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Ohio Football vs. Miami Postgame Quotes - Nov. 6, 2019

Ohio Head Coach Frank Solich 

Opening Statement:
"I'm going to echo what Nathan said there. The support that we get during the season and during the games has been great. The support that we get matches anybody in the MAC in terms of that, from the people in the community and the people who travel in from Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati to come to the games and certainly everybody connected with the university. I thought it was a great student turnout and it's very much appreciated." 

On the first half:
"That opening drive was frustrating to not get points on the board. The whole thing was a little frustrating, they had 47 plays in the game. That's a limited number of offensive snaps for a team, we had 73. Statistics show that we played a pretty good game, but it didn't really play out that way. Defensively, we gave two really explosive plays and a third play that they caught a touchdown on and kept his foot inbounds. There were really three plays, the explosive run, the pass and then the pass in the endzone. Other than that, defensively we did a pretty good job. Offensively - two turnovers. It's one thing we've been talking about and preaching about and getting determined to win the turnover battle. We're playing good football teams and they're close games, but we haven't been winning them. I think if you look back and I'm not mistaken, we've won the turnover battle one time this year. That's making it a lot more difficult on yourself than certainly what it should be. Each unit had some things that led to the game being what it was and they're down. They practiced really well this week leading into the game and not to have the final result play out for them is pretty disheartening for them." 

On Ohio redshirt freshman running back O'Shaan Allison not playing after fumbling:
"That was not an injury. We had emphasized that so much and I think if you go back and look at it, that may have been his third fumble. He's had the ball on the ground, to us it's 50-50 if you have the ball on the ground. We couldn't afford to get into that, and we had driven that home to the guys. We've been doing that for some time about winning the turnover battle, so that was just not a good start. He had some good runs, he's a good player and he'll come back. He'll play for us obviously and he'll do a lot of really good things for us, but we ended up going with our other backs." 

On the decision to take a timeout on the fourth and long in the fourth quarter:
"We wanted to talk through the options we had with play choices. It had nothing to do with punting the ball or not punting the ball, it had to do with play choice. That's what we discussed and came up with the play that we used. It made sense to me to try to gather our thoughts as to what we was our best chance to pick up such a long yardage to play with." 

On what went wrong on the final drive:
"I think at times he did face an awful lot of pressure. We lost the sack battle also, so that didn't play out as well as we wanted it to. Some of their DBs did a good job, he [Nathan Rourke] didn't have immediate throws on some of those and he did scramble on some. He made some great plays but that's kind of what it was. There was too much pressure at times, and we didn't handle it well at times." 

On the message to the team moving forward in the last three games:
"This just speaks of our character and what we're all about in this program. Obviously, we want to win a MAC Championship every year, we want to win every game every year. We're at a point in time where right now, that doesn't look like it's going to get done. We're going to need an awful lot of help to get into the championship game, but the next game will be here. It'll come and we need to get ready to play it. We're not a group of guys that will not respond in a positive manner to try to win football games and try to play this season out. Otherwise if you don't get ready to go, you don't fight hard and play it well to do everything you can to win the next one then what does that say about you, your team and your program? That's not what we are, so we'll get ready for the next game. It'll be a contest; Western Michigan is a very good football team. 

On the decision to punt at the end of the first half:
"It was a 4th-and-5 punt, so it made sense to me. I didn't want another long score. I didn't want a quick score. I was satisfied going into halftime with the score the way it was, and I just felt like we would be able to gather up the second half. They got the opening kickoff in the second half, but I still felt we'd be able to gather momentum. They did not stop us in the first half, we stopped ourselves. My thinking was that we could control the second half and win the ballgame, just didn't want try to do it in the first half with 23 seconds." 

On the decision to lean toward the run game:
"They played the corners off. They had a free safety where they were one high most of the game which means they've got the deep outsides covered and the deep middle covered. Trying to force throws into that does not make a lot of sense. They don't have as much support in the running game with that configuration, so you run the ball a little bit more." 

On Ohio senior quarterback Nathan Rourke's ability to make plays:
"That's typical Nate though. He's been doing it through his career here coming up with special plays when you think he's down or he's surrounded. When someone has made contact on him, he's still able to get yards after the contact. He's done that through his career here. He's done it so much that it almost doesn't seem special to me – it's what he does. I know those are special plays, but he's had a ton of them in his career here and tonight that showed." 

Ohio Senior Quarterback Nathan Rourke 

On how quickly the pocket collapsed:
"They are talented up front. They're tall and fast guys. I don't think they were giving us anything we hadn't seen before. I'll have to look at it to be really sure about what happened, but we didn't execute. That wasn't just a problem on the front line. That's on me and also the offense."  

On what this loss feels like: 
"The right approach right now is to think about finishing the next three games and more specifically looking forward to Western Michigan. To be honest with you, it's feeling pretty tough right now."  

On how well the offense moved the ball in the first half and only scoring one touchdown:
"It came down to not finishing drives. We had every opportunity, and the only thing that was stopping us was ourselves. So, this one is a tough one to swallow."  

On how to lead his younger teammates through adversity:
"The mentality of this team has just been 'take one game at a time,' and that won't change. It just comes down to: we play the game one play at a time, and that's what we're going to focus on for the next couple of weeks."  

Address the OHIO fans:
"I just wanted to say that I appreciated the fan support that we had today. The atmosphere was really, really awesome, and whoever had a hand in creating the buzz for the game and getting the fans there, we really appreciate it. It was really awesome to be a part of, and one of the positives of the game was being able to be a part of that. We're grateful for that. Sorry we couldn't get it done."   

Ohio Senior Linebacker Eric Popp 

 On how this loss will affect their season:
"We have 24 hours to think about this one, and then you have to put it behind you. We are looking forward to the next three games and what we should continue to do."  

On the few game-changing plays that allowed Miami to win:
"We played lights-out in the first half and that's how we need to play the entire game. We had opportunities to step up in the fourth quarter and we gave the offense the ball when we needed to. But they made plays and we didn't, and they executed well.  

On the lack of forced turnovers by OHIO's defense this season:
"It's tough and it's something we preach all the time. It's something that we are always talking about in practice and on the field. We're trying to strip the ball anytime we can, and sometimes the ball doesn't bounce your way, but you have to create opportunities for yourself and put yourself in the right position to do that.  

On the issues behind the game-changing plays:
"I would say execution. They did a great job and we just have to execute better. We have to get ourselves into the right spot to be able to make those plays. We did a pretty good job communicating today, and I think part of that showed. Again, it's just (that) people have to step up and make plays and put ourselves in the position."  

Miami Head Coach Chuck Martin

Opening Statement:
"I thought I'd be a really good game, you never know. Sometimes the games like this and then [other games,] they turn out to be a blowout. Things happen but again they moved it, they possessed it. Nathan Rourke is as good as I think he is, I am glad he is done, I am glad Hagan is done; their safety, he is a great player but same thing as last year we had to stay after. He's going to make his plays, he had a ton of plays, obviously defense kept us in the first half, 7-7 and offense [had a] really nice drive to start second half, a little breathing room and then they come right back. We can't tackle Rourke and they punch it in, it is depressing, it's 14. Our offense comes right back again, gets us a lead, okay here we go defense, again we can't get the stop so offense is huge in the second half. Then we put together a drive and Sloman does what Sloman does, he makes these huge kicks from really far away which is really hard to do and then it's like okay defense you played out of your mind all conference season, you haven't stopped them in two drives but is it, they only up three, they drive down and score this one, you're not going to be in first place at the end of the night and obviously McWood gets home we finally get them on the ground like the guys impossible to tackle, not against us, its every week. I can show you our footage of no one can tackle us and we get them on the ground, we get off the field and we win the game. It's just like the season, we needed everybody, we needed offense, we needed defense, we needed ST, was anybody perfect, no, no one was perfect but did our kids hang in there. What they did, six out of nine on the road left for dead after 76-5. I got a lot of messages to return to some people that I don't really like a whole lot. They talked about me and the team after 76-5 and how embarrassing we are and how disappointing we are, but that's for another time, you start conference off, win two out of three and then you got to go on the road and beat Kent State in the rain and you do it ugly, and you come here and win it ugly and now you have an opportunity to finally come home and play Bowling Green next Wednesday, and we are excited about that." 

On what does this win means:
"Like I said it all last week, like I said last year we got here, we kind of looked around like who do we want to become, who can Miami become like, what's a style that fits our school, that fits our coaching staff, that we can recruit to Miami and when you looked around you're like "OU is really consistent." I'm a big believer if you get to a certain level you're good then again you aren't going to win, no one wins every year especially in this dang league but you put yourself in a position and that's what you are trying to do, we looked at OU and they did what Frank's (Solich) done which is to model consistency and then the first couple years we played them and it was a disaster. It was embarrassing and the last time we came here it was embarrassing, not just the score but how we played. We slowly but surely build a program with a bunch of tough-minded kids that go to class and their getting a Miami degree and they treat people right and the compete and they play their tails off and like I tell Frank, last year we started to look like you and we got you and now all of the sudden these games, the rival such be even better, we're staring in the mirror when we play those guys and I have nothing but respect for him, nothing but respect for how his kids play, how they played tonight, somebody had to lose a game that no one deserved to lose you know so we're happy. We're finally to the point where we can go toe to toe with these guys hopefully for every year for a long time".  

On the talent of Ohio senior quarterback Nathan Rourke:
"Last year in pregame I literally went to look at him. I'm like, 'he must be this thick-hipped—I was thinking running back from the legs down.' Because no one can tackle him; he's so fast. I watched pre-game and thought he's kind of slender. He doesn't look like any six-foot (player)—but nobody can tackle him. I don't know. He's like Jim Brown playing quarterback. And that's every week; you can't tackle the son-of-a-gun. He's so competitive, and he throws it, and he has got 1,700 yards passing and 640 rushing. And how many times did we hit him? Again, he's a tailback-playing quarterback who also can throw the ball really well. Thank God he's a senior and has no college eligibility left." 

On whether this could be Miami senior defensive line Doug Costin's best game: 
"I think he has been playing at a crazy consistent level. I'll watch the tape. If you say he plays good—I mean, I think he plays good every week. We'll wait until tomorrow to decide that." 

On the decision to have Miami senior placekicker Sam Sloman kick the fourth quarter field goal:
"There was no decision for me. As your team evolves you always have to play to your strengths. I'm still kicking myself [that] I didn't kick a field goal up nine-nothing against Western Michigan. Probably the dumbest thing I've done all year. We had a chance, it's fourth-and-whatever, and you want to punch it in. I was dumb enough to do it again two weeks later against Northern (Illinois) and go for it on fourth-and-one. He's the strength of our team. So, if you have a strength on your team, you've got to always put the game in his hands. You want to put Doug Costin in the position to make plays. To me, there was no decision. Let Sloman do what Sloman does. One of our best football players might be our team MVP, but if we're going to lose, let's lose with our best players. And obviously he has been incredible for us all year." 

On Miami redshirt junior wide receiver Jack Sorenson's catch at the beginning of the second half:
"The catch by Sorenson, the play by James Maye. They got it, 14-14 and we got it right back. Sorenson—it's unfortunate for him and unfortunate for us that he has played very little. He's not close to 100 percent. Somehow Jack makes plays and he made a crazy play on that one."