ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio Football head coach Frank Solich met with the press on Monday to discuss the Bobcats' final regular season game against Buffalo on Friday, Nov. 24. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at UB Stadium and can be seen on ESPN3. Here is the complete transcript.
Head Coach Frank Solich
Weekly Press Conference Quotes
Nov. 20, 2017 – Buffalo Week
"It was a disappointing loss for the team and the program. We had opportunities, but when it comes to turnovers and you look back on our season, the games where we've lost the turnover battle; we've won two and lost three. The games where we've won the turnover battle, we're undefeated. We tied one and we won that one too. Losing the Central Michigan game and the turnover ratio four to one was a critical part of the game. Same thing goes for this last ballgame against Akron. Three turnovers to zero is asking a bit much to overcome when you're playing a good football team, so it came back to haunt us again. To our guy's credit, we stayed in the game and had our chances. We're looking forward to playing a very good Buffalo team; a place where we haven't played very well. That needs to change. We're all about moving on and looking forward to this game."
On focusing on Buffalo despite a crucial game in Akron vs. Kent State on Tuesday:
"All we care about is our next football game. We've always been that way in terms of how we look at things, always the next game. The game that we have no control over will come about. There will be a winner. Wherever that takes us, it takes us. We have to do our own job. Our job is to play Buffalo and when that game."
On what lead Ohio to a loss against Akron last week:
"Broken coverage, dropped touchdown passes, and you can go on with similar types of plays there were difficult in terms of overcoming. It is what it is and it's in the past for us. We're going to look and improving where we need to improve and playing to our potential."
On having to play the day after Thanksgiving:
"It is what it is. We're suited to do that. When you're in the MAC you get accustomed to doing a lot of different things in terms of scheduling, and that's O.K. We get on T.V., that's what you need to happen if you want to recruit around the country. People need to know that you play football. The scheduling is fine to us. We'll have an early morning practice, we'll have a Thanksgiving dinner, and then we'll get on the bus to head to the plane that takes us to Buffalo."
On the message the coaches are giving the players no matter what happens in Kent vs Akron:
"Move on. That's what we have to be all about. I don't care if you win a game or lose a game. You can only jump up and down and pat yourself on the back for so long and you can only beat yourself up for so long. I've done that. I've beaten myself up plenty and I've moved on. I know the guys have moved on. Yesterday's practice was a good indication of that. They're ready to try and play their best football."
On the availability of Julian Ross, Brenden Cope, or Dorian Brown:
"Julian is practicing and will be able to play; Cope will not. We'll see on Dorian. His is an injury that could come around and he could play. He's questionable."
On how Ohio can improve their passing attack:
"We could probably throw more. You'd like to not have interceptions when you're throwing the ball. You'd like to throw it at a good percentage. We've been a run dominant football team and we aren't running with quite the success in which we've run the ball for most games. Off of that, we didn't adjust well and didn't have a good passing game. You always look at things in terms of routes and how you can adjust things going into a game and how you can utilize your receivers in the best way possible. That's what we're doing right now and hopefully that will show."
On Nathan Rourke's ability to meet expectations in his young Ohio career:
"You don't get the overall stats he has without playing well. We're really pleased with what he's been all about in terms of developing into our system really quickly and getting things done at this level. Our players have confidence in him. Obviously, he had two interceptions in this past ball game. That hurts him, and that hurts everybody. He's a smart football player who figures things out. He keeps improving every day, and generally when a guy is about that you will see improvement. He's played really good football this season and he's just going to get better."
On how to stop Buffalo's Anthony Johnson:
"He's talented. He's what you look for in an athlete. When you have a guy like that it's like our positions in terms of when someone has special talent; you try to get them the football. When they have the football in their hands, they're usually pretty productive. We're going to look at ways to not let him have a special day, and that's not easy to do. It'll be difficult, and if you slow him down then you accomplish something."
On seeing Nathan Rourke wanting to improve each game:
"That's what you want, that's what you look for. When you find one, you know they have a chance to be special. He has a great touch on the ball. He's seeing things for the first time, for example one of those interceptions was on a zero blitz. He learns quickly. I don't think you'll see this guy making the same mistakes as he goes through his career. That's the key to becoming a special player."
On trying to get A.J. Ouellette going in the month of November and going forward:
"We always try to get him going in our offense. He does a great job running the ball, but he's also a great receiver, so maybe there's an opportunity to get him the ball that way. We're playing some better defensive football teams as we go down the schedule in the Mid-American Conference race. I didn't think our line finished things off the way they normally do, so that obviously has an effect on your running game. A lot of little things can go awry and you need to get things back on base again in terms of doing things the right way and identifying things that aren't going well and get them changed."
On possibly trying to attack Buffalo's defense through the air:
"I don't think we can be one-dimensional against these guys. I think you need an offense that is getting things done on the ground, but certainly be able to throw the ball as well."