Sep 3, 2013
ATHENS,Ohio - Ohio University Football head coach Frank Solich met with the media on Tuesday to discuss the Bobcats home-opener against North Texas. Check out the complete transcript.
Ohio University Football Head Coach Frank Solich
Weekly Press Conference Quotes
Sept. 3 - North Texas Week
"Well obviously the game was difficult to take from a player standpoint, from a coaching standpoint and I'm sure from a fan standpoint. Those games are hard to leave behind. But, if what we tell the players is accurate in terms of it's one game and we move on, then that's what we do. Obviously I think our players have that mindset. I think they will move on. We'll leave this one behind us. There's some things to learn from it, a lot of things to get better from it. It just felt uncomfortable that we didn't find a way to make that a challenging football game. But that's that. And so as far as North Texas is concerned, I know their coach very well, Dan McCarney. He's an excellent, excellent coach. He coaches physical football. So that's what we're in store for in terms of what they'll be all about. He's (Dan) has had an excellent career. He did a great job at Iowa State and is doing a great job down there at North Texas. So, we're regrouping, looking at doing some things differently. Obviously, some guys performed very well, some guys didn't. You look at Devin Bass, in terms of what he was all about on kickoff returns, the energy level he had, the toughness he had and the athleticism that he showed is what we're wanting to get the rest of the team. Now, I'm not saying that the rest of the team didn't have that, but there were certain areas that we need to improve on dramatically."
On what needs to change
"We are going to make some changes. We're forced to make some because of the few guys banged up that will not play in this ball game. We'll make some changes on special teams and other than that, we just want to be pretty general about that statement."
Injury updates on Jon Lechner and Sam Johnson
"Both (Jon Lechner and Sam Johnson) are getting MRIs today. So, we'll know more. But it looks like their injuries are certainly going to prevent them from being in this game. Javon (Johnson) should be ready to go. Keith (Moore) is very, very questionable.
On whether it is it fair to say Solich and McCarney have the same approach to the game
"That's all accurate. I think our coaching philosophy is the same, in terms of what we want our teams to be all about. Obviously you can line them up in different spots on the field and have different philosophies in terms of what you're about defensively, offensively, but the mentality of your football game and what you want your guys to be all about, I think Dan and I are very much on the same page. Our friendship started a long time ago when we were in the Big 12 and it has remained."
On North Texas' passing attack
"Their quarterback Derek Thompson has 24 starts. He's a 6 foot, 4 inch, 225-pound quarterback that stays in the pocket and has got running ability, but he'll not get flushed out easily. He'll stay in there and he'll let it go at the last moment. In his first game, he appears to be very accurate - his statistics show that. He's got excellent arm strength. I think they utilize him well in the passing game, but he is also a runner. They use fly motion a lot. With that fly motion, they get some big plays off it to the outside, but then they also use him coming off of that action as an inside runner."
On whether or not playing Louisville first helps Ohio prepare for North Texas
"I don't know about that. I think what you're saying is that they have the same style of football, and I think that's probably pretty accurate. Their lightest running back weighs 215, so they've got big running backs. Most of Louisville's running backs had decent size. These are big backs. So, that comes back to Dan's philosophy in terms of pounding you. They've got the kind of receivers that can make big plays on you. Also, in the punting game, Idaho outkicked their coverage. The kid was booming them about 60 yards. So, from what we saw from this last game, that won't be happening. So, hopefully, we'll cover very, very well and we'll not allow them to have that big of an edge in the punt return game that they had in the first game. I was really disappointed in all three phases in the game. We didn't play the way we're capable of playing. That's a little bit disturbing. We've got to get a lot of things straightened out in a short period of time. If we can get that done, we can be a pretty good football team."
On whether this is "must win" game
"This will be a big challenge. We need to play up to our potential in all phases of the game. If we don't, then obviously it's going to be a struggle. I know they'll be physical. We need to also make it physical."
On the short week
Well, it gives you one less day to prepare. Obviously, that enters into it a little bit. We've got coaches that put in a ton of hours, so we'll be ready in terms of having them broke down. We've had many games broke down from them from last season before we went on any type of summer break. Reviewing all that information and breaking down this last game, our coaches will do a really good job of that and we'll put a game plan together. I want that game plan to be a little more simplified than what we had our first ball game.
On what North Texas' defense showed in their first game
"You just don't know coming off a first game. We don't know what kind of football team we are. We don't know what kind of football team they are, other than that they are physical. They do execute really well, so that will be a huge challenge. They're very sound on defense. There are some teams that just try to do so many things that they create confusion amongst themselves. They've got plenty of offense and plenty of defense, but they're executing it very well. In terms of how we're going to attack it, I'm not going to tell you. Obviously, you need to be able to do both run and throw.
On the last meeting
"It was a very good football game, a game that both teams were in it to the very end. Obviously, not very ideal conditions as it rained for a good share of the game. The fact that we were able to travel with that team, play in the rain and win it in overtime spoke very highly of that football team."
Was that 2009 win at North Texas a turning point for that team that season?
"I think there are certain points in time in a season that are either going to help you, or they are going to hurt you. Obviously that was a big help to what we were all about and to continue to feed off that energy wise."
On playing at home
"It will be great to play at home and the fact that we are getting large crowds is great. I think it's a tribute to a lot of people. I think the football program has gotten to a point where that has been a major help. But obviously, everybody that surrounds and are involved with the program have done a good job. There is a home crowd advantage. There is no home crowd advantage if you don't have a crowd. So I feel like we have that now."
On getting off to a strong start
"It's important to get off to a good start and try to get the fans and our students, who have been great, involved in the game. But regardless of how it starts, there's four quarters and you have just got to be ready to overcome adversity. It would be great to be able to get off to a big start and to be able to gather the momentum. But in the sport of football, momentum can change very quickly as you go through the course of the game. Sometimes, it only takes one play in order to get that done. So, you got to be on edge and play well the entire football game."