Quotes from Doc Holliday's Sept. 9 Press Conference
Ohio week quotes below
Our captains for this week, on defense, are James Rouse and Darryl Roberts and, on offense, are Rakeem Cato and Clint Van Horn. So, those four played extremely well and they are looking forward to leading our football team this week. As you all know, Ohio University is a team that has been to five straight bowls. Their coach always does a tremendous job coaching those guys. They are extremely well coached and extremely physical. They have a good football team. Anyone who has been to five straight bowls has recruited well in the last five years. They have good players and we have respect for them and our team does too. We know that there will be a battle in here on Saturday. We are going to have a great week of preparation and it is important that we do that.
The one thing that they do a great job of offensively is tailoring what they are doing to their personnel. Not as much three tight end stuff this year because they don't have the physical tight ends that they have had in the past. They play a lot of wide outs. They played about nine wide outs. They played three or four running backs and they basically only played the one tight end, number 82 [Troy Mangen] because of the numbers there. They do a great job with not trying to put square pegs in round holes and trying to match their offense to what their personnel can do. They do a good job at getting it done. Their offensive line never changes. They are extremely physical and well coached. They get after you and they play hard. That first five never changes, they are like clones over the last five years, and they are always the same. Anyone who has been to five straight bowls has good players. That's number one. They have good people, but they don't beat themselves. A few words to describe that football team is that they are a good team. They play hard together. Each phase compliments each other, whether it be the offense compliments the defense, defense compliments the offense, special teams vice versa. One thing about those guys is you have to beat them, they don't beat themselves. Over the years, they have been a really good team and played together as a team and that's why they are good. That is why they have been to the bowls that they have and that is why he [Frank Solich, Ohio's Head Coach] has won there because he does a great job."
The biggest thing that they struggled with against Kent was turnovers. They turned the ball over four times. If you eliminate the turnovers then they probably score 30 on Kent. Their issue with Kent was not that they weren't moving the ball but they put the ball on the ground. You know that they are a pretty good football team if they can turn the ball over four times and then win and they did that in their first game. They are playing two quarterbacks and they look like clones. There is not much difference between [Derrius] Vick and [J.D.] Sprague, 15 and 3. I don't know who we are going to see but they don't change much when they are in there. They both throw the ball extremely well and they both can beat you with their feet. So, the offense, whether it be Vick or Sprague, they don't change much."
The personnel hasn't changed. Defensively, they got a lot of kids back. They have a couple new linebackers in there, one corner, and a safety. Other than that, all those guys have played a lot of football back on that defense. They are a little different defensively. They changed their philosophy a little bit. Michigan State had a great defense a year ago. It is kind of a copycat world in business. There are a lot of things that Michigan State did a year ago with some corners press and some of the things that our defense is doing. They are a little different defensively but the one thing that is not different is that they are fundamentally sound, they play extremely hard, they get lined up, and they don't make a lot of mistakes. Defensively they play pretty well. We just have to go prepare. It is all about preparation this week. We can practice but we have to be a better team. We talk about Ohio being a better team and they were last year. They had a better team than we did. We have to make sure it is important that we go out and have a great week of preparation and that we are the better team on Saturday because that has not been the case the last couple of years. They have been better than us as a team and we have to make sure that we do that this week.
On the Herd's turnovers Saturday:
There's no question it is an issue. It has been an issue. Just take care of the ball and it will help. You can't turn the ball over three or four times against any good football team and win, you just can't do that. So, that's been an issue. We have to take care of the football. If we do that, we have a shot. Part of the plan to win is taking care of the football. We talk about the plan to win every week. Part one of the plan is play great defense. I like the way our defense is playing now. Second thing we talk about is taking care of the ball and we didn't do that last week. Our kicking game has been pretty solid and we scored in the red zone the majority of the time. Some of those field goals need to become touchdowns. Last week, we did not do a very good job taking care of the ball. That has to be fixed or you won't be a good football team.
On Correcting Turnovers During Practice:
You constantly work in your individual drills. Ohio had the same issue against Kent State. They turned the ball over four times and came back the following week and only turned it over, I believe, once against Kentucky. They got it fixed and we have to get it fixed. You will not beat a good football team if you give them the football that many times.
On Seniors Wanting to Win This Game:
They're all big games, it just happens to be Ohio this week. You want to walk into every week and try to find a way to win that football game. I've talked about this many times, the way you prepare and practicing well during the week, gives you a shot at winning the football game. There's no doubt that it has been a big rivalry for a lot of years and they've won the last three. Our kids understand that. Ohio has been the better team the last three years, as far as playing together as a team. We have to make sure, for us to have a chance on Saturday, that we are one heck of a football team in all three phases of the game. If we can do that, then we have a shot.
On the last three losses to Ohio:
We haven't really talked a lot about the last three years. We talk about what we have to do now. This is a totally different football team than what we've had the last three years. Now we do remind them of what it takes to win a football game and that's to follow the plan to win. We have to be a great team in all three phases. But I have not said one word about the last three years. I'm concerned with what we're doing right now and the preparation we have this week and our kids understand that. You come watch practice and you can see that our kids do a good job of coming to work every day and working to get better as a team. That has to happen this week.
On preparing for Ohio's quarterbacks:
The positive to that is we now have film. We have two games with a sample of both of them. Vick played the Kent State game and Sprague played the majority of the Kentucky game. So we at least have them both on film. The one thing that hasn't happened is Ohio doesn't look like they have changed their philosophy a lot with either quarterback. They both have similar skill sets. They both can run and make all of their throws. I don't think they're going to change what they do. They will try and do what each of them does best. But we at least have a sample of both of them, which is something we haven't had this season.
On Tyler Tettleton:
He made every play last year. When you go back and look at a year ago, there are about 6-8 plays that you watch and he made them all. Ohio was put in many big third down and fourth down situations in critical drives in that game and he found a way to make a play. He had that "it" factor. He found a way to make plays. These guys have some of the same intangibles, and that's what good quarterbacks have. There was one drive where we had 22 plays and couldn't get off the field defensively when he [Tettleton] made unbelievable throws and scrambles. That's what made him really good. Hopefully we can get off the field against these guys. The biggest issue we had a year ago defensively was that we could not get off the field on third and fourth down. If we can't do that on Saturday, it's going to hurt us.
On playing freshmen:
I've seen some really good things out of our freshmen. Foster has gotten his feet wet now. He's going to be a really good player. Tomell One went in there and played really well on the defensive line and provided us some depth there. Addison has played well beyond what I thought he would do as a freshman. He is one of our better offensive linemen as of now. Gator (Donquell Green) got his feet wet a little bit. We put him in a tough situation and if I had to do it over again, I probably wouldn't have put him in the pouring rain. That probably wasn't good on my part. Bottom line is, those guys that have played, like Yurachek who got his first catch, they've gotten their feet wet now. What we try to do is put those freshmen in there with a plan to play them the rest of the year. It's worthwhile for them to play. They're going to help us. I like what I have seen out of them. I don't think you will see many more play than those that have already, unless we got in an injury situation where we had to play one, you probably won't see anyone else.
On Ohio's defensive line:
They're all back. I've played them for four years now, and they're all clones, just like the offensive line. They are all physical. They are all tough. They play extremely hard. I went back and looked and there are probably 10-11, possibly more, Ohio kids that are starters on that roster. They play good football, tough football. That's just the kind of kids they are and the kind of team they are.
On playing hard the whole game:
With these guys (Ohio), you better play a complete game and take care of the football. You better come ready to play or they'll beat you. That's just the kind of team they are.
On recruiting the state of Ohio:
Kids want to be a part of a winning program. Winning is everything, then you add in the facilities, which we have now. We play a lot of teams in Ohio with Miami (Ohio), Akron down the road, and now Ohio University coming in. A lot of these Ohio kids come here on unofficial visits during those games. But anytime you can win and beat anyone from that particular state, it's going to help your recruiting. Now to be able to walk in here for unofficial visits and see the kind of facilities we have is great. What a great day it was on Saturday to open up the indoor practice facility. That was just tremendous for our program. It's going to bring an awful lot for our recruiting, which is great.
On running the ball:
We have to continue to take what that defense gives us, whether it be the run or the pass. We just need to continue not trying to put round pegs in square holes and execute our offense. If they give us the run, we'll run it and if they give us the opportunity to throw it, we'll throw it. We'll take what they give us, do our job, and execute our offense.
On Steward Butler:
There's no doubt, Stew is going to play. He played well Saturday. That was the plan, to get him a lot of work Saturday, whether Remi went down or not. We know we are going to need him this week. I expect all of them to play and play well.
On Cato running the ball:
I just hope those guys don't catch him (laughing). During the game, I don't worry about it a whole lot. I think that's going to help us in the future. He's got the ability to run it, and he will run it. I don't worry a whole lot about it, to be honest.