Dec. 16, 2010
Community Outreach Photo Gallery
NEW ORLEANS, La.-Members of the Ohio football squad took part in a pair of community outreach events in the greater New Orleans area Thursday, which were sandwiched around the team's second practice in advance of Saturday's R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl (9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT).
The Bobcats started the morning with an 8 a.m. trip to the St. James Playspot in a suburb of New Orleans. Ohio student-athletes assisted in unloading a truckload of equipment and building materials which will be used Saturday in a one-day construction project under the direction of the KaBoom! organization. On Saturday, KaBoom! volunteers, which will include a number of Ohio University students, will construct a playground beginning at 8:30 a.m. CT.
After Thursday's practice, Ohio took a trip to the New Orleans Children's Hospital where it met with several children, bringing smiles and well wishes to each patient. Close to a dozen Bobcat upperclassmen handed out signed miniature footballs and special wristbands in the shape of Rufus the Bobcat, while visiting with the children and their families, hearing their inspirational stories of triumph in the face of devastating medical conditions.
Ohio Linebacker Joe Stefanski
On helping to unload items at KaBoom!'s St. James Playspot project:
The whole team wanted to get out and help the community. We have all this time down here and it's appropriate for us to give back a little bit. It was great because we were able to relate to it. We were talking about what our favorite thing to do was when we were younger and on the playground ourselves.
Ohio Defensive Lineman Jeff King
On his visit to New Orleans' Children's Hospital:
It was very emotional. Yet, it also very touching to see all the kids in such high spirits even though they're going through some tough times in their lives. It was just a really good experience to meet people that are going through so much turmoil but can still put on a smile. It's a hard thing to watch but it's something great for all of us to experience.
On the message he'll take back to his teammates:
As we go through New Orleans, we're going to have some fun and hopefully get this win and bring it back to Athens. However, it's also important to remember, especially around the holidays, that there are people who are not able to do what we're fortunate enough to be doing. It's important for us to remember that in the midst of all the joy that we get to partake in.
Quotes from Thursday's Practice:
Ohio Center Skyler Allen
On the offense:
Today was a great day, probably the best practice we've had all week. We've had good practices the last two weeks really, but today it really seemed like the intensity was what it needed to be. We were definitely moving on all cylinders.
On Troy's front seven:
They're definitely an athletic group. They're known for it. Their ends are really tall, lanky guys and their inside guys are good and move around a lot. As long as we can get the ball moving on the ground, I think we'll be fine.
Ohio Tight End Jordan Thompson
On Ohio's offense:
We just have to have confidence in what we're doing and know that any play we run can be the big play that breaks it down the field. Against Kent State, we didn't really have any consistency or flow to the game and it's important to get that going early on. We also can't have three-and-outs because field position will be huge in this game.
On what corrections need to be made following the loss at Kent State:
We just have to come together up front. We're going to have some breakdowns there. Those things will happen almost every game. That said, we have to be able to rebound from a breakdown instead of having it drag onto the next play or next series. If something happens, it happened, it's in the past. You have to go onto the next play.
On New Orleans:
It's been great so far. You hear so much about the culture and I think we got to experience a little bit of that this week. To be able to go around and see the buildings, the architecture has really made it a neat week. We want to get out of here on a good note. We want to remember this experience as a fun week, but also one that ended with a great win.
Ohio Safety Travis Carrie
On defending Troy's offense:
The gameplan is to execute the defensive strategy that our coaches have put together. They work hard to put up a good scheme to stop a lot of offenses so if we're very disciplined and we do what we're supposed to do, we'll be ok. Getting pressure on their quarterback will also keep him from being comfortable in the pocket. If we let him just sit back there with four or five receivers, he's going to be able to find someone eventually if he gets enough time. Getting that pressure will be key so that he's not able to always see his key receivers and it can disrupt the timing of the patters as well.
On his punt returns:
I feel like I can really break one. It's coming. I've been for it to happen. I've been dreaming about it, which cuts and moves I'm going to make.
On playing in the Superdome:
I'm standing where greatness is played. I was talking to my brother last night and he was explaining how this field is legendary. You don't take this opportunity for granted because you might not get this chance again.