Coach Frank Solich spoke with the media Monday and discussed Ohio’s 20-10 loss to Pitt last Saturday and its upcoming game against Marshall this week.
— Solich credited Pitt with developing a strong defensive game plan that shut down Ohio’s top offensive weapons. The Bobcats were held to their lowest scoring total since 2016 and never rushed for more than eight yards on a play, something Solich believes has never happened in his coaching career.
“Defensively they're especially strong. Very physical,“ he said. “They've got defensive answers to a lot of what you're trying to do offensively. We got to look down a little bit, but it's a game to learn from. You don't want many games you have to learn from, but I think this one was.”
— Future opponents will likely attempt to replicate Pitt’s aggressive pass rush that limited the potency of quarterback Nathan Rourke. Solich expects to see a similar plan from Marshall on Saturday, but he believes the Bobcats will make the proper adjustments in practice this week to have an effective offense as per usual.
“You certainly make sure that you have enough short passing game, quick passing game that you're ready to go to when you're faced with a lot of blitzes,“ Solich said. “We’ll make sure that we're getting heavy, heavy blitzing and that our passing game will be ready to adjust and take advantage of the blitzes.”
— Solich didn’t want to place too much blame on Rourke for Saturday’s loss. He believes the senior would have played better if he received more time in the pocket.
“You get you get six sacks and tackles for losses, and you're talking about not an ideal game for a quarterback. Period,“ Solich said. “He was doing all he could. There's some things he would like to get a chance to do over again, but he's a great competitor. He's a very smart player, and he learns from those kind of experiences.”
— Solich expects a packed house at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in Huntington, West Virginia, this week. Ohio is renewing its rivalry against Marshall — a former Mid-American Conference foe — for the first time since 2015 when the Bobcats defeated the Thundering Herd 21-10.
“That's always a tough atmosphere to play in,“ he said. “It'll be a big crowd and they'll be loud. It'll be louder than what it was in Pittsburgh. That obviously will be our first time in terms of crowd noise. So they will have to be ready for that ... That's what college football is all about. You've gotta be ready to go.”
— Solich said running back Julian Ross will not be available this week. O’Shaan Allison and De’Montre Tuggle are set to receive the bulk of carries against the Thundering Herd.