ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio Football head coach Frank Solich met with the press on Monday to discuss the Bobcats' upcoming road contest at Bowling Green on Saturday, Oct. 14. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. at Doyt Perry Stadium and can be seen on ESPN3. Here is the complete transcript.
Head Coach Frank Solich
Weekly Press Conference Quotes
Oct. 9, 2017 – Bowling Green Week
"Obviously, a disappointing game for us; a disappointing loss. It's a credit to our guys that despite four turnovers, despite having a touchdown called back, and despite having a field goal blocked that went the other way for a score we still had a chance to win it at the end. They had the ball for the last drive and there was a pass along the sideline that got called for interference that kept that drive alive, and kind of killed our last hopes for a comeback win. I have mixed feelings on it. Obviously, we didn't play well enough to get the win. There was certainly some technique missing. [There were] dropped balls and different things that popped up that we haven't had problems with in other games. It was kind of like the perfect storm hit us, but a lot of that was caused by ourselves. We need to get those things corrected and then move forward."
On Nathan Rourke playing well despite his four turnovers:
"Not all of those turnovers were his fault. I think he had two ball technique errors. You don't want to take his scrambling ability away because he's made an awful lot of big plays scrambling and finding open receivers and hitting them at the last second. He's made a lot of big plays while scrambling, not seeing a receiver open, and then running. You don't want to discourage him and take that way. Obviously, when scrambling you need to have two hands on the ball when you're ready to penetrate the line of scrimmage. When you're ready to turn it into a running play you need to get the ball tucked away. Those are areas he has to improve on. A couple of those turnovers were not his fault. It's not like you can just slap him with the four turnovers, but they added up. They only have seven points off of four turnovers, but what they did gain was great field position. You look at [the film] and find areas you need to improve. The players will look at it also and just try to improve. There is a lot of football left [in the season]. You don't want to lose games in your conference. You don't want to lose games period, but a conference loss can hurt you in many different ways. Now we have to get back to playing good football on the road."
On if giving Nathan Rourke a break was discussed:
"No. It wasn't a though process that caused us to make a change. I'm not saying we didn't consider it. Looking at the big picture and what he was getting done during the game; I think we have five passes dropped. If you catch your fair share of those passes then it's a different ball game. There was a lot of blame to go around, so we just stayed with him."
On Papi White's status for this week against Bowling Green:
"He's questionable. He'll start practicing around the middle of the week."
On improving the pass defense going forward in MAC play:
"We did do a few things differently last week in terms of our coverages in the hopes that was going to help. There were a few things we didn't stay with that, in hindsight maybe we should have given more of a try. In saying that, you just do what you think is best as the game is progressing. We're still examining that and trying to come up with the best answers for it."
On possibly putting more designed runs for Nathan Rourke in the playbook:
"Well he's been getting a lot of contact in a game. Some unwanted while in the pocket; we got sacked twice. He did run the ball a fair amount. I don't think you want to turn him into a run-oriented quarterback, and you want to get your quarterback through the season. I thought we probably ran him the right amount. You put him at a high-level risk for injury when you run him more. If you go under that, you're probably not using him enough."
On Ohio's third down defense lacking in the final minutes against Central Michigan:
"It's a 60-minute game. I will say that our percentage was very good. Are you going to be great at it every game? Are you going to be good at it every game? Probably not. There are going to be sometimes when the game is over and you look at the stats and say that we just didn't hit our mark in that area. The last couple of drives was a critical time in the game, but it wasn't the answer to the game. The answer to the game was to play much better in the first three quarters in order to get the win. I still think it was a tribute to our players that they were able to be in that game at the end [with everything that went wrong]. You don't find that combination of things happens to you very often, and when you do you don't win."
On Wyatt Shallman's production in his first game for Ohio
"He held up well. There was question to whether he would get sore as the game progressed and doing all of the sharp cutting for the first time. He's been practicing and working out with us all year, but getting in a game and being able to hold up is another story. He's kind of a miracle man in that regard. He's come back really fast, to the point where you say he's probably going to swell up after this practice. Well, he didn't swell up. Every time I ask him he says that he's great. He seems to be over his injury and ready to play."
On what to focus on against Bowling Green:
"They have come alive a little bit. That was huge win for them against a very good Miami football team, so their confidence is shooting through the roof. So obviously we're going to be taking that on. I think they have a very good running game; they have three really good running backs. One receiver had 117 yards, a second receiver had 197 yards. So obviously they are throwing the ball well. You put running the ball well and throwing the ball well together and you have a football team that is playing well at the moment."
On bouncing back after a loss:
"They have been a great team as far as showing up every day and practicing at a level that gives them a chance to win every week. I expect that that will be the case in this game. We have really good leadership on this football team. They have goals they want to accomplish so they will regroup and set out to get that done. I like this football team in that area, they are really good at getting the big picture; they are a smart team in that regard. What it takes to win football games, they know, so they go about practicing that way."
On not playing Cameron Odom as much lately:
"We haven't gone away from him; I wouldn't necessarily put it that way. Our offense is designed around guys being open and quarterbacks going through reads, and whichever guy is open that's who were getting it to. You can try and force-feed a guy with reps, but that's not generally been our style. We really feel good about our receivers in general, so right now we're not trying to give the ball to one specific receiver; were just trying to get the routes going that will give our guys the best chance. Quarterback will go through his reads, coverage's will dictate who you go to, who you can't go to. Sometimes they will run a coverage that is doubling one guy, where everyone else is man to man. That automatically takes you away from the guy being doubled. It comes down to all of that as to how many guys get how many catches."
On the Buffalo Bulls standing in the way of the MAC title:
"I haven't been able to study them yet; they are our last game, so they are down the road and we will have plenty of time to do that. I did catch them on TV early in the year against Minnesota so I had a chance to see them a little bit. Lance is a good coach, and a good friend of mine. He does a good job, and so does his staff, they are generally a team that gets better and better. We will face them at the end when they are really good team, and that's where we also want to be at that point."
On the depth of the defensive end position:
"It's not great; we have been piecing that position together for a while. At the start of the season we thought it was going to be a strong position for us. Good players, good depth, but that's all been cut into. It's been piece milled a little bit in terms of number of reps in the games for those guys with injuries. I think it will get stronger as it goes along and we get a few guys over their injuries, but right now we are still piece milling it together."
On the which defensive end will start this Saturday:
"We will see how it goes on Tuesday and Wednesdays practice. Whoever is healthy will determine a lot, and we will go with the guy who is available and playing the best. Right now, I cannot say exactly who we will be playing."
On Durrell Wood moving forward from his injury:
"That is still a question. We will make some decisions on that this week."
On concerns over injury on the offensive line:
"We have had to move some guys around playing different positions. Obviously, that's not what you're after. Hagen's [Meservy] injury may not be as severe as we first thought and I think he will be coming back quickly. Brett Kittrell has been getting playing time in the last two to three games so I think he's ready to contribute at a high level. Jake's [Pruehs] injury is manageable now; Jared [McCray] is questionable for this game, so that weakens us a little bit in terms of depth. It probably is not as strong as what it has been all season going into this game. I don't know that we will be much better going into this game but we will see."
On getting Austen Pleasants past a difficult stretch on Saturday:
"He is a talented guy and has done some good things since being in our program. Now it just comes down to confidence and learning fast on the run. You can't beat yourself up over a mistake and letting it cause another mistake. You just have to move on. He is talented, he is athletic he has the size and the movement. Don't let head games take you out of playing your best football, and I don't think he will do that."