Head Coach Frank Solich
"Well I'm pleased with the win. Wins don't come easy. They're a program that has shown they're able to get some things done at a higher level. They have some good personnel. We did not play very well. I don't think we played especially well on either side of the ball. When you give up as many yards as we did, you don't win football games that way. We have a lot of work to do defensively, no question about it. That doesn't mean we don't need things going on the offensive side too. But we were able to have some things go against us very early in the game and take some good hits. And still come up with the win of that ball game and we won the turnover ratio, which is the huge goal for us this year in terms of what we want to be about there. That gave us a chance, if we had let the ball hit the ground and threw interceptions we wouldn't have won this ball game. If the turnover ratio was balanced I don't know. We have a lot of work to do."
On the Nathan Rourke quarterback situation:
"The three series were not good series. And we planned on playing Quinton (Maxwell, QB) in the game, not at the end, but early. We never give him series, we never say we'll give you three series and then another guy is coming in. I never do that. It's a matter of feel and trying to win the ball game. We gave Quinton a shot, and it seemed to be working."
On the starting quarterback:
"We're not going to jump at anything right now, look at the film. Obviously Nathan (Rourke, QB) is going to have to play good football for us to win, and Quinton is too. We mentioned that we had two quarterbacks that could win for us, thankfully we do. That played itself out today. We're not giving up on Nathan by any stretch of the imagination. He's going to get all the chances to play that he needs to have and so is Quinton."
On debating if Nathan should have been brought back in:
"No, I thought Nathan was off the mark for his throws. Quinton was on the mark even though it may have not made it down the field. But he threw some really nice throws that got us going a little bit. It is what it is, fellas. I'm not going to make this into a big quarterback controversy. Nathan's won a ton of games for us. I think he was present today and he'll be the quarterback he is. Quinton had an excellent day today. We still have two quarterbacks that can help us win."
On the lack of offensive flow:
"There were times we were getting 10 yards a pop and times we weren't getting anything. We'll have to look at the film. Obviously they were blitzing a fair amount and when that happens you either get a big one or you don't, and we didn't get any big ones. As far as explosive ones, I don't think we had one. We did have a few eight, nine, or 10 yard runs that kept us going and move it for us a little bit. I think we have an explosive football team we just didn't see it today."
On Papi's (White, WR) impact:
"He's a really good football player. He doesn't have great size, but he has great toughness. He has the ability to go up in the air and hang and twist and make catches. A lot of guys don't have that, he makes a special catch. He's got the speed that he can get deep on guys, and he has the ability to make people miss after a short catch and get yards there. I think he's a complete receiver and you're going to see him hopefully have a special year."
On the locker room at halftime:
"I don't think anyone was happy in the locker room. It was a matter of just getting our composure back and playing the way we're capable of playing. It was a nightmare first half to be honest, and I felt like thing were going to turn some, and they did. They kept hanging in there. It was a game right until the end and we're where we're at. We'll find out more about ourselves in the next ball game. We certainly need to play better or else it'll be a tough year."
On missing Jamal (Hudson, CB):
"You know we had two starting secondary guys out. We had Jamal at corner and Javon (Hagan) at safety. That obviously never helps. Those two guys with their experience and talent level, it made a difference. It is what it is, but they still got way too many yards in the air. So we missed them, no question. We gave our young guys time to get playing time. some of it was hard on them. Some of them I thought played really well in the last couple drives, but they made some great defensive plays. Give credit to number 81 (Kyle Anthony) in terms of his receiving ability. Give credit to number 12 (Jequez Ezzard) and their Quarterback (Caylin Newton) did a great job. He did not have a great year throwing last year but he played well against us. They have some great receivers. It's the way it is. Everyone has athletes, but you just hope yours are playing at the top of their game today."
On Special Teams:
"That was the opening kickoff of the second half. It was nothing special that we drew up, it's one of two or three different kickoff returns we have. Where did it end up? A yard deep? 99 yards, another yard and he may have not returned it. You never know, with the new rule, number one, that enters into it also. He just happened to kick the ball on the side of the return so you know it was an easy decision to bring it out. And if it wasn't in the end zone, we're going to bring it out."
On DL (Knock, WR) finishing the return:
"Yeah, I kept wondering about that, if he was going to get knocked down as he was going by. Then all the sudden they weren't gaining on him. I don't know, he's a tough kid, an excellent receiver. He's done a great job no matter what we ask him to do. Whether its covering punts, covering kickoffs, returning kick offs, returning punts. No matter what you want him to do, he's ready to go. You have to love the attitude. He doesn't have great speed but somehow he mustered up speed to get it done."
On the upcoming by-week:
"Yeah, I think for a couple of reasons. One I think is we had a number of injuries going in, none of them were season ending injuries, but they were enough to keep guys out of the game, and enough to have some guys playing that weren't 100%. We'll see if it's a good time. You'd like to have one right now and one later in the year, but unfortunately that can't happen."
On right guard:
"Yeah, Durrell, (Wood, OL) who was playing for Hagen (Meservy, OL) to get more reps in the second half. No injury."
On the front seven:
"I don't know, I'll have to take a look at it. Howard won games last year, they have good personnel. I think they'll win games this year. What I was hoping out of our offensive line was that they would control the line of scrimmage and have some explosive runs and dominant the running game. I don't think that happened through the course of the game. We'll take a look at it and see what we have to do."
Ohio Player Quotes
Wide Receiver DL Knock
On talk at halftime:
"We were struggling as a team offensively, we had some like mental errors, little things we had to get over. Defensively, we were making turnovers, just couldn't get a stop all the time. We really didn't say anything, I just went out there caught the ball, and there was a hole, I ran through it."
On the play:
"I caught the ball, ran, bingo, blocked the one like he's supposed to. Saw the kicker, he was right, went left-- no one was there. Pretty simple. Dog it out. My 4-7 40."
On the sideline after the returned kickoff/interception:
"Me and Papi, both of us have the ability to just go out there, touch the ball, make a play, and that's just one thing that as I've been here, I've been behind him the whole time. I've had the opportunity to just watch him change a game like that. That's what our job is as returners, as a receiver to just bring a little burst to the team."
"A lot different [than returning a kickoff in practice] I never thought I'd have to run 100-yards in my life."
Wide Receiver Papi White:
On changing QB's:
"We practice with Q, we practice with Nate, so it doesn't really make a difference out there. Q came in, stepped up to the plate, did what he had to do."
On career high day:
"I'm just trying to do my part on the offense.
On slow stars:
"We have to go in there with a different mindset that we're just going to run all over them. So, feel like just the mindset. Honestly I don't even think we're a first quarter team, so I wasn't really worried about the first quarter. I just felt like we needed to come back that second quarter and third quarter and do what we had to do. "
Quarterback Quinton Maxwell
On slow starts:
"I think the coaches did a great job when I got in, getting me some early completions, kind of getting me settled in; offensive line did an incredible job. Howard was stout up front. They played well up front and our guys handled it very, very well and we got guys on the outside like this making my job easy and running back, everyone did a great job. Making my life easy, all I had to do was come in and do was execute, manage the offense, and distribute the ball."
On stepping up/mindset during TD:
" It was kind of a feeling of, that's what we've done as an offense all camp. That was the expectation for us coming in. We know we've got some things to improve on but for me personally it was kind of reassuring, saying, "alright, I'm settled in, I'm into the flow of the game" and it felt good just to kind of get that out of the way and we can get on and get rolling."
On first half scoring:
"I wouldn't say there was a feeling of being upset or anything. There was no panic in the locker room at all. We knew that-- give Howard a lot of credit, they're a good football team-- we knew we could play better. Came out in the second half, got a huge spark from DL and never looked back. There was never a sense of panic or anything like that. We knew we just had to stay true and stay true to what we've been coached and stick to the game plan, stick to the plan, and stick together and we knew it would all come together and that's all we could do and it worked out for us today."
On the career highs, etc:
"It's kind of a shock cause as the quarterback you're getting yourself ready mentally to go out on the field and then we break a return and we score-- and that's a huge momentum shift like you said. It was the spark that we needed. DL did a great job, the whole kickoff return unit did a great job and that gave us the momentum. But we needed to keep capitalizing on that momentum, we had to keep scoring. And the defense did a great job of getting a turnover right after that and putting us back out on the field, giving us a short field. We were ready to go back in and we get a spark like that, and the defense has to be ready to go on the field. It was big in a timely shift of momentum for us."
On Rourke on the sideline:
"All the guys; Nate, Drew, and Joe, all three of them. When I was coming off the field, [they'd say] "hey did you see this on this play" or "I think they're giving us this look" and this and that. That's the way that room is built. All the quarterbacks, all of us just want what's best for the team and so whoever's in-- if Nate's in, if Drew or whoever is coming off the field, we're going to say "hey I think you might have had this" or "hey what'd you see on this play," we're always trying to learn and help the guy that's in the game right now. Very helpful, good having him on the sidelines."
Howard Head Coach Mike London
On the deciding factor of the game
"I'd say it was turnovers and fumbles that we got were the deciding factors. I mean, obviously, we're going toe-to-toe with them in the first half and in the start of the third quarter, the interception hurt us. They scored again, so I'd say turnovers were major in that. I don't believe we got any. My hat goes off to Ohio, but let me tell you something, I'm extremely proud of this football team. If that's the MAC champs, and they went to a bowl game and they're one of the best teams around in college football for who they are and what they are and the league they're in, I'm extremely proud of our players for playing—going basically toe-to-toe—with them."
"I'd be anxious to see what the final stats were. I mean, obviously, what matters is the final score, but I don't believe they knocked us all over the place and like I said, when we have turnovers like that in critical situations—first play of the game? Turnover—is a big pickup. There are so many things that can cause you to lose, but I'm extremely proud of this team and there's a lot of heart, total grit, resilience and "never-die" attitude. It was good to see the 14 true freshmen play in this game and that's just who we are this year as a team. We're a young team with some guys who played last year and were young, but I like where we are and I like this football team. We're going to be a good football team."
On Caylin Newton:
"Obviously you need players in key positions to sustain drives, have explosive plays and help you win games, but he's also surrounded by and offensive line—we only had eight offensive linemen here today—that really did an outstanding job. James Holman and Tyler Shadrach, I thought, played exceptionally. They played every play. As they were subbing in and out, they played every play. And we had Bobby Teahan, Anthony Young, Jaylaan Williams—true freshman—played offensive lineman. So it's just a matter of us putting things together here and just believing and trusting in one another. So we'll go back to work again because we're back up in Ohio, playing a team—Kent State—that's eerily similar to the way we did against them at their place with the ball driving and the chance to score."
Howard Quarterback Caylin Newton
On his stats today:
"We just have to do more. I made some big mistakes when we needed it the most, so I feel like that .I guess made the game go the way it did. But I have to play better, you know, we've got talent, coach always asks me about my stats, but… we just have to win."
On preparation for next week
"I try to focus on the little things and I think one drive I didn't focus on little things, and every drive I need to be in the moment. Every drive I have to remind myself to take care of the little things."