Sept. 13, 2011
To recap last week, after I watched the tape I feel we followed the plan to win. I think we played pretty well in all three phases. It’s a great win for us, but we have to move on. This Ohio University team is an excellent football team. They’re well-coached and if we don’t prepare this week like the way we have the last couple then we have a real issue. It’s important that we do a great job preparing today and tomorrow. Last week’s game was won on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, not the day of the game. We have to do the same thing this week to have a shot against these guys. Coach Solich does a great job coaching. They’re an excellent football team. We will have our work cut out for us up there.
On the approach to next week’s game:
This (Marshall) is a different team. They have a completely different mindset and the culture has changed. If we don’t prepare every week then we can get beat by any team we play. We’ve talked a lot about putting the Southern Miss game behind us and that’s what we have to do. If don’t focus on the task at hand then we have no chance.
On Rashad Jackson’s tackling:
He’s gotten better and he’s going to get it today too. You have to be able to tackle. Our goal is to have single digit missed tackles. We weren’t quite there, but we were close. As long as you can tackle and quit from giving up big plays then you have a shot. We work extremely hard on tackling, we really do.
On Ohio’s offense:
Their success starts with their offensive line. Their quarterback makes great plays for them and makes great decisions. They have all their guys up front back from last season. They have an excellent receiver named LaVon Brazill and he’s also a great punt returner. They have great skills. Their offensive line is extremely tough and plays extremely hard. Their offense comes at you hard and you better line up and be ready to be physical. Our guys need to understand that.
On the play of Ohio QB Tyler Tettleton:
He can run and he can throw the ball. He does a good job at doing both. They went on the road and beat a New Mexico State team that beat Minnesota at Minnesota. They won eight games a year and went to a bowl game. They have players. They are one of the top teams in the MAC. They can play with anybody and we have to understand that.
On the rivalry between Marshall and Ohio:
We have a lot of freshmen. Luckily we have a lot of veterans on the defensive side of the ball to take the younger players under their wing. Our coaches have to have our offense ready. We know how to prepare and practice. They see what the results are when we practice and prepare well.
On Rakeem Cato’s play in first two games:
He’s made some strides. He has improved on so many different things that you just can’t see from the stands. For him to be where he is at this point, not having spring ball is tremendous on his part. You have to give credit to the coaches and Cato himself. He has to continue to get better and he wants to get better.
On improvement being made on the running game:
The guys we have running the ball are good players. Travon (Van) has to slow down a bit and he’ll get better. Our players are better and I think our offensive line has done well. There‘s some youth up there. They just keep fighting. We’ve been able to rush for over 100 yards in the last two games. We can’t be one dimensional. One thing we have done the last two games is make the other team play one dimensional. As long as we continue to do that we have a chance to win every game we play. I’d like to run the ball better than what we are. Hopefully we continue to get better doing that.
On Ohio’s defense:
They play extremely hard, extremely tough and are well-coached. They held New Mexico State to six yards rushing. They were ranked second in the MAC last season and are no different this season. We will have our work cut out for us.
On special teams against Southern Miss:
I don’t think I’ve ever has a special teams that could dominate a game like they did. Offensively we were solid, but special teams won the game. I’ve never seen a punter do what Kase Whitehead did. He dropped five punts within the five. That makes the offense have to go through 95-yard drives on five different occasions. The field position is so critical. Not only Kase, but our missiles did a great job getting down the field and downing the ball. Anytime you can force that field position is great. We also added a blocked punt in the game as well. Our talent level is improving and we’re getting closer to where we need to be.