Football: Frank Solich Presser & “Sights from the Sidelines”

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In his weekly press conference, Ohio head coach Frank Solich looked forward to the big conference opener with Kent State on Saturday. He also talked about the health of the team – namely CB Travis Carrie and RB Donte Harden – and talked about the letdown that was Ohio's 38-26 loss Rutgers this past Saturday.

Sights From the Sidelines

Sanu Killed Ohio

All week Ohio knew it would have to try and contain Rutgers’ wide-out Mohamed Sanu, and it flat out didn’t. Sixteen catches, 176 yards, and two touchdowns later, Sanu set a Rutgers and Big East single game record for catches in a game. Ohio mixed up defensive schemes on him, threw every corner they could at him, played a linebacker underneath with a safety over the top, but he found space. The injury to Travis Carrie, Ohio’s number one cornerback, put the Bobcats’ defense at a disadvantage for most of the game, but had Carrie been able to play, Sanu probably still would have had a 10-catch day. He has Sunday talent.

Travis Carrie Glassy-Eyed

Travis Carrie got knocked out undercutting Mohamed Sanu in the early moments of the first quarter. Carrie sat out for the rest of the game. We could not get a read on his health, but he hung his head and sat on the bench for most of the game; not sure if he was down because he wasn’t in the game or his head was hurting him. Good news for the Ohio secondary however, head coach Frank Solich said in his Monday press conference that Carrie has a good shot of playing this week.

Poor Third-Down Performance

The Ohio defense put Rutgers in third down situations 15 times on Saturday; the Scarlet Knights converted nine times. The Bobcats gave up third down conversions in every way imaginable: poor tackling, penalties, long runs and Sanu catching everything. Chas Dodd made things worse by mixing up the snap count. The defensive line jumped a handful of times, most of which came in crucial situations.

Ohio Rush Defense

Fears from the beginning of the season are starting to come to the forefront. A defensive line that has no returning starters from 2010 has been gashed for at least 150 yards in each of the last two games. When facing the stronger teams in Marshall and Rutgers, Ohio hasn’t been up to the task. Many runs have broken through the front four and first contact isn’t made until the second or third level. This could be troubling as the Bobcats head into conference play, especially when a matchup with Temple’s Bernard Pierce and Matt Brown looms.    

Confidence in Tettleton

One positive note from this game; Ohio went away from Ryan Boykin and the running game when it appeared to be impossible to pound it on the ground against the Scarlet Knights, but Tyler Tettleton had no problem airing it out when asked and he is gaining confidence with every game. His receivers are also helping him out tremendously. We can’t remember so many one-handed and highlight reel catches so early into a season, but LaVon Brazill, Riley Dunlop and Donte Foster have each had their spectacular moments. A confident quarterback mixed with a bunch of wide outs that can grab anything in sight is appearing to be a lethal combination for opposing defenses.