Football & Blog: Frank Solich's Temple Press Conference

By
Rob Guliano

Dateline
Updated Tue, Nov 1, 2011 3:41 pm
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Blog: Akron...Oh, Akron…Precious Little Akron

Hey Bobcat fans! Still riding high after that big time win over Akron? Yea, neither am I. In retrospect, I’m not entirely sure why I even went to the game. My hindsight is a little hazy, so I came up with what was probably the top 5 reasons I convinced my bearded roommate (who neither knew nor cared much about Ohio University athletics) to haul me up to Summit County for the affair (calling it a game is a stretch).

5. The Return of Omar Leftwich

Albeit in limited action, Leftwich returned to his spot at cornerback giving the Cats hope going into a big Temple game that their injury woes will subside a bit. After badgering him during water breaks of pickup basketball games that I constantly lost to him in last spring, I was given the go ahead to don his New Orleans Bowl jersey for Akron weekend.

Let’s break this down with some stats:

Leftwich:

Height:  6’1”

Weight: 190 pounds

In jersey comparison: To the naked eye he could pass for a linebacker.

Words to his appearance: Cut, ripped, athletic

Me:

Height: a hair short of 5’9”

Weight: 160 Pounds

In jersey comparison: A case of jaundice away from being Pikachu

Words to describe appearance: Minuscule, disproportional, placekicker (at best)

4. A disturbing penchant for bad football

You read it correctly. I take an innate joy in viewing and offering musings on bad football. Akron quarterback Clayton Moore (though his stats were not awful) provided a sufficient myriad of incompletions and miscues to garner giggles galore from me. It was painful to see a bad Ohio fumble contribute to the bad football I witnessed. However, it was somewhat vindicated by the fact that it helped Akron score its first touchdown (I was beginning to feel bad for them).

Look, I’m not one to pick a team apart for little mistakes. But that is irrelevant with Akron. Their problems are all big, and at 1-6, it shows. All that I’ll say is Akron coach Rob Ianello has a long way to go to turn around his putrid 2-17 start as head coach of Akron. A good place to start might be a new outfit. His khaki and gold getup for Saturday’s game may turn out to be the “I don’t care anymore” move of the MAC season. I’m well aware that Akron isn’t exactly holding a fashion week in late October (or ever for that matter), but Ianello’s garb was too scary for Halloween.

3. Bars and Ohio alumni

This was not what I anticipated going in, but it turned out to be a quality experience. Let’s face it. We are penny pinching down here in Athens compared to other schools in the state. The bar scene in downtown Akron seemed a lot cleaner, but it was also a lot more expensive. Considering the circumstances (see: Akron football for the last three years), there was a stellar turnout on the Ohio side of the stands. It was a foregone conclusion that turnout would translate well to postgame festivities downtown.

As a senior at OU, it made me somewhat nostalgic to be seemingly living what will be my reality in less than a year. It was the alumni life. Just catching a Bobcat road game, going out, and talking about the good times in back in Athens. Of course while several Akron students enjoyed appetizers and drinks seated at tables around the Barley House (it was roughly 8 p.m. after all), a couple ‘90s alumni recruited me and Karl Marx (my roommate—this beard is legit) to play some beer pong in the middle of it all. Naturally, one game evolved into several which ended up turning into an awesome evening and reminding us of how fortunate we are to have spent a few years down on the bricks.

2. Infocision Stadium

Akron’s stadium is an architectural wonder. The press box is immaculate, the field looks gorgeous, and the team is still awful. The price of admission was $15. After giving the ticket salesman the standard “I thought they shot Jesse James” speech that my grandfather taught me, I decided it would at least be worth the price of admission to admire the new stadium.

Perhaps the most impressive part to me is the surroundings. Peden Stadium is great. Don’t get me wrong. But it is tailor made to be a nice stadium. It has the rolling hills in the background, the bike path, and the scenic Hocking River. Okay, so there is nothing scenic about the Hocking River. Still, the reason I think Infocision puts other MAC stadiums to shame is that it is plopped down in the middle of urban downtown Akron.

This is where eyesores and pollution run rampant. From what I can see, there was nothing scenic about downtown Akron until Infocision stadium was built. The campus is nice, but it does not escape the urban feel. The second I walked into the stadium I finally felt a sense of imagery overcome me.

Then, I saw Rob Ianello’s outfit and all that went to hell.

1. Lavon Brazill

This kid is everything anyone could ask for game in and game out. He is worth the price of admission. The senior receiver scores every game, and it is almost always on a highlight worthy play. This time it was on an electrifying 78-yard pump-and-go toss from Tyler Tettleton.

Folks, I have some bad news for you. After recalling all of that, I just remembered the reason I drove seven hours round trip to Akron last Saturday. It’s the reason I ravaged rest stops up and down I-77. It’s the reason my Ohio U crew neck has Taco Bell, Bob Evans, and Wendys stains all over it (well, maybe I’m just a messy eater but I went to all those places). It’s the reason I still believe Ohio has a postseason future.

It is the playmaking ability of Lavon Brazill. And I’d hate to see how small I would look in his jersey.

Photo Credit: 
Ryan Young
Ohio WR LaVon Brazill dives ahead during Saturday's 44-7 win over Marshall.
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