Coach Frank Solich spoke with the media about Ohio’s loss to Marshall and discussed how the Bobcats (1-2) will try to rebound at home against Louisiana-Lafayette at Peden Stadium on Saturday.
— The Bobcats have allowed 465 rushing yards in their last two games in large part from poor tackling. Solich believes the defense’s technique needs to improve the most to lessen missed tackles.
“I don’t think it’s because of effort, and it’s certainly not because of toughness,“ Solich said. “It has to do with more of getting in control and breaking down and getting clean hits on guys.”
— How will Ohio fix the issue?
“You keep working on form tackling and make sure you’re not over running tackles,“ Solich said. “You make sure that you’re not allowing the cut back angles that backs and receivers can take at times. You work on drills that simulate all that stuff, and we’ll continue to do that.”
— The Bobcats will likely need to show tremendous improvement in their tackling against Louisiana-Lafayette. The Ragin’ Cajuns have rushed for 1,071 yards in three games, 440 of which came last week in their 77-6 victory over Texas Southern that set a program record for points scored in a game.
“I don’t see (Louisiana) as being as one-dimensional, but obviously if we can’t stop the run, that will be a tough deal for us,“ Solich said.
— Ohio is 1-2, but Solich isn’t discouraged about the state of his team. He knows his players aren’t either.
“The spirit of this football team will not be broken,“ Solich said. “I do know that. It’s going to be a lot of fun to coach this team, and it already has been.”
— Quarterback Nathan Rourke broke Ohio’s all-time career touchdowns record Saturday when he threw his 83rd touchdown in the third quarter. Solich said he hasn’t formally congratulated the senior yet — the Bobcats had an off-day Saturday — but Solich planned to do that first thing at practice Monday.
“When he comes in, we’ll certainly congratulate him,“ Solich said. “He had a great ballgame, and he's got more football to play, so accomplishing that record as he did in this point in time in his last season is remarkable."
— Ohio’s injuries on offense include wide receivers Cam Odom and Tyler Tupa, running back O’Shaan Allison and center Steve Hayes. Here’s what Solich said about their status for Saturday:
“Two of the four are definitely out, and two of the four have a chance.”
Asked if he could specify, Solich, perhaps hinting at the NCAA no longer mandating injury reports, said this:
“I’m still confused by what people are asking to give in terms of injury reports anymore.”