Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Glenn, Solich go way back

Richard Anderson photo
Wyoming head coach Joe Glenn, right, watches a drill with assistant coaches Chris Knutsen, left, and Chad Germer. Glenn will begin his sixth season at the helm against old friend, Ohio coach Frank Solich, bottom.

By Richard Anderson
Wyoming Sports.org

They’re two Nebraska boys, on and off the field.

Wyoming head coach Joe Glenn and Ohio head coach Frank Solich go back in time; Solich, as a long-time player, assistant and then head coach for the Cornhuskers and Glenn, a Lincoln native who observed the Cornhuskers as a high school student-athlete and later as a coach at Doane College.

“I’ve known Frank since the 60s and I’ve admired the guy about as much as anybody in this business,” Glenn said Tuesday during the weekly MWC Coaches Teleconference. “He’s a terrific friend, a great football coach. He just signed a five-year contract with the Bobcats; they got a good one. I just think the world of Frank.”

Ohio and Wyoming open the season on Saturday at War Memorial Stadium with a noon kickoff. The Bobcats return the home-and-home series with Wyoming, as the two teams played last season in Athens, Ohio, a wild 34-33 Cowboy win that was marred by 12 turnovers between the two teams.

Glenn said that Solich will bring a hard-nosed, tough team into War Memorial Stadium.

“He’s now had several years to put his hand print on that football program. You can see it from the way that they play,” Glenn said. “They play really hard and they are going to be fundamentally sound. He has a group of guys on the staff that I have coached against and have admired from afar. I just have terrific respect for Frank, his coaching staff and his team.”

Glenn said he expects the Bobcats to be a little different offensively this season, with a new quarterback and the graduation of Ohio all-time leading rusher Kalvin McRae.

“They were pretty much a downhill team with Kalvin,” Glenn said. “They have an excellent quarterback in Theo Scott. He played some last year. He wasn’t the pitcher of record most of the time. He is a big dude. As he goes, so goes the Ohio offense.”

Scott played in 10 games as a sophomore last year, completing 63 of 109 passes for 743 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions. He was also the second leading rusher on the team with 40 carries for 120 yards.

“I think they will split the field more and try to get him out in space, either in the passing game or let him do the zone read or let him do other options where he is a potential ball carrier … to take a little load off of the tailback position,“ Glenn said. “Not that they haven’t replaced Kalvin McRae, but they have not named a starter and they have a stable of four guys who they have talked about … and they are all good. Theo is a guy who can run around, throw on the run and make things tough on you. The more he gets outside the box, the scarier he is.”

Defensively, Glenn said the Bobcats are led by 6-fioot-4 defensive end Jameson Hartke.

“He knocked a pass up in the air against us last year, caught it and went in for a touchdown,” he said. “They are just a bunch of guys who have good speed, good tacklers, fundamentally sound, don’t mind to blitz a little bit and get after you.”

Punting battle still up in the air

Although freshman Austin McCoy is listed as the starting punter to replace Billy Vinnedge, Glenn said that the position is still a tossup between McCoy, sophomore Nick Landess and junior Cody Bousema.

“If we are inside the 50 and we have to go hang punt, it will be Austin McCoy,” Glenn said. “He is the one who can put the most air under the ball. After that, honestly, it is going to go down to a game-day decision by Coach (Chris) Knutsen. The three punters -- one gets the ball off a little faster, one hangs the ball a little higher and one kicks the ball a little deeper. We’re crazy about statistics here, trying to chart hang time and operation time. It is so minuscule about the difference. All three could get some action and we’ll see who is the best with the bullets flying.”

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