Football: Frank Solich addresses Ohio's similarities to Eastern Michigan ahead of Saturday's game

 

Ohio’s Greg Windham runs the ball down the field during a game against Bowling Green at Peden Stadium on Saturday. (FILE)

Ohio will play Eastern Michigan on Saturday in its third Mid-American Conference game, but the two teams’ playing styles might as well be each other’s twin.

“You turn on the film and they’re (Eastern Michigan) a talented group, and they really play hard,” coach Frank Solich said at Monday’s press conference. “They remind me of us in terms of guys running to the football.”

Solich also said Eastern Michigan’s defense does a good job of getting multiple players around the ball.

Eastern Michigan’s defense is ranked No. 7 in the MAC, allowing 29.7 points per game. Ohio’s defense is ranked No. 4 in the conference, allowing 26.2 points per game.

“That’s one thing I think they’ve done a great job of is forcing turnovers,” Solich said. “That’s the way you do it, by having guys play at the level they play at, and with that kind of energy.”

Ohio’s defense is also similar to Eastern Michigan’s in that the Bobcats have a physical front seven. The Bobcats (4-2, 2-0 MAC) have forced a MAC-leading six turnovers, tallying nine interceptions and seven fumbles.

And Eastern Michigan (4-2, 1-1 MAC) isn’t too far behind, tied for No. 2 in the conference with 11 turnovers.

Though Ohio’s defense is filled with energetic players, its energy level has tended to dip at the start of third quarters this season.

The team hasn’t been able to string together a complete game, typically falling flat at the beginning of the second half.

“Well today, in my opinion, I feel like we kind of let off the gas a little bit,” quarterback Greg Windham said after Saturday’s win against Bowling Green. “We got comfortable. That’s something we have to work on next game.”

Windham said the Bobcats need to have a mindset of needing to score every time they have the ball.

The mindset required for the Bobcats to complete games, however, is just that dominating teams requires more mental work than physical.

“I think our guys have the mindset to play that way every play,” Solich said. “So there’s not a lot of training that has to go into it.”

The usual Monday chatter of how the Bobcats would prepare for their next opponent took an unexpected turn near the end of the press conference, though.

When asked about how Ohio is handling the political and social climate, Solich was seemingly surprised by the question.

But he still gave a detailed answer, saying that players are allowed to express their views on the team if they feel passionate about them.

“Players have strong feelings, just like every human being has strong feelings,” Solich said. “Sometimes they (want) to express those feelings if they feel like a stance needs to be taken.”

 

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