

On Ouellette Not Knowing He was 10th All-Time: 
"I believe that. We just go out and play football, and that's the great thing about this group. They're not guys that are looking up those kinds of things. You know, they just love the game, they love playing it. They prepare hard, prepare to play well and I'm happy for those guys for having those kinds of success that they've been able to have. And to be able to get some individual records- I think is great too. Those two backs share a lot of playing time, and not one has ever said anything about "hey coach can I get a few more snaps?" or "hey can I get in this series?" A.J. what he had like 90-something yards [91,] he didn't come up and say, "hey coach, man, I'd love to keep a string of 100-yard games going," none of that ever crosses these guys' minds, they just love the game and play hard."

On Ouellette And Dorian Brown Challenging Each Other:
"There is competition there, between them, but I think they just demand it of themselves to play really well, and don't really try to compare too much. And that's the great thing about those guys, and I think it's the great thing about the makeup of our football team. They're no selfish football players on our team. That helps you leadership-wise, it helps you team-wise as you go through your season to give you your best chance at playing winning football." 

On being physical, as physical as any team in the conference:
"If you're in the coaching profession and business you understand that if you don't have physical players, you're out of luck. You can have great skill, you can have great speed, but if they're not physical the bottom line is that you won't win a ton of football games. So, we pride ourselves in that. Some years we've been a little bit better than other years, but I think if you look at our football team the last couple of years, I think we've taken a step there. I think they just expect it of each other to player physical football. Saying that, I know we'll be playing some really physical football teams coming up that pride themselves in that same thing. But that's what I like to base our football team off of- being physical. That's what I like to base recruiting off of. If a guy's not physical then, hey, maybe we move onto the next guy, that's where we start. Now, obviously you have to have a certain amount of speed in a recruiting class and on your football team, but if they're not ready to play physical football, you can call all the fancy plays you want and it's not going to go." 

On having the best offensive season:
"You're probably right on that. As I think back after each of our games I felt really comfortable and proud of our football team in terms of effort and in terms of toughness. That, to me, means an awful lot. You're not going to have those kinds of teams, maybe every year, but if you don't then you don't have much of a shot. We go out with that in mind and those guys respond to that very well. It's collision sport, and we're not the only ones out there collision-ing people, and other teams have players out there who are collision-ing us. The sport is really physical to begin with. We got through it with just a few penalties, maybe four or so [5.] I think we're winning the penalty battle for the most part game after game and I think playing physical football and not having it carry over into where guys are hitting a little bit late or just causing you problems with their physical-ness because it's not within the rules. Now that becomes a problem. We've had some targeting calls, we didn't have any today which was great. But those, as I look back on them, those weren't targeting calls that we're initiated by our guys to target. They were just moving plays, and our guys were just trying to be physical not to target. That sometimes enters the picture." 

On having Papi White back, and the health of the team:
"He's just getting started, and getting ready to roll. He didn't do much running for a few weeks or so, and he ran quite a bit this past week in terms of getting ready to practice. He seemed to hold up okay, but obviously I'm sure he probably was not in great-great condition. It'll take another week of work and practice and that kind of stuff to get him really on top of his game again. But his speed is important to us, and along with his speed he is a tough football player. Getting him back will be a big-big plus for us, it'll cause teams to do a few things differently on defense to keep an eye on him."

 

Ohio Player Quotes

Running Back Dorian Brown

Running ball at a high level, what do you see from the back position?:
"First of all, the offensive line is doing an amazing job and they just make big holes for us to see and we're just doing our job as running backs. When everyone else is doing their job, it makes it very easy for the running backs to gain yards."

On his 100-yard game:
"Yeah, I've been dragging… I've been wishing for 100-yards, but you know, the next step is 200-yards. So watch out, A.J."

Similar game against Kent last year… similarities?:
"Not really. Last year, I had a big play, and I had a great defender and I had a big play this game. That's really the only similarity I could tell you."

Do you feel like a bully towards the end of the game?
"We hear a lot of comments from the other team, like, "Dang. I hurt, man." They get tired of tackling A.J. and I. When we rotate, they get tired and exhausted and it's nice having fresh 'backs – it wears them out"

Quarterback Nathan Rourke

Adjustments after the second quarter?:
"Not a lot (of adjustments) to be honest with you. I think we've shown that we're pretty good coming out of the half time. I think we cleaned up our mistakes. I think the reason why we started off so slow was because we kept shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties and unnecessary sacks. We just started executing a little bit at a higher level, and that's really what happened; it wasn't really a game plan thing, we just started executing better."

Took some shots early on with Papi and Cam... what did you see in the defense that led you to those shots?:
"It is kind of the mentality going in that our guys can make plays and that we're a little bit better than they are. And that's really what it comes down to is being confident with our receivers. It's just a matter of putting the ball where it needs to be and again, early on, I don't think I hit as many as I did in the second half."

Settling into the games – seven straight drives and touchdowns, what led to that?:
"Again, I think that we've shown that we are a really good second-half team. Going into this game we knew that they were going to have a game plan specifically for us, that's what they've been doing every week and we've had a game plan for every team that we've played. We just had to go out and figure out what that was in the first half and first quarter. The second half we went out and did the exact same thing and so we knew where we were going and we just executed a little bit better. That's how we got into a rhythm, and that's how we were able to pull this (win) out."

Starting things quicker?:
"Obviously, we'd like to. We are going to be going over film and figuring out what we got to do because everything we did is fixable. We have to line up right – and I put that on myself. We have to be able to see everything and then we just can't take sacks and penalties. That's what was putting us back; they weren't really stopping us. It's been kind of a theme the entire season. We were hurting ourselves. So if we get rid of that I think we're putting in points every drive. It was those first couple of drives that really hurt us."

On Papi White's big catch and playing with him:
"You have a lot of confidence in him when he is one-on-one. Even though he hasn't played a lot this season, you can tell that Kent State had been game-planning for him. They wanted to know where Number Four was on the field and that just goes to show what type of player he is. To not have played very much in the season, and then still get respect from the opponent. It is great for us, because like I said, he's going to do the right thing, and he's a very versatile player. He opened up some one-on-one match ups and had some really good plays for us when he was out on the field."

By-week prep:
"I know we have a couple days off, but we will stick with the standard operating procedure. It' a big game, but every game is a big game from here on out. We're just going to have to go in and take care of business, and approach it like we have every other game. Stays focused this by-week and get as much treatment as we can to become 100% and take full advantage of the days that we have off. We need to fix the mistakes that we had here, because even though the scoreboard may say 48-3, we can be better than that. And that's what we're really excited about moving forward."

Running Back A.J. Ouellette

Ouellette entering the Top 10 Career Rushing Yards:
"I had no idea what the career rushing yards records were. At the beginning of the season, the running backs looked at the season- and game- records; because we go game-by-game."

On David Burroughs's big play:
"Anytime a new guy- a walk on- comes in and makes a big play like that, everybody goes crazy. And now, we're expecting that the rest of the season. In my viewpoint, I didn't get to see it. I am short and I was in the back, so I was watching from the new big screen that we got this year. So, big shout out to whoever made that happen. No matter who is in there, if someone makes a big play, the team is going to get excited."

A.J. How did you feel going in right after Dorian scored?:
"
Yeah, we rotate every two series, so we just stay fresh. That was his series when he scored, and so I knew my series was next. And he (QB) called the exact same play that Dorian ran and the o-line made a huge hole."

How can you sustain this 300+-yard streak?:
"Game plan well like our coaches have been and just stay focused throughout practices and throughout the week. We know we're a good rushing team, our o-line is fantastic and each player just needs to do their assignment."

Linebacker Chad Moore 

On the goal to go to Detroit and get to a Bowl Game getting done so early:
"It's a good feeling, but I mean we have a whole other half of the season that we still have to go through. I think at this point, we just look at the next game. We're expected to win. We go into practice and go in to the locker room and we don't expect to lose. I think it just comes with winning. We all expect to win and that's kind of how we approach it."

Fifth game that the offense has put up more that 40 points, what kind of confidence does it the defense that you don't have to be perfect?:
"We just kind of piggy-back off of the offense. When we're doing good and they're doing good, it motivates us to do well and motivates them to do well. So when we're getting three-and-outs and they're scoring, its easy for us. When we're not on the field and we're not getting tired, we can make more plays. I think it shows that."

On his third-career interception:
"Well I will say that my first interception was luck… but this one, we have been running that play so many times. I think our coach just did a great job. That was my assignment, just to squeeze Number Three and that's what I did. It was kind of a bad throw – a little but behind him, but you go into the game expecting turnovers. As linebackers, we always preach, "We want turnovers." We pride ourselves on making turnovers to get the offense the ball. Entering the game, that's what is on my mind."    

Kent State Head Coach Paul Haynes

Opening Statement:
"It was a tough loss against a good football team—they were very, very good. There were a lot of things that we didn't do very well and it showed." 

On the difference in turnovers in the first half:
"Right, we just got three points out of it." 

On ironing out mistakes for future games:
"I mean, you've got a young freshman trying to make a play." 

On Ohio's gameplay: 
"They just kept pounding it. The longer the game went, the higher we got and the stronger they got. They started moving the pile on us; things we were able to stop in the first half they were able to get to in the second half." 

On moving forward:  
"Finish—we just have to finish. There's only one way to play this game and that's the way we're going to play it."