ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio Football head coach Frank Solich met with the press on Monday to discuss the Bobcats' upcoming game against Kansas on Saturday, Sept. 16. Kickoff is set for Noon at Peden Stadium and can be seen on ESPNU. Here is the complete transcript.
Head Coach Frank Solich
Weekly Press Conference Quotes
Sept. 11, 2017 – Kansas Week
"It was certainly a disappointing loss. I think Purdue is a good football team, their coaching staff has done a great job getting them to where they are at this quickly. They play hard, they are great offensively, they have great concepts and defensively they are physical. In saying that though, it should have been a game that came down to the end in terms of personnel. There are things we need to get changed. It seemed like a lot of things hit us at once, things that haven't been a problem. Some of the guys that are experienced players for us didn't play at the level that they are capable of playing at. That certainly was a problem. The second quarter was the ball game, 24 points to zero. We helped them out with two fumbles, we gave them some big throws and they got some big and explosive plays. The second quarter took us to where there was a separation that was hard to overcome. I felt good about our guys staying in the game, battling, fighting hard and making plays, but looking back on it we made too many mistakes and errors. They are correctable, but we didn't do a good enough preparing and they didn't do a good enough job playing them. So I put the blame on all of us."
On Run Defense:
"We are a gap oriented defense. We didn't take care of our responsibilities and that will cause big runs to occur. I think physically, we wanted to play, but when you have those breakdowns being physical isn't enough. That ended up hurting us big time, but those breakdowns came in both the run and pass which usually hasn't been the case for us. I won't spare the special teams either. I thought a couple of the special teams areas we won and a couple of the areas we lost and we expect to win every special teams game because of the quality of players we have there. So we are starting again, looking forward to getting out there, practicing and getting things corrected."
On Correcting Defensive Pursuits:
"We took bad angles and that certainly causes problems. Normally our pursuit angles are good, but there were things that popped up for us that have not been a problem in past games and seasons. That is the part that can get fixed and we need to get it fixed immediately for Kansas. It was more a matter of improper angles that the team took. We are usually a good pursuing team and a team that pins guys in."
On First Team Reps:
"You'll know a lot of that when it's time to kick the ball off. We have given our guys a couple days off. They are back now and we will meet with them and go over the film. We are going to see where the guys stand and then practice that way. We are going to need two quarterbacks to play for us, there's no question about that so we are going to prepare both really hard."
On Passing Game:
"Both of our quarterbacks are capable of throwing the game and are runners. Whether we can have that kind of day, we will see. In running our whole offense, the quarterback plays a vital role, but we have to hand the ball off at times. I know it's easy to say you are hitting your head against the wall here, and let's throw the ball and do this and that, but in order to throw effectively you have to have some sort of running game going for yourself. We average 4.3 yards a carry with our running backs carrying the ball and four yards a carry with the quarterbacks. Normally with your running game, if you are averaging 4.5 yards a carry you are running the ball well. So we ran the ball well enough to where we could be effective throwing the ball in the second half. The running game got better as the game went on and that's usually how it works as the game goes on. So I wasn't totally dissatisfied with our running game and our line played physical. There are a lot of things we are looking at and corrections we are going to make. Some of our thinking is sound thinking. We are not just going to throw it away because of one game where we played one quarter that was ridiculous and then other than that we played pretty good football."
On Running Back Play:
"No one felt worse than those two guys because they have done a lot of good things for us. To say you are going to go a lifetime not fumbling the ball, that may not be the case. These guys usually protect the ball really well. It was just an odd deal that both fumbled the ball. Certainly, that took us out of drives and gave them ten points. So at halftime the game should have been closer than it was, but there are several reasons why it wasn't. We started playing Julian [Ross] and he was having success, but that is not to say that those other guys wouldn't have had success. A combination of things had effect on who was running the ball. I am normally not a guy that yanks a guy out for fumbling the ball once. Look at Kareem Hunt in Kansas City, if they had taken him out, it might have been a different game."
On Penalty Called:
"I was maybe a foot, I know not more than two feet out on the field and you are not supposed to be out on the field at all so certainly I was wrong there. But I am always going to voice my opinion if I think a call is not made accurately. In my fifty years of coaching, that's the first time I remember being flagged. I'm sure there's a time or two I'm missing, but I can't think of it. That part wasn't any different, me going after the official. I wasn't in his face or gritting my teeth, but I was letting him know that he missed that call."
On Team having too Much Respect for Power-5 Teams:
"Did you ever see that against Penn State, or when we played Illinois or when we could have beat Ohio State at Ohio State if we didn't drop a punt return? We had them in good shape for them to lose and us to win. No, that is never the case. If anything, we were too relaxed going in versus it being the other way. I take that almost as an insult because we pride ourselves in getting ready for games and the better the team the better we like it."
On Switching the Game Up:
"Our line play in terms of what we are asking people to do, isn't different than a lot of teams out there. You have a read defense and a penetrating defense, you are one of the two. We know what they are from watching film and they know what we are from watching film. He may know our personnel a little better, but you are what you are on film and so what coaches take off of film is what they game plan around."
On Former Staff Being on Kansas:
"Defensively there will be. I will be surprised if Jesse [Williams] knows our offensive signals. That would be the case with all coaches on the other side of the ball, but defensively there will be some things that will need to get done."
On the Possibility of Making Changes:
"I think we're fine in that area. Having the right guys in the right places. We just have to get back to our experienced guys playing like they've played in the past. The guys that are newer and guys that haven't had as much playing time, they've made some mistakes. But that will be a learning process for the young guys. We're not in any way shape or form having concern about there being something that we can't get corrected."
On Checking in on Recruits in Florida and Current Players from Florida:
"All of our coaches contacted their recruits and sometimes the position coach did too over this weekend to see how things were going for their families back there. We've had contact with those Florida guys. Those players here did not approach the coaches. We responded to that quickly with our coaches approaching them."