Ohio coach Frank Solich spoke to media members on Monday, three days after his team’s 44-21 loss to Purdue, with comments on the quarterback situation, the frustrating nature of Friday’s loss and more as Ohio prepares to host Kansas this weekend.
All quiet on the quarterback front
Against the Boilermakers, redshirt sophomore Quinton Maxwell completed 1 of 6 passes for 12 yards before sophomore Nathan Rourke replaced him and completed the rest of the game.
After the game, Solich said the coaching staff would “make a decision” within the following week. But when asked Monday if there had been a determination of who would start against the Jayhawks, he offered a vague response.
“You'll know a lot of that when it's time to kick the ball off,” Solich said with a slight smile. “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.”
In all likelihood, both quarterbacks will see the field Saturday. But with conference play fast approaching, the time to make an impression on Solich and the other coaches is running out.
“A disappointing loss”
In his opening statement, Solich made it clear that though he thought Purdue played well, he expected more out of his group to keep the game tight.
“It should have been a game that came down to the end in terms of personnel,” Solich said. “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 turning point of the game was the second quarter, which the Boilermakers dominated by scoring 24 unanswered points, taking a 34-7 lead into halftime. Despite an improved second half for Ohio, in which the team outscored Purdue by four points, the game was well out of reach.
“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,” Solich said. “ … So I put the blame on us.”
A penalty rarity
With under three minutes to go in the second quarter on Friday, running back A.J. Ouellette was tackled awkwardly and lost a fumble to the Purdue defense. Solich, possibly looking for a horse-collar penalty, stepped onto the field to challenge the officials.
Instead of having a conversation, he received a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty.
“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,” Solich said. “But I am always going to voice my opinion if I think a call is not made accurately.
“In my 50 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.”
Odds and ends
— Offensive lineman Durrell Wood will miss his third-straight game Saturday due to injury, while defensive lineman Sam McKnight (knee) and linebacker Quentin Poling (hip) are “questionable” Solich said.
— Kansas defensive line coach, Jesse Williams, spent the previous five seasons in the same position at Ohio. Solich didn’t talk about any drastic game plan changes that would need to take place as a result, but that “defensively there will be some things that will need to get done.”