Coach Frank Solich spoke with the media Monday and discussed Ohio’s win over Buffalo to begin Mid-American Conference play and its imminent homecoming game against Northern Illinois.
— Solich said that the win against Buffalo was one of his favorites as a coach.
“This one ranks right up there in terms of having a team that has done everything they can to have a special season,“ he said. “I think a lot of teams find it difficult to play there, so to have them win it the way they did and play as hard as they for five quarters, it’s about as good as it gets in my mind.”
— The win wouldn’t have happened without a successful extra-point attempt from kicker Louie Zervos. Solich complemented Zervos and the rest of Ohio’s specialists for helping the Bobcats win despite losing the turnover battle.
“Louie has been very consistent for us here over the years,“ Solich said. “(Punter Michael Farkas) has been able to change the field for us in terms of field position more than any kicker I can recall. We did win the field position battle, which was critical. We lost the sack battle and turnover battle, and usually along with that, you lose field position. The special teams didn’t allow that to happen, and that was huge in this ballgame.”
— Running back O’Shaan Allison scored the game-tying touchdown in overtime and totaled 96 rushing yards against Buffalo’s defense, which ranked No. 2 in the MAC in rushing defense before Saturday. Solich has been impressed with the redshirt freshman’s start thus far, and he’s lived up to the success Solich envisioned when he watched Allison in spring and fall camp.
“He’s gotten off to a great start,“ Solich said. “He’s got quickness and he’s got a burst off of that quickness. You could see that he was going to be a very good running back.”
— Running back Julian Ross will likely return from an injury sustained Week 2 against Pitt for Ohio’s next game. He returned to practice last week and was in warm ups against Buffalo, but did not play.
When Ross does return, Ohio will likely split carries between him, Allison and De’Montre Tuggle.
“Guys will get their touches,“ Solich said. “When you have that kind of competitiveness, that usually makes it even better.”
— Last season, Northern Illinois dealt Ohio its first MAC loss and won 24-21. Solich expects a similar battle Saturday.
“I don’t think they’re trying to have a new identity,“ Solich said. “I think they’re trying to be what Northern Illinois has been. They’re recruiting really good players, and you’re going to get the same philosophy in terms of hard-nosed football. On defense, they’re a strong and physical team. That’s their trademark.”
— Former Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton, who played under Solich from 2009-2013, will be inducted to the Kermit Blosser Ohio Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday as part of the 2019 class of inductees. Solich spoke highly of Tettleton, who is currently a quality control coach for the Cleveland Browns.
“Well deserved,“ Solich said. “He was a great player for us. He’s a great young man, and he’s doing well out there in the real world. We’re fortunate to have him in our program and supply tremendous leadership for us. It’s certainly well-deserved.”
— The Ohio athletic department announced kickoff will be at noon against Kent State on Oct. 19 at Peden Stadium.