Coach Frank Solich addressed the media Monday to recap the Bobcats thrilling come-from-behind victory over Kent State and preview the upcoming Mid-American Conference road trip to Northern Illinois. Here's what came up during the press conference:
—Solich was proud of the Bobcats’ resolve, but knows they can’t keep digging a hole like the 14-point deficit against Kent.
“We need to change our habit of getting off to a slow start and getting some quick touchdown scores against us and needing to come back,” he said. “When you put yourself in that position it just takes one mistake on the last drive or the last two drives to have it go the wrong way.”
—Ohio missed 31 tackles during Saturday’s game, Solich said. “We were able to get it done despite that.”
—Wide receivers Papi White, Cam Odom and Andrew Meyer have solidified themselves as the top three options for Nathan Rourke. Solich had high praise for his entire receiving corp.
“We have the best group of receivers that we've had ever, in terms of being able to make plays and catching the ball really well at this point in time in the season,” Solich said. “That leads us to being able to not just throw coming off the running game, but whenever we want to. We weren't running the ball that well. We didn't have big runs or explosive runs.”
—Northern Illinois is in the top half of the country in total defense despite playing Florida State, Iowa and Utah in the first half of the season. Solich discussed the Huskies defense: “They have some special players. They're physical, they run really well. They've got a good package to stop the run. Their pass rush is really trouble for most team to handle. They have some exceptional guys there. They're all good. They've got a really good group of defensive players on their football team.”
—Ohio is 2-0 at Northern Illinois — the furthest road trip in the MAC — in the Solich era, but Solich doesn’t attribute that to anything in particular.
"Every trip you go on is a different trip for you. You've just got to try to make sure your guys are in-tune to understanding that if you're going to be a really good football team, you need to win games. You're going to have to win on the road. So, that's a mindset that you need to have.”
—Solich didn’t discuss injuries during press conferences.
—Nathan Rourke completed 90 percent of his passes against Kent State, and he seems to be hitting a stride this season. Solich praised his play in the pass game, as well as his ability to run.
“He's picking the right moments to scramble and picking up some crucial firsts for us just by his legs and running on a designed throw,” Solich said. “Then, you build in a few runs for him. He's a complete quarterback, and I think that's really showing now."
—Solich said Northern Illinois is the best defense Ohio has played this season.
—Rourke doesn’t give pep talks before drives at the end of games, such as the Kent State game.
"Sometimes, you can come across and you're patting him on the back and he's wondering, 'Why the hell are you patting me on the back now?' So, there was nothing magical that went on there in terms of any conversation,” Solich said. “He just takes the field in the same way, composed, a guy that's definitely confident in himself and confident in his teammates, and that's what you ask of your quarterback. He's got all of that."
—Solich received calls and texts following his 100th win on Saturday.