Oct. 9, 2007
EASTON, Pa. -
Lafayette football returned to being nationally ranked after defeating Columbia 29-0 on Oct. 6. Now head coach Frank Tavani and his team look forward to Harvard, their final Ivy League opponent. Here are some excerpts from the media luncheon, held on Tuesday in Pfenning Alumni Center:
Harvard Head Coach Tim Murphy
On his team:
"I feel like we're a solid team. We've had tough games every single game. I thought we had a chance to beat Holy Cross and then they get an interception in the final seconds of play and they get us on the next play. Against Lehigh we played very well. We just didn't have enough plays to win the game. Statistically we played a good game but that didn't tell the whole story. And then we go up to Cornell and we absolutely have to have a win, and we played a very solid football game. So I feel like we're a solid team. How much better than that, well that's something you have to prove every week."
On Chris Pizzotti replacing Liam O'Hagan as starting QB:
"Chris has played a lot of games for us; he's a very good football player. They came in the same recruiting class four years ago. We thought both kids were good quarterbacks and we were right so we really don't have a drop-off on Chris' play." * Liam O'Hagan is injured and will be out for the rest of the season.
On the progression of the team's running game:
"Our running game is still a work in progress. We made legitimate strides against Cornell. I feel like we're going to be a very good team running the football, hopefully by this week. It may not be at the next level right now, but we're going to get it to the next level between now and the end of the season."
Lafayette Head Coach Frank Tavani:
On playing Harvard this Saturday:
On the team's win against Columbia:
"It was great to get back on track after two hard weeks of chewing on that bitter loss. We made a nice recovery. Obviously our defense continues to play outstanding football. We have way too many penalties and inconsistencies right now on offense, but when you win 29-0 you can't complain about too many things."
It's another typical Harvard football team: seven returning starters on a defense that I thought was as good as we saw all year, including UMass. Offensively, other than shooting themselves in the foot some, they've been playing pretty well. They've lost two very tough ball games, and both of those games should have been wins so we really should be looking at, in my mind, an undefeated Harvard team at this point. Our lack of success at historic Harvard Stadium is well documented. We're continuing to focus on us. Over fall break we've had some extra time to focus on football. Some people look at it as a warm-up to the league run, but to us it's step No. 6 at this point. We need to get this done and go up and play a good football game on offense, defense and special teams."
On the tailback situation:
"We just seem to go to the next guy and then the next guy. That's how you try to build a football program, to have depth. We've had a lot of young kids who we've said all along since the beginning of the year have talent and just haven't been able to break into the lineup. It didn't surprise me to see DeAndre' Morrow go out there and do the things we did. In fact, in retrospect, maybe we should have used him a little sooner. He's coming off that ankle injury and he's been 100 percent now for a couple weeks and he is doing great things on special teams. You give him the opportunity and once he got in the rhythm a little bit, he's having fun making some yards out there. Brandon Mitchell stepped up and had a play. Tyrell Coon, you saw a little bit at the end, and then Matt Ferber, we've had that package wrapped up for about three weeks and were just kind of holding on to it."
Sophomore defensive lineman Andrew Poulson:
On Andy Romans' forced fumble and Poulson's fumble recovery:
"I didn't know Andy came swooping in until the ball came loose. I was watching it on film and what happened was that I got a one-on-one block with the guard and just long-armed him right into the quarterback. The quarterback stepped up, and I, more or less, had the guard sitting in his lap. As soon as I saw the ball move, it was on the ground - it was really quick. Unless you really watch the replays, you really can't tell how it came loose. Andy actually ended up doing a whole superman dive in there somehow. He came out of nowhere really; he was just being an animal. He put his hand in the right spot and the quarterback didn't even see it coming. The ball popped loose and I was lucky enough to be in the right position to make a recovery."
Sophomore tight end Adam Gill
On the tight ends' role against Harvard:
"They've got some defensive ends so we've got to really prove what we can do against them. We're going to have to keep them from making big plays."