Sept. 21, 2013
By Alex Marcheschi
OhioBobcats.com - Staff Writer
ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio notched its first shutout win in the Frank Solich era and achieved its largest margin of victory since 2002 with its 38-0 win over Austin Peay on Saturday.
"Shutouts are not easy in this game, there are athletes on every team that you play, that's just the way it is in major college football," Solich said. "To shut a team out is no easy task. I'm proud of our guys for getting that."
Redshirt senior defensive end Ty Branz played well for the Bobcats. He tallied six tackles, including a sack, as he helped lead the defense in their quest to shut the Governors out. The defense is proud of their effort and they were actively seeking the accomplishment in the game.
"It was huge for us, it's been a long time since we got a shutout," Branz said. "Everybody on defense, that's what we were pushing for and hoping for, (a shutout) was the goal."
The key to Ohio's three-game winning streak has been taking one game at a time and not dwelling on the past. It started after the Louisville game and the plan has worked. Solich and his staff have emphasized that every opponent matters and they approach every game as seriously as possible.
"If you look at school's that you're supposed to beat and take them lightly, if you don't prepare the same way as a coaching staff, those upsets are there to be made," Solich said. "If you prepare right, and practice right, then they understand that it's not about the opponent, it's about how we practice, how we prepare, and how we play. "
Matt Waters played well again for Ohio against the Governors. He finished the day with four receptions for 55 yards and two touchdowns. In the last two games, Waters has been the Bobcats' go-to-guy, hauling in 10 receptions for 138 yards (69.0 yards per game) and two touchdowns.
"I just stick to it, and take what Coach (Dwayne) Dixon says to heart," Waters said. "Whether it's just some little thing about the way I position my hands, or whatever. There are a lot of people that are involved in my touchdowns, it's a team effort."
"He's become a really reliable receiver," Solich said. "He's a great route runner."
Austin Peay made plays toward the end of the game and threatened to score, but the Bobcats were able to maintain the shutout with some help from some faulty Governor special teams play. The team's conscious effort to achieve their goal worked well.
"They made a couple big plays and pushed us back, but our big thing is to bend, but don't break on defense," Branz said.
What Branz said about the defense could be said about the whole team. It would have been easy for the Bobcats to get down on themselves after the Louisville loss, but Ohio has responded with zeal and is now sitting comfortably at 3-1 heading into the bye week.