Frank Solich became the winningest coach in Mid-American Conference history Tuesday when Ohio defeated Bowling Green 66-24.
He discussed the achievement and Ohio’s final game of the season against Akron on Friday in his weekly press conference.
— Solich has received a continuous flow of text messages, emails and phone calls since the win over the Falcons. He hasn’t been able to reply to all of them yet — he said he will read and reply to them at some point soon — but he was appreciative of the abundance of support.
“A tremendous number of people have reached out,“ Solich said. “It’s been much more than I expected. I’ve got to get to answering those. A lot of people showed their appreciation for what our program has been able to do, and that obviously makes you feel good, but there’s work ahead.”
— Solich said he’s received messages from his former high school teammates. Pat Fitzgerald, the football coach at Northwestern, sent Solich a ball signed by the other Wildcat coaches. He also received a message from former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, who is currently the coach of the Dallas Renegades in the XFL.
— Akron has yet to win a game this season and will end the year 0-12 if it loses to Ohio on Tuesday at InfoCision Stadium. Solich reminded his players about their trip to Akron two seasons ago when the Bobcats lost 9-3 and blew a chance to make the MAC Championship.
That game isn’t at stake Tuesday, but the Bobcats need to win to become bowl eligible and extend their season.
“We struggled playing there on that day. They played very well,“ Solich said. “What we tell our guys is that this is the opportunity to get ourselves at .500 and not have a losing season. We’re going to work on getting a winning season.”
— Akron suffered a narrow 20-17 loss Wednesday to Miami, who defeated Ohio three weeks ago. Solich complimented the efforts of Zips quarterback Kato Nelson, who was 15-of-35 for 197 yards and a touchdown despite being sacked 12 times. Solich also spoke highly of Akron’s defense, which is the top-ranked passing defense in the MAC.
“Kato and his ability to escape and create plays I think showed in that game,“ Solich said. “They’re able to do quite a bit on the defensive side in terms of their looks, blitzes and different coverages.”