ATHENS, Ohio-The Ohio football squad opened its campaign with the first practice of the season Monday. Ohio, picked first in the MAC East by the MAC News Media Association, will open this year's slate at home on September 1 against Gardner-Webb at
For information on tickets and the new Bobcat Family Package, which includes two adult and two youth (ages 3-18) season tickets for a total of $89, call the Ohio Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-575-CATS.
I really liked the work ethic today. It was awfully hot and humid but they held up over the course of practice so that's a good sign. This is just one day though and we've got to keep going. They'll be a little sore tomorrow.
On the camp's emphasis:
We're introducing plays right now and trying to get our offense and defense in. We also had two 7-on-7 stations out there to try and get our younger guys some reps so that we can try to evaluate talent and give everybody a fair chance. Our guys worked hard to get respect last year and now they have to maintain that respect by playing better. We're not going to sneak up on anybody this year so we have to be ready to go every day.
We've got some good athletes and they are learning how to practice and finish plays. This year, it is a lot easier on not only them, but the coaches as well, compared to the first day last year.
On the weather at Monday's practice:
It turned awfully humid today and since we didn't really have a hot spring or summer, this one sort of hit us by surprise. The temperature went up a bit after the rain this morning and the humidity really went up.
The guys are just excited to be out here for the first practice instead of just working out every day. We're all pumped up and we want to take it another step from last year.
On the tempo of the first practice:
We're so far ahead of where we were last year as far as the experience level goes for everybody.
On the focus of the preseason:
The message is really the same. You just have to keep working on your fundamentals from the beginning of camp and getting everybody on the same page. It's really just trying to get everyone to click as crisp as you can. If we can come out of camp with everybody healthy, crisp and clicking as a team, then we're going to be strong from the start.
On the newcomers:
It's a big class and almost all of them were here all summer. They are good guys, great athletes and some of them are going to play this year. They'll have their contributions this year and make us a better team.
We took care of it and really just rested it during the spring. It's a bruise that didn't want to heal so we just had to take it easy and that's what we were doing. Now, there is no waiting so we're just moving forward.
On what it is like to get back out on the field:
It's great to get out here after sitting out the spring. We had a great group of guys here over the summer working hard in the weight room. You can just feel the camaraderie we built over the summer. That said, there's always room to improve and that's what we're going to do every day.
On the pace of practice:
It was good for us that Coach (Solich) challenged us and that we stepped up to it. We may have worn down a little bit in the end but we're going to have to get used to it. There are going to be those fourth quarter or overtime games this year where we're going to need to step up and pull it out. Right now, we're just getting everybody the reps that they can.