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Ohio vs. Massachusetts - Post-Game Quotes

Nov. 29, 2013

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Ohio 51, Massachusetts 23
Ohio/Massachusetts Postgame Quotes
Athens, Ohio | Peden Stadium
Nov. 29, 2013

Ohio Head Coach Frank Solich
Coach Solich opening statement
"I’m really pleased to see them bounce back and play - what I thought - were four quarters of pretty good football. Every now and then a drive would stall and the other team would get things going, but that’s football. For the most part, we played very hard and very well for four quarters of football. That’s what we wanted to end the regular season."

"For the seniors, it was the only way to see them go out with all they’ve accomplished here. They’ve been a great group to work with and have done a lot for Ohio. I feel like I grew up with them here. There’s a togetherness with our staff and with those players that’s very meaningful. 7-5 was really not where we wanted to be, but we came off three straight losses to be able to bounce back and win the last one. I was pleased with us getting done what we got done."

On Travis Carrie’s day
"That was great. You could see his face light up after each of those interceptions and to finish his game on top the way he did. He has a great deal of ability and being able to show that here in his last ballgame the way he did was just great. We wish him the best. He’s an outstanding football player and has done a lot for us not only as a defensive player but with leadership and as a punt returner."

On what the team will do these next few weeks
"We’re not assuming anything. When you’re 7-5, you can’t. Winning this last ballgame and scoring 51 points is doing what we needed to do to put our best foot forward at this point in time. We’ll just look at conditioning and lifting weights next week so that if we are placed in a bowl game we’ll have a great start should we be in a bowl game."

On the season as a whole
"I think the guys felt good about how they responded in this game. We’re a football team that had high hopes and aspirations at the beginning of the year. Some of those goals were not reached and we started adjusting our goals. We got down to the end where we did not want to finish this on a losing note. Winning this game was important to everybody in the program. This gives us five winning seasons in a row, and you’d have to go back to the 1960s to see that. Accomplishing that is no small feat. Again, there was some disappointment in the season overall, but I like the way they ended it."

On the team handling adversity
"They’ve talked about it, met about it, practiced in a manner to not let that happen. I think they had a mindset to play this game, play it well, play it for four quarters, and not have anything detract from what they wanted to be all about. I think they accomplished what they set out [to do]."

On Josiah Yazdani going through season without missing a kick
"At the beginning of the season, in practices he did not grade out that well. We were a little uncertain as to how it would play out for him when he got his chances during the season until he got on the field. When he got his chances, he made the most of them and just continued to kick at a level that allowed him not to miss."

"If you look at that, it shows the personality he has and the kind of young man he is. He certainly believes in himself a great deal and is a bright man. If he finds himself making mistakes in practice, he is able to get it corrected. He’s the kind of guy that doesn’t make the same mistake over and over again and can handle pressure really well. He’s turned out to be the kicker you’d hope you’d have."

On Beau Blankenship’s success today
"To see him average what he averaged per carry [was great]. To see him get a chance to get in the secondary, get in the open field, make a move on a guy to go the distance. He hasn’t had a lot of those opportunities this season. It was great to see him finish that way."

"He’s as great a team guy as you’re going to find. His carries got cut down, his yards per carry were less than last year, his yards were less, and he shared carries with Ryan Boykin most of the season. He did it in a great fashion in being a team leader and putting the team first. I have nothing but high praise for him and how he’s been through his whole career here."

On Jon Lechner’s on-field marriage proposal
"I knew it was going to happen, but I missed it. I’m certainly happy for him and glad she said yes. I think that’s a first [for players asking girlfriends to marry them before a game]. I’ve had players propose on the field in the off-season, but not quite in that dramatic of a fashion. Jon’s dad was in town, so it made for a nice event."

Travis Carrie, Senior, Cornerback
On playing his final game in Peden
"Definitely a great experience, a blessing. I think it’s something that we as a team were able to go out and execute on offense, defense, special teams and we all had fun. Everybody had a chance to make big plays. That was the most exciting part about it, just to see everyone around you who you’ve played with for years have the same opportunity to be successful in this last game."

On the momentum shift after his first pick-six
"I think any time you get the opportunity to get a pick six, the momentum change is huge. Right after that we had the dropped kickoff, which was excellent by the special teams as well. We were able to execute, which really changed the game’s momentum. Our offense stayed on the field and did a great, great job. The morale was so high during the whole game."

On the senior class
"Just playing with all of the younger people we’ve played with and giving them the chance to view a lot of the greatness that’s happened over the years really sets a high bar for them to follow. I think that’s great for the next generation of teams that come to play under this staff. They really do an excellent job of handling everything. It’s definitely a great opportunity for them and an exciting time for us."

Tyler Tettleton, Senior, Quarterback
On the success of the passing game
"It was very nice. The past three weeks, we’ve played really solid defenses that limited us to what we wanted to do offensively. It was nice to come out today and have everything going in the running and passing games."

On going out with a win
"It feels great. It kind of erases everything that happened the past three weeks. There’s no other way I’d like to do it besides going out this way and have a chance to still go to a bowl game. We’ll see what happens, but it’s great to end this off right."

On playing their last home game in front of Bobcat Nation
"It was great. To win, too, means a lot and to go out the right way with these guys and the senior group we have. We’ve done so much, and you can see what’s going on around here. We’ve built that and started a foundation for them. It sucks we couldn’t get the MAC title, but hopefully we started something that allows them to have something going in to these next couple years so they can win that."

On their chances to play in a bowl game
"It’s more 'wait-and-see.' I don’t know the situation, but it’s out of our hands. We’ll let Coach Solich and [Jim Schaus] with that, but it’s a good thing we won today to make our chances a lot better."

Beau Blankenship, Senior, Running Back
On his 50-yard TD run and finishing the season strong

"It was wide open and awesome to see. The line did a great job. [Finishing the season with a win] was definitely on our minds. To go out like this, and it still keeps our bowl hopes alive. We’ll have to wait and see, but it was great to go out like this."

On Ohio's senior class
"It was great to finish out here in front of Bobcat Nation. It’s been a great four years that I’ve been here. It’s bittersweet to leave, but it’s great to have built this up. Hopefully the next teams will carry it on."

Massachusetts Head Coach Charley Molnar
On his seniors and how they performed in the game
"I just want to say how proud I am of how our seniors played; each and every one of them never gave up. I’m so disappointed for them that we couldn’t end our season with a win for them."

On what he said to the seniors after the game
"I told them how much I loved them and how much I appreciated them staying with us during these two very tough years. Not only are the upperclassmen emotional but also the underclassmen because they realize how important the seniors were to the program."

On his team’s ability to bounce back after falling behind by two touchdowns early
"I was glad to see the wheels didn’t come off at the end of the first quarter, they easily could have but they played hard. We just didn’t make enough plays when the opportunity presented itself. That’s an awfully good football team and I feel like that would’ve been a great benchmark for us to beat that team, but it just didn’t happen today.

On the quarterback play from the three that saw playing time
"It’s obviously is an area we need to improve quickly. This team is ready to turn the corner and we need a leader to help us make that turn faster."

On the big touchdown pass from A.J. Doyle to Tajae Sharpe
"As I watched the play on the field I thought he was clearly in, I thought rolled on top of the defender. I was glad the guy in the booth agreed with me."

On the team’s ability to make big plays, but not consistently enough
"There’s no reason why we can’t make those plays once or twice a quarter, other teams are doing it. We’ve got some very talented players and some good players and we need them to make plays to change the course of the game for us."

On the performance of Kevin Byrne who had an interception and a forced fumble
"I think he’s had a good year. I don’t know if this is the high point for him. But obviously when a big guy gets an interception it’s something that he’ll remember for a long time."

On the play of walk-on freshman running back Shadrach Abrokwah
"He’s a talented young man and we haven’t seen the best of him. I can tell you he works really hard and he has some talent. We kept pounding him because that is what was working best for us today."

On the first pick-six for Travis Carrie and what it did to swing momentum in the game
"Well he was pressured and step up and threw the ball when he was moving to the side and just wasn’t on balance and I’m sure he would want to take that throw back, I certainly wish he could. I could really feel our guys thought they could get back into the football game. I don’t think all the wind left our sails, but it definitely hurt us."

A.J. Doyle, Sophomore, Quarterback
On the play that resulted in Travis Carrie’s interception for a touchdown
"The defensive back just made a good play on it and undercut the route and was able to get in.
On the flow of the game."

"There were a few times we felt like we had momentum and were right in the game but we just made too many mistakes and I put that on me."

On this being the final game for the team’s seniors
"We wanted to win this for our seniors because they put their heart and their soul into it and we just weren’t able to do it. I put that loss on me and I feel terrible for it because they are my brothers and you want to do anything you can for your brothers so this is disappointing."

On the deep touchdown pass to Tajae Sharpe
"I saw the safety step up and I knew Tajae beat the corner so I just thought make this Tajae’s ball or nobody’s and thankfully he came down with it. I had no clue at first but I asked him if he got his feet in and caught the ball and he said 'Yeah, I hope so.' It was a funny moment at that point in the game but I wish we had more of those."