ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio University football head coach Frank Solich held his weekly press conference Monday afternoon to discuss the Bobcats' upcoming midweek matchup against Bowling Green.
On Bowling Green's defense
"They're a fast, defensive football team. Their upfront people are very aggressive, they penetrate, they've got great quickness, they play with a lot of excitement, and their backers are very similar in terms of getting places. They're a very physical unit all the way around, they have a good turnover margin and they're right at the top in the MAC for that category. They've got a great combination of things going for them."
On Bowling Green's defensive tackle Chris Jones
"He can cause you problems, so you've obviously got to be aware of where he's at. The problem that you have, is that the people surrounding him are also very quick and good pass rushers. They do enough movement, with their quickness, to cause most offenses problems."
On Ohio's response to Bowling Green's defense
"We're not going to tell you, but it's clear that you can't be one dimensional. They have not allowed teams to get things going on the ground, they shut down the run first. They've done a great job of forcing turnovers when you throw, so that's a huge problem. You want to have a few opportunities and you take advantage of them when they come, and hopefully you're playing sound football. This will probably be the best defense we play, and that's saying a lot because Penn State had a great front seven. Bowling Green played Florida very well, they've really shut people down the last four or five games, the last two they've given up about three points. So we're going to have to find a way to move the football with some consistency, and then we're going to have to make sure we're playing very sound, defensive football and that our special teams unit rises to the occasion. You don't do it by being good in one area, you better be pretty good across the board."
On Ohio playing three games in twelve days
"It presents a huge challenge for us and for our players, but we've risen to the occasion and met challenges before this year. Our offensive line is one of our stronger units, and it's going to be a great matchup, which it has been if you look at the history of the schools. So, we'll see how that all plays out."
"Not everyone is able to do it, and if we're able to do it - we'll see. If you look at the last time we played three games in twelve days, we won the first two and lost the last one. This one is different because of where those games are played in that 12 day span. It's clear that you can't look at it as a negative. It's what it is, we've been there before, we know what it takes to get it done, and I believe we've practiced correctly for the game. There is a challenge in terms of what they're all about offensively and having an extended week because we're on so many offensive sets. They can get you out of alignment pretty quickly and when you have a short week that's an extra challenge added. Our guys have been focused this week, I think they played their best ball game of the year last week. We've got some momentum going and I think they want to keep that momentum."
On Miami's loss having an effect on the team's attitude
"I haven't noticed it, we haven't talked about it. We've just zeroed in on Bowling Green and have tried to have good practices. Knowing that, it's a long ways to go until the end, even though there's only three games, there's a lot of football to be played as far as figuring out where you end up in the conference race. So, we're not looking down that road in terms of putting too much attention on what other teams are getting done, it's going to be a matter of what we can get done."
On Wide Receiver Landon Smith's injury
"I believe his surgery is Tuesday, and he will presumably be out the remainder of the season."
On Ohio's receiver position
"We're getting down to numbers at the position, and our rotation won't be the same because of it. That's a little bit of a concern, the guys on the field are really good players and they're playing well, they just may have to play a few more snaps."
On Ohio's seniors
"There are a number of really talented seniors that are going to be leaving the program. It's been a great group. They've really recognized what we've wanted to accomplish with the program through their career. They've done everything that can to help us take steps forward, so it's a group that got the big picture. They understood what we wanted to accomplish with our program, and they set about doing it from day one when they stepped on campus. They've been great at moving this program forward."
On the Blackout crowd
"It's important to have a great crowd and have them into the game, and I believe that will be the case. I think if you look at the attendance figures, we've got to be right at the very top of the MAC this year. So, we've been getting great support and continued support coming down the stretches is going to be important. We've got one home game and two away games left, so this is certainly a big game for us, it's a big game for our students, and I think they want to get involved in this game. I don't think every MAC school has a home field advantage, we're building that home field advantage now. I believe it's important in moving forward."