Ohio Quotes – December 21, 2017

Head Coach Frank Solich
Opening statement…
“We really appreciate being here. Thanks to [Bahamas Bowl staff] Richard [Giannini], Lea [Miller Tooley], Chris [Pika], and everybody else associated with the bowl. It’s been great. This gives an opportunity to a lot of players, a lot of coaches on our staff who had never been down here, and their families. It’s opened up a whole new ballgame for all of us so we certainly appreciate the opportunity. In my history of coaching I’ve been to an awful lot of bowls and I think you do a great job here. It’s second-to-none in terms of hospitality. I think you’ve got the right amount of activities for the players, and yet still allow opportunity for free time. If you have free time, where would you rather have it than at the Atlantis properties? We’re very thanksful for being here, and we hope to put on a great show.”

On what fans can expect from the team tomorrow
“I really like our football team. It’s been a team that prepared all year long. They’ve shown great leadership during the offseason as well as during the season. As a coach, you appreciate what leadership can bring to your team. We’ve played really, really well in stretches. Coming into the last couple ballgames of the year we positioned ourself very well in terms of conference play. We did not get it done in the last couple ballgames, and I know we don’t feel good about that, so we hope to have a great game against UAB, who we know is an excellent, well-coached football team with a lot of really good athletes.”

On balancing the focus between the football game and off-field activities…
“We took the stance that you can have fun and win a bowl game. That’s what we came down here to do. We certainly wanted to give our players some free time, let them get around and see the resort. There’s obviously an awful lot to do and an awful lot to see. As you get closer to the game there’s got to be some balance there, and I think our guys have done a great job of that. Now we’re starting to get off our legs and resting for the game – staying out of the sun, staying out of the water. I think we’ve got the right plan to have a great deal of energy when the game kicks off.”

On the team’s preparation…
“At home, we got around seven or eight practices in before we came down. We wanted to get all of the heavy work done at home. What we’re doing down here is polishing up for the game. We tried to make sure that there was some conditioning early on, and as we’ve gotten closer to the game, not as much conditioning. You’re not going to bring a team down here for four evenings and expect to all of a sudden have them conditioned to the heat. All you’ll do is wear them out. We didn’t try to over-condition them here. We did not pad up at all down here except for helmets. It’s worked well for us in the past and we hope that it works well again and that we have great energy. These guys came through finals during [the last few weeks]. Some of you may recall going through finals and how draining that can be, so that was a test for our guys. We had limited practices, but we did have a few when finals were going on.”

 

Sophomore QB Nathan Rourke
On the fan support in the Bahamas…
“Obviously it really goes to show the support the programs have. There are so many families that came down from both sides and you can really tell that at the resort. It’s a little bit easier when you’re coming to a place like this to come down and watch. The support has been great, and you can definitely feel it from our fans. We can see that UAB brought a good following, as well.”

On the keys to the offense’s success…
“It’s been a combination of things. You can’t really put it on one thing. First of all, our offensive line has been really experienced and gotten a lot of reps. It’s really allowed both our running backs and myself to get to some open lanes and expose some holes in the defense, and that’s just a compliment to them. It’s a combination of balancing the run and the pass. When you can do both pretty efficiently, it’s hard for the defense to stop.”

On what challenges the UAB secondary presents…
“They definitely have some really good players in the secondary. They have a really good defense – I don’t know if you can just say the secondary. Their defense is very well-rounded and very well-coached. You can tell that throughout the games, because we’ve watched them and they do a lot of great things and a lot of different looks. We’ve really got to figure out what they’re going to do against us and what their game plan is and move forward in that regard.”

On the team’s time in the Bahamas…
“The resort is amazing, as coach mentioned. There’s so many things that we’re allowed to do, and it’s been great, everything about it.”

 

Redshirt Senior Linebacker Quentin Poling
On the fan support in the Bahamas…
“Like Nathan said, the resort is just full of fans, family members and alumni from both schools. I think everyone’s happy to be here and have a nice little getaway, so it’ll be a good game.”

On the importance of finishing his career with a win…
“It’s very important. When I’m looking back on my career, I think the last game is going to be the one that sticks out the most obviously. Talking to Dak Notestine, our strength coach, he played at Ohio and ended his career in a bowl game that didn’t go very well for them. He constantly reminds us that we don’t want to look back on our career and think about it and have that be the last memory like he did. Having someone who really went through it all first hand in our shoes just a couple years ago has been a good reminder for us.”

On his favorite part of the week…
“Water slides – I’m big on the water slides. Just getting around the resort and experiencing the water park, things like that, has probably been my favorite part.“

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