Ohio Head Coach Frank Solich
"I'm very proud of our guys. It was a great effort like always tonight. They are amazing with how they prepare week in and week out for games. I thought the first half was somewhat disappointing; certainly, the turnovers looked like it could start to be a problem, you can't give Toledo the ball and not suffer. We had to correct that at half time. But I thought our guys came out and had a great second half. The ground game got stronger in the third quarter; Dorian's run was big as far as momentum and they played well from there on out."
On having a player like Quentin Poling get choked up over the end of his career:
"He gives football everything he's got. He loves the game, and it shows in how he plays, prepares and leads. And to play your last game at home is an emotional thing for a player."
On getting the ground game momentum up in the second half:
"I knew once we got the ground game going would do better. We were what three for 10 in the first half? That's not what we're about in the throwing games so I knew once the ground game got better and better the throwing game would also improve. That meant we had a chance of getting control of the game, even though against these guys it's hard to get comfortable and be in control. You just have to keep playing football and start doing things better. I think we did start to get better, our defense, offense and special teams all held up. You can't beat Toledo by being a one-dimensional team and playing on one side of the ball. Getting to where we could run and throw I thought was important and played out very well for us."
On the team having strong relationships with each other:
"It is a special team in that regard, they are amazing to coach. No matter what you ask they come forward without complaints. If something's not going their way as an offense, defense, or even as an individual they do it anyway. They are special in a lot of ways and deserve the success they've had. We have two tough games to go. Akron was a tough football game last year, Buffalo has always been a tough and talented team, so we have two tough games ahead of us."
On wearing a lei from Cleon Aloese onto the field:
"When Cleon's family was there to walk him onto the field they had the leis on and I thought that was so cool. Then he gave me one before we ran out onto the field, and that's why I wore it out. I thought it was a great gesture of him to give me so I wore it."
On Toledo having a season low 10 points against Ohio
"It is surprising because no other team has done it. They've played really good teams, so you go into this game and feel it will be a high scoring game and we knew we had to put points on the board if we wanted to win. Once we got rolling and the offense ate up the game, along with the defensive played and that certainly helped us."
On what message those watching Ohio play get out of this game:
"Sending a message is not important to us. I think our players want to beat a team that is of a high caliber, which Toledo is. They were favored to win the conference so I think our guys want people to know we can play against some of the best teams in the country."
On being able to keep Toledo in control despite their dominating presence all season:
"They're very explosive. Obviously, they're one of the top teams without question in our conference. I think they were rated 27, 28 or something like that in the rating, which means they're thought of very highly by basically anyone that knows football around the country. So the plan at the level that we played them in terms of how we got it done I think was important to our guys and I think it meant a lot to our guys. But we just have to take care of business, see where that takes us, see where Toledo ends up and it'll be what it is down the road. But right now we're thinking of Akron."
On why Nathan Rourke is already ready for a long career of tough opponents:
"Attention will not be a problem for him, I'm convinced of that. He's a very mellow guy, he's not a guy that tries to pat himself on the back or seek praise, and he's right up there in the country in terms of rushing touchdowns and those kind of things. He handed the ball off on the last touchdown, he could have walked in if he had pulled it. So he's that kind of guy. He's not after this for himself, I think he's very team oriented and I think that's why he fits so well and he's so well liked by his teammates."
On whether he expected Rourke's performance this season when he was recruited:
"We thought he was going to be good by the offensive line that he played with was not a dominating offensive line, it didn't seem like it in watching film. He had to scramble a lot so he was running around making plays. It became clear that he could run, he could use his legs to beat you, you could design a run around him if you wanted to. He could scramble and make plays. We thought he had a good arm, and we thought he accuracy was really pretty good. And one thing, when they were chasing him around the football field, you could see him make all kind of throws across his body, all different angle type of throws where a lot of quarterbacks can't make those throws. So it became pretty clear that we thought he was going to be pretty good and obviously the expectation seemed to come alive with him."
On forcing Toledo to play one dimensional football like last year was the plan going into today:
"No question, you let their running game get going. They're going to have a throwing game and they're going to complete passes. The thing you hoped you could do is not allow the explosive passed to become a problem for you. And not having explosive passes, have them run the ball and not let them eat up the clock a little bit in running the ball, but not let them establish a running game that was going to be hurtful to you as the game went on. We wanted long drives, we wanted to force them to have long drives and for the most part I think that worked out fairly well."
On Dorian Brown's success against Toledo:
"I'm not sure. Dorian's had a great career here and I don't think the teams that he plays think he's an underdog. They know his power, they know his explosiveness and so we've got two backs in A.J. [Ouellette] and Dorian that can beat you up a little bit. Dorian just got opportunities and he made the most of those opportunities while he was here."
On how he turns around and focuses right back on Akron:
"Oh that's easy. That's easy to bring them back down. They've got their goals and they're after wins as Akron is and Buffalo is and so they're not going to be bouncing around for three or four days. They get tonight off, they have tomorrow off, they'll come for treatment and then we'll be right back to work. We'll have to adjust the week. I think we've adjusted the weeks pretty well up to this point. The break that we had before last up against Miami was really good for our football team and this one was ok. And we've got maybe eight or ten days before the Buffalo game so the break have come in good times for us, in terms of getting our team healthy and not overworking them. So we're on a short week, but we've had some rest, we give them three days off in their last break and two days off this one, and then before the Buffalo one they will get a good three days off. They'll be rested, they'll be ready to go, I have no question that they'll prepare to win football games from here on out."
On how it feels being so close to winning the MAC:
"Again, we've got a goal to win the MAC Championship but certainly everyone still in the running has that same goal going. So we're not going to be satisfied until we end playing against our best football against everyone from here on out. That's what this team is all about, we don't want to leave any stone unturned, we want to prepare great and try to finish this season off at a high level. We've done some decent things but hey, if we don't end it by playing well then some of that gets tarnished a little bit and that's not what this group's after."
Ohio Player Quotes
Offensive Lineman Jake Pruehs
On Toledo not seeing an offense like Ohio and putting up 393 yards:
"We did what we said what we were going to do. We only said those things because we believe in our offense line and how our offense operates. I think we backed it up."
Was this a message game for Ohio?
"Yeah, after the game, they (Toledo) are all saying, "Oh, we'll see you in a few weeks." Who cares? It doesn't matter. We just ran 400-yards on them… almost."
Starting Second half with 11 straight runs:
That's what we're conditioned for. It's what we love to do. We like to put the game in the offensive line's hands. We have that instinct in us that we want to get down the field; we want to score. A lot of their guys play in the second half and know another game; that "ground and pound football" they aren't used to it. That's what we like to do. That's what we pride ourselves on.
Do you get the sense that they know what's coming?
"Yeah, everyone knows what's coming."
On the level of care on this team…
"Over my four years here, each and every year, the leadership and all-around care for the game and each other has gone up and up every year. And that's what makes our team so special this year. The camaraderie we have with each other, they way we all work together, the chemistry is great… at least on the offense. I can't really speak for the defense, but that's how we operate. We all play sound football and then we score points."
You're an old-school football player, have you enjoyed how you have played offensive football?
"Yes, sir. We love points. We get candy when we score points."
Running Back Dorian Brown
What is it about Toledo? What is it about this matchup that falls in place for you?
"We were the underdogs this game and that's how it was last year. It gives me more motivation, I don't know about the whole team. The line does an amazing job and it makes my job easier. I'm having fun. I can't really explain why it just happens to be about Toledo."
Did you feel like this was a big message game for you, too?
"Yeah, I did because this was a battle of the top competitors in the MAC East. I think this was a game to prove something. Like I said, I think we all did a great job."
As a senior, how does it feel for Ohio to be in the driver's seat; controlling what happens next?
"Coach Solich reminds us every week that we control our destiny. We worry about one game at a time. Coach Albin tells us that if we win the game tonight, it doesn't mean that we are going to the MAC Championships. We have to keep winning games one game at a time."
On being the underdogs:
"It motivated me, but I can't speak for everyone else. When you are named the underdog, you feel like you have something to prove and I feel like that gave me a little more edge and a little more motivation."
Linebacker Quentin Poling
What is Coach Solich like before today?
"He just said that we need to play our best football and we have the athletes and the game plan to win. Obviously, he's a little more tight right before game time compared to someone like myself who likes to stay loose and make sure I'm having fun always. He's just worried about us playing to our top potential."
Lot of blitzes/stunts… did that get them off their game?
"Yeah, a little bit. Excellent quarterback; you don't want to just sit back in coverage and let them pick you a part all day, so get after him and force him to make some throws. Let him make some mistakes and get him on the ground a couple times to throw off his rhythm and that's what we did. Coach Burrow did a great job defensively. Our defensive line and linebackers, I thought we did a great job. We held a very good offense to under 350 yards, 10 points, did awesome on third-down. I'm really proud of all the guys."
How big was it to prevent Toledo's big chunk plays?
"It was kind of the game plan. They had very good and very fast wide receivers so we're not going to sit up and press. We're going to play off and bail and make them throw those check downs. We'll rally up to them. We're not going to get beat by check downs. We'll let them throw those all game and eventually, mistakes happen."
Mentality coming into this game?
"I wanted a big senior night, I did. I wanted to crush these guys. I didn't want to leave here with a loss."
Quarterback Nathan Rourke
What was the offense's message from Solich?
"He's very confident. Every week, Coach stresses establishing the run game and that's what we set out to do today obviously. That's something that we've tried to establish every game so far and our mentality and then things just open up after that."
Were you angry at halftime?
"I think there was definitely a little bit of frustration because we knew that we were driving the ball and the only thing that was stopping us was us. I know there was a little bit of frustration on my part. Especially the guys with experience, the guys on this team and the guys on the offense knew that we need to stay calm and just keep on executing and take better care of the ball in the second half and that's what we did. You can see they didn't stop us, again, in the second half. There probably should have been a similar outcome in the first half, but we had those turnovers that hurt us. I'm really proud of the guys and the way they handled it."
Starting a little shaky on offense, how did you get it going after the first quarter?
"Like I said before, we were putting drives together. I think our defense played their best game of the season and it was great to have their support in knowing that they're going to make a stand and force turnovers. Then in the punt, we have a lot of opportunities. Having confidence in the rest of the team, even with the mistakes I made, you know there are other guys on the field and they're going to work their butts off. Obviously, you're going to want to go back and fix the mistakes you made, but you have to have confidence in your teammates that are out there and they're ready to do their job well."
Getting a win for the seniors?
"As Jake said, it's a very close bunch. I haven't been here very long, but I definitely have an appreciation for the senior class and the guys that have been here for a long time. The leadership that is here; everyone really cares about the game. You can tell that they care about this program. I'm the example of that. They welcomed me in. Just knowing how hard these guys worked, it's really great to be able to send them off on such a great win. Even though, we aren't done yet."
Toledo Head Coach Jason Candle
On the outcome of the game:
"I think anytime you get out-physicaled at the point of attack on both fronts, on the defensive line and the offensive line, you have to expect to get beat. We got a beating tonight."
On expectations leading up to this game:
"Well, this responsibility falls on my shoulders. This isn't on anybody else. It is my job to get the team ready to play—play hard and play physical and I thought at times we did that and I thought at other times we were a little flat. We didn't go a great job on offense extending drives, we were—I don't know what the stats would say—but my general impression was that we were awful on the third down on offense. On defense, we didn't go on third down and they were able to extend some drives. They turned it over a couple times; we weren't able to capitalize on those turnovers and turn them into points. You know—just kind of snowballed on us a bit. We got a beating."
On not being able to stop plays:
"It's deflating, if they line the ball up. Anytime anybody can run on you like that and if you gave up 200 yard rushes like we did, it's uncharacteristic because the last few weeks we've been very good against the run and I give them credit. They played very hard and they did a good job. We've got some thing's we've got to get corrected and again, nobody is going to feel sorry for us. We've got to come back and play next week."
On the mindset for the MAC championship:
"No, the message to the guys is we've got to play better and when you come out on the road you've got to come out and play harder and play with better effort than we played with tonight. Like I said, that's not on anyone's shoulders but my own. That's not on my players; that's on me. That's my job to get the team ready to go and that's what we'll do."
On the upcoming game against Bowling Green:
"Well, whether you win this game or you lose this game, you still have to play next week and you still have to—we all understand the magnitude of that game, understand how important that is to these seniors in this locker room and certainly their football team and their football program. But anytime you get deep, you have to take the videotape and dissect that and correct what is on there, because that's truth. We have to fund out what those brutal truths are and we have to correct those or else we'll be having the same conversation next week.
Toledo Player Quotes
Defensive End Olasunkanmi Adeniyi
On the game overall:
"It's very frustrating, we knew going into it that they were going to run the ball and they have a good quarterback as well. We just got to get better, we have to come back next week."
How surprised that this is how it went?
"I'm not surprised, we came out and didn't play our hardest, we got beat by the tougher team. We can't have that, next week we have to come back."
How to get it done before rivalry week?
"Great practice. We just have to come out and everybody has to be on board, everybody has to be on the same page."
How to put this out of their mind knowing that the Falcons are coming:
"Every week we have to go into the game, it's the past, we have to be focused on the future, we got to go hard every game."
Quarterback Logan Woodside:
Couldn't get anything going offensively, what was the issue?
"A lot of credit to Ohio, really good defense, you know, we shot ourselves in the foot, but you know, hats off to that, that's really good defense."
On being under pressure most of the night:
"No, not really. You know, like I said, good defense out front, I got to get the ball out a little quicker, make it easy on the offensive line, but we'll get it corrected."
How surprised are you by the way you played?
"Disappointed, but you know a really good football team. If we don't bring it each week that's what's going to happen, it's division one football. [If] you don't bring it each week, it doesn't matter who you're playing, you're going to get beat. We didn't come out ready to play tonight."
Lots of turnovers, did you feel that way tonight?
"Going into the half, Ohio had three turnovers, I think we had two. So defense did a great job, offense just didn't get it rolling. That's on me, I take full responsibility for that and get it corrected, it won't happen again."
Easy to put this one behind you knowing that the Falcons are ahead?
"We're just going to get the film corrected, watch it, learn from it and then we have another road team we've got to play next week, for sure."