Charlie Strong, Jake Smith And Preston Brown Preview Ohio

Al Messerschmidt

Charlie Strong:


Highlights:

--We're really excited to get back on the field, but this is going to be a great test. We have a tremendous amount of respect for Ohio and Frank Solich. They've been to four straight bowl games, had a 1,600 yard rusher last year in Blankenship, and Tyler Tettleton is a terrific three-year starter at quarterback.

--Ohio has eight returning starters on offense and we all know what they did to Pen State in the season-opener last year. That's all the attention-grabbing we need.

--We have an older, more mature team now. We only had one day during camp where we came out lackluster and had to start practice over. I like our overall attitude right now and the leadership that we have.

--The senior class that we have now is the first class that we brought in. Now we have upperclassmen who understand what's expected of them on and off the field. The same goes for the coaches. Everybody knows what we expect out of each other when we go to work.

--Winning the Sugar Bowl was good for our guys, but they also know that they have to work even harder because of how the level of expectations have risen.

--We want to play all three of our running backs, and Corvin too, but we're not sure yet how we're going to split the carries.

--Eventually we'd like to see one running back emerge above the others and demand the majority of the carries, but that hasn't happened yet. We haven't had a 1,000-yard rusher since Bilal, and we'd like to see that change.

--Senorise is great at running outside of the tackles, Dominique is a more physical back, and Dyer is great because he can do both of those things.

--There are no starting spots still up for grabs. We know who's going to start the opener.

--Michael Dyer was not in football shape when he got here. Him getting back into the routine of being a football player was the biggest thing for him. He kept himself in shape, but it took him about a week and-a-half to get used to our tempo and readjust to being a football player.

--Ohio does what they want to do on offense extremely well. Tettleton is dangerous throwing and running the ball, so that is a major concern.

--Kamran Joyr is out on the offensive line, but Chris Acosta has done a great job replacing him. What we've tried to do is find seven or eight guys we can interchange on the offensive line.

--Kai Dominguez (De La Cruz) had a tremendous camp.

--Robert Clark has incredible speed. I always compare him to Lorenzo Mauldin. Those guys go full speed every single play. It's just amazing to watch their offensive ability.

--Senorise will be the starter when we trot out their with that first play. He was our starter last year until he got hurt and he's earned it. It's amazing the training camp he's had. You would have never thought he'd had a knee injury at all. I held him out two practices and he asked if he could come back. That's just the way he is.

--You'd love to see 55,000 fans in their seats at kickoff on Sunday. Our fans have been great. We need to take that momentum from New Orleans and roll it into this weekend.

Preston Brown:


Jake Smith:

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