Oct. 21, 2013
ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio University football head coach Frank Solich met with the media on Monday to discuss the Bobcats' Battle of the Bricks matchup with Miami. Check out the complete transcript.
"It was good to get back and win a football game after disheartening loss. I feel good for our players. I like the way they responded. I like the way they addressed the game under unusual circumstances and prepared themselves to play and do some good things. Obviously, there are things that we need to address to get better as we go down the stretch."
On success of all three phases of the game at Eastern Michigan
"That is what you strive for, to have that kind of an operation going for you, because that obviously gives you your best chance for success. I think all three units contributed to the win. I thought our special teams bounced back and played very well in this ball game and, offensively, we put a lot of points on the board. We still need to run the ball better. Defensively, we gave up too many yards. Total yards in rushing and yards per carry were not good, so those issues will continue to be addressed. Aside from that, we did a lot of good things. We won the big and explosive play category, which is huge, and something that we always need to do is to win the turnover ratio. That's something we have been good at, but did not get it done in the previous game (against Central Michigan). But, got it done this game, and, obviously, that is huge in determining the outcome."
On team's defensive stuggles
"Some missed gap assignments. Just poor technique at times, so we're looking at addressing the whole issue and looking to think outside the box looking at what needs to be done. There is nothing we've ruled out in terms of looking at things to make us better."
On play of redshirt senior wide receiver Donte Foster
"He's been great for us through his career here. He has had times where he has been banged up, and, obviously, that has affected his play, but he is a tough kid, so he stays on the field when he is banged up. He had the thumb injury and the knee that was tweaked here a couple of weeks ago and has been able to play through that in order to have the kind of games that he is having lately. So a lot of credit goes to him in terms of mental and physical toughness and you combine that with a really outstanding athletic ability and you've got yourself quite a player."
On big plays by redshirt junior wide receiver Chase Cochran
"They were huge. We needed something to give us a jumpstart and have our offense operate at the level it needs to operate at, and those plays did it. Chase always has the chance to be that type of performer for you with his speed. One thing that I think he is doing a much better job of this year is going up and getting the ball. I think he has developed better hands and he caught all kinds of passes. He's caught comebacks as well as the deep throws, so he's being used a lot now for us in terms of how we use him, whereas in the past, he was just a deep threat guy."
On career progression of redshirt sophomore cornerback Devin Bass
"I truly believed that when we recruited him that he was going to be an outstanding player. I felt very strongly about that feeling, and, watching his high school tape, he was a very physical player and responded very quickly to plays and had the ability to be a good cover guy. His continued development in our program has not surprised me. It's right where I've thought and hoped it would be. His play in the game on the interception was a huge turning point in the game, and that allowed us to have a chance to gather some momentum, which we did after that."
On Bass' key interception at Eastern Michigan
"I think he is instinctive. You see that throughout his play in terms of reacting to the run, and, also, his ability to cover and to stay on a guy and just have a knack of jumping at the right time, deflecting the ball at the right time, putting his hand in the right spot at the right time as a defender, reaching around the guy. He is able to do all those kinds of things. He has great control of his body, and that is a help to him, of course. "
On cornerbacks coach James Ward
"I think Coach Ward has done a great job, and I think that our players have adapted to his coaching and his system and feel comfortable with what he is having them do, and they are doing it at a high level."
On injury to redshirt senior defensive end Ty Branz
"No update other than they feel like it's a knee injury and that he is definitely out."
On challenges of facing Miami
"You see them as a true opponent that has played very well against us in the past, and so there is no reason why they can play very well against us now. It is a rivalry. There is something to be said for that from both ends of it, from our end of it and their end of it, and we know that you cannot think that you're going to win football games if you're not playing your best. We see this as we see every game. We are going to have to prepare very, very hard and prepare well to play a good football game, and then we have to go out there and win the one-on-one battle."
On what makes the Battle of the Bricks a unique rivalry
"I've been here now nine years, and, obviously, when I first got here, I did not know immediately about the Ohio versus Miami rivalry but soon found out. My previous coaching experience was used to rivalries and my understanding of what those rivalries meant and how hard of a contest those became and how hard those teams fought ended up carrying over into this rivalry, and I have seen that. Both teams play extremely physical football and do everything they can to play the best that they can. They prepare well for it throughout the course of the week, records go out the window...they really don't mean much. It's a matter of lining up and playing the game, and, when it's a rivalry game, all bets are off."
On how Miami has changed since interim head coach Mike Bath took over
"They had made a major change as we went into the early part of the season in terms of what they were all about offensively. Now, it seems as if they are going back to more like what they have been. They will spread you out. They have a throwing game, a drop back QB that can throw and develop a running game off of that."
On team's approach to the Miami game after losing last year
"I've never been a revenge guy...openly. But, obviously, no one likes to lose, regardless of whether it's a rivalry game or not, but you can't just draw back on that. You can't just say, `Fellas, we've got to win this because we didn't win it last year.' It's a whole new year and a whole new lineup for both teams and circumstances are certainly different, so, to me, every game is a rivalry, every game is something that you muster up your best to play well and give it your best shot, so, I, personally, don't go back and try to dig up the past and use that. There's enough incentive for us to play well without digging up the past. Those kinds of things will stick in some players' minds, and they will use it themselves, but in terms of our program building off of something like that, that's not what we're about."
On a number of student-athletes from Oklahoma approaching individual milestones
"You just never know in the recruiting process. We know we have the ability to recruit nationally, and so we just try to find the best players. We try to use the contacts that we have out there in the coaching business that help us in identifying prospects like every school does. We've been around awhile as coaches, so we have a lot of contacts out there, and so we are able to reach out and find players like those guys. It's great to have guys come in from out-of-state as well as be recognized for your play in-state and have players want to come in-state, but you also need to supplement that with out-of-state players, and we have the ability to do that. We just don't look at one specific area and say we want to go there and dig players up. We find out where the players are at that we have an interest in and have an interest in us for one reason or another, and, if we feel that they can upgrade our program, we go after those guys. Saying that, it is unique for us to be able to get three players from the same out-of-state like that, that pretty much came together and were close and have it work the way it worked, where they all have contributed so immensely to upgrading our program and putting us where we are at, so we appreciate what they have been all about. "
On program having the opportunity to get to the .500 mark all-time
"That will mean it's the second try for us. We need to get that done. It's huge for the program to be able to raise the level of play to the point where you get the program above 500. That is something when I found out about it, I did not know where we were at, to be honest with you, until the week of when we could get it done. I hadn't given it any thought. When I found out that we were not a winning program and that we were so close to becoming one, that is an incentive for me, for our staff and for our players. But, the bottom line is that you have to look at the whole picture and understand what each game means for you individually this year and to have goals set to become what you want to become this season. All of those things kind of come along for the ride, and that’s what this is. We have a chance to do it and get it done, so lets get it done.”