Frank Solich held his weekly press conference Wednesday and discussed Ohio’s win over Ball State on Saturday and give his thoughts on the Bobcats’ next game against Miami on Nov. 6.
— Solich gave high praise again to the offensive line, which hasn’t allowed a sack in Ohio’s last two games and paved the way for the Bobcats’ best rushing game of the season against the Cardinals.
“There’s a little continuity there that has to develop and continue,“ he said. “I think getting adjusted to a new coach and his techniques always entered into it, too. They’ve certainly bought into coach Allen (Rudolph) and what he’s all about, and I think that’s starting to show.”
— Nathan Rourke compliments Ohio’s running backs for helping him find big runs. Solich echoed those sentiments and said that’s how the Bobcats’ offense should always work.
“Some of our base offenses are designed around the inside game to the running back,“ Solich said. “Sometimes, those holes are going to be there, and they’re going to get good yards. ... That generally opens up a little bit of an outside game regardless of whether you’re talking about an option or whether you’re talking about a quarterback reading off those inside runs, keeping the ball and getting good yards.”
— The Bobcats defense played its best game of the season Saturday, too. The unit has made noticeable improvements since a loss to Northern Illinois on Oct. 12, and Solich believes the group has become more comfortable under the coaching direction of defensive coordinator Ron Collins.
“I think they’re just maturing together,“ Solich said. “Obviously, the coaching changes... Some of that takes time. You want to get a message as defensive coaches and what you’re asking defensive players to do. We got to keep coming and keep getting better. We’re not where we’re at defensively to accomplish all the goals we want to accomplish, but we’re moving forward.”
— Ohio vs. Miami will be the only game played on the 150th anniversary of the first college football game. ESPN2 will broadcast the game on national television, and Solich is excited for the program to receive a national spotlight for one of the Mid-American Conference’s premier rivalries.
“It’s going to be great for college football, and it’s certainly great for both Miami and Ohio to be viewed on that day,“ Solich said. “There’s going to be a lot of eyes on you, and that’s not only good for the football program, but it’s good for the university. We’re excited about being a part of it.”
— Solich said he specifically looked at Miami’s stats from its conference games, not its whole season. He was complementary of the RedHawks defense, currently ranked 10th in the conference, and believes its total season stats are a bit misleading toward its true talent.
“When you look at (the conference-only statistics), their defense is rated close to the top in a lot of categories,“ he said. “They are on the upper echelon on the defensive end of it.”
— Last season, Miami coach Chuck Martin discussed how the Ohio-Miami rivalry had no trophy the winner. Solich said he hasn’t given much thought to that idea.
“There’s great tradition attached to it,“ Solich said. “That’s a lot of incentive to play really good football. I see where (Martin) is coming from. Most schools that have a rivalry like this have something that they’re trading off with in wins. Other than that, that’s about all I’m going to say.”
— Asked if he could remember his first exposure to college football, Solich discussed watching Notre Dame on TV when he was young, and he said he actually made a visit to the school while he was a senior in high school.
"It was an official visit, but I don't think I was their top prospect. Let's put it that way,“ he said with a smile.