Sept. 17, 2006
Head Coach Frank Solich
On his overall thoughts of the game:
"We played a good football team, and it's obvious that we didn't play well enough in certain areas of the game to make it a contest. I thought our defense played well at times. They have a very good offensive football team, in the throwing game and the passing game. Offensively, I thought their defense controlled the game. We just were not able to establish anything offensively to get anything done. They've good athletic talent on the defense side of it, good speed on the defensive side of it. They utilize that very well, and we didn't do a very good job of picking up the things we needed to pick up to get something going. Special teams hurt us in the beginning. I think our punt return team showed some signs of being able to be a pretty good unit. Our punt team, even though we struggled early on, came on and did a pretty good job. All in all, we knew we had to win the special teams part of the game to get this one done, and then play well on both sides of the ball."
On the effect of Matt Coppage's injury:
"We're not very deep in the offensive line. He's our most experienced player in the offensive line, but this was not a game where missing one guy would've made the difference. We played a very good football team that was playing well in a lot of phases of the game. We did not play well in some phases of the game to make it a game."
On how Rutgers' recent turnaround is an example of what he's trying to accomplish at Ohio:
"They've done a very good job here of building the program. A lot of things go into that. They've certainly had the backing and certainly had the coaching. They've recruited well, and done all the right things to get themselves in a position to play very good Division I football. We have made strides. I don't think that showed necessarily today, but we are a better football team than we were last season. We are headed in the right direction. We have some needs we have to address, but I like the attitude of our football team. That's probably what transpired here. They had a bunch of coaches that worked hard and a bunch of players that played hard. It started to fit for them, and once it started to fit for them they got great confidence, and they're playing with confidence."
On the big plays in the game:
"There's about maybe three or four huge plays in the game. I'm not saying that those plays made the difference, but certainly they were big plays in this ball game for them to build off of. We had some big plays in the game for us to build off of too. Give them credit. They were able to build off their big plays, and we didn't do a very good job of that."
On the quarterback play:
"They weren't protected very well, but we're capable of throwing better. All-in-all, there was a lot of breakdowns on the offensive side of it that caused the performance that we had. It's pretty tough to just to identify one guy or one area as to why this happened. This game is one game for us. If we won this game, we'd have been on to the next game. In losing this game, we're still going to go on to the next game. This would not have made our season if we'd of one it. This did not break our season in losing it. We've got a lot of things out there to look forward to and to work towards. We're going to get back to work in doing that."
On the Rutgers defense:
"They were slanting a lot, blitzing a lot. When you have speed on the defensive side of it, it gets tougher to pick those kinds of things up. I don't think we did a very good job of picking some of it up. When that happens, you're going to find yourself in long-yardage situations a lot, and that's what happened to us. Some of the things you can take advantage of in the blitzing game, we did not execute well enough to take advantage of."
On the offense:
"It's just discouraging that we were not able to put some points on the board. We had some opportunities to turn this thing into a little bit of a game. We failed to take advantage of those opportunities, and that's something we have to learn how to do as a football team."
On Rutgers' touchdown just before halftime:
"It was tough, but it's not something that keeps you from coming out in the second half and playing good football. We did a few things better, but not enough things better to make a difference in the second half."
Senior Linebacker Tyler Russ
On the defense's effort:
"The first half killed us. We shut them down in the second half, but there's two halves in a football game. We just have to get better and go from here."
On holding Rutgers' scoreless in the second half:
"I guess you can take some positive out of that. The bottom line is that we lost. We have to make plays where they can't score. We have to stop them when the offense turns the ball over. They're a good team. They wanted to smash the football, and that's what they did. We figured it out in the second half, but we were a little short in the first half."
On the three interceptions by the Bobcats:
"We just took our normal pass drops. I'm not sure what he read. When he throws you the ball like we have to make a play. We did that today. We just need to capitalize on it."
On whether the team took a step back:
"Anytime you lose you take a step back, but I think we can take some positives out of what we did. They're a good team, and they're going to do well. We just have to come back and get ready for Missouri."
Freshman Punt Returner Chris Garrett
On is 62-yard punt return:
"Basically, I just saw a crease and hit it hard. We practice different scenarios, and it kind of looked like one of those. I just took it and ran as hard as I could."
On what makes him a good punt returner:
"I'm a small guy, but I'm also quick, so it plays to my advantage because when I get the ball I can make somebody miss. I'm kind of fast. I can see things quicker with my vision, and I just hit the hole and go."
On where the team goes from here:
"We came into this game and played hard. We're going to take this loss as a reminder of what it feels like to lose and pick it up again and keep moving forward."
Senior Quarterback Austen Everson
On not being able to take advantage of some opportunities:
"Rutgers definitely made the best of their opportunities where we didn't. We had a lot of chances."
On Rutgers' defense:
"We knew on tape they were aggressive and athletic, and they definitely showed it. They're a defense that's hard to put your finger on because they do a lot. They're always moving and they play hard."
On Rutgers' defensive speed:
"We need to maybe deal with speed better. We need to execute better no matter who we play, no matter if we're playing track athletes that can sprint around and fly around. No matter how fast they are, we still have to be able to execute. They did a good job on us up front today."
On his interception:
"We had what we wanted. We had a guy running right down the middle, and I threw what I thought was a good ball. It was just high. That happens. It took us out of a good chance to maybe go down and put them in a tight spot."
On how the team will react to the loss:
"This game is not the season. Had we won, it wouldn't have been the season either. We have a lot of room for improvement, and we knew that even after last week's game. We have to take it for what it is - an out-of-conference game against a good team that played well. We also have to make improvements on what you see out there."
On losing Matt Coppage:
"I think it hurt us when Coppage went down just because he's a leader, he's a senior, and he's a good player. We had some guys step up, but in the end sometime when you lose a senior it can be tough."
Junior Wide Receiver Chido Nwokocha
On the offense's performance:
"We struggled a bit on offense. We were kind of inconsistent. We had some good things going on the first drive. One bad thing happened and it kind of became a snow ball. We'd make a big play and then get a penalty or something like that. We were way too inconsistent to beat a team like that."
On the missed opportunities:
"A lot of guys are disappointed right now. Not just because of the score, but we had some opportunities throughout the whole game to go out and make some plays. We missed some golden opportunities to make this a game."
On whether this game is a step backward for the team:
"I wouldn't call it a step back. We can always look at it as a learning tool and move forward from here."
On the team's outlook:
"We're going to be alright. The attitude has changed around our program. This season's not over yet. This was one game. We're not going to accept it, but we're not going just going to kill the season for it."