Coach Monken presser: Ohio State

Jeff Monken was in a jovial mood for a coach tasked with preparing for No. 8 Ohio State.

Monken was asked what the keys in matching up against quarterback J.T. Barrett, running back J.K. Dobbins and the Buckeyes’ offense Saturday in Columbus.

“I don’t think they will let us play with 12 (players),” Monken said.

Monken was frank about Ohio State’s talent, saying “We are going to way undersized and physically outmatched, their offense against our defense. That’s no knock on our guys. I love our guys. It is what it is. We have to a great job of having some things that may create some problems for them. I hope we can come up with enough.”

On the topic of Army being a 30.5-point underdog, Monken said, “I’m not walking in here and saying guys, ‘We are going to start practicing for Tulane (Army’s opponent next week) because we are going to get our butts whipped.’ That’s not the way we are wired and I don’t know a team or coach in the country that would prepare that way.”

How will Army deal with Ohio State nose tackles Dre’Mont Jones and Tracy Sprinkle in an effort to open up the middle for fullback Darnell Woolfolk?

“Try to come up with ways where we don’t have to block them,” Monken said. “There’s not too many plays where you don’t have to block guys. There’s a few in our offense. We don’t match up physically with anybody that they have. That’s the simple fact. Nobody on our team physically matches up with anybody on their team. We have to come up with ways within our scheme to be able to double team guys, read guys, misdirection and force them to be assignment sound so we can figure out where they are going to be.”

Monken praised Ohio State left tackle Jamarco Jones saying, “he looks like a corner (back). He’s out there blocking at the second level. Holy Smokes, that guy is a good player.”

When asked where he sees the passing game going in the future, after completing 2-of-10 throws the first two games, Monken said, “probably eliminating as many passes as we possibly can, to be quite frank about it. We have to run the ball to successful. We are not going to win a bunch of games trying to chuck it all over the place. We have to pick our spots. We tried to pick them (against) Buffalo on Saturday. We had a couple opportunities (incompletions to Jermaine Adams and Kjetil Cline for touchdowns) that we missed. Nobody feels worse about that Ahmad (Bradshaw, Army’s quarterback) does. We are going to get some of those too some times. We’ll keep taking our shots every once in a while.”

Bradshaw may get some help from senior wide receiver Jeff Ejekam Saturday. Monken said Ejekam, who missed the first two games for a violation of team rules, will start.

Monken said sophomore cornerback Elijah Riley will continue to be held out of game, “until this thing with academics is sorted out and it’s an institutional issue that we are working with.”

VIDEO: Jeff Monken’s press conference in its entirety

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and Sound Cloud @salinterdonato. For Army coverage on Facebook, here’s the link.

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    Sal Interdonato

    Award-winning writer Sal Interdonato has been on the Army football beat since 2007. He'll take you inside the huddle and into the lives of the Black Knights. Read Full
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