Football Media Luncheon Quick Quotes
Sept. 13, 2006
Head coach Frank Tavani
on the home opener against Penn, and last week's win at Bucknell:
It's certainly a major event and a long time coming, with the renovation of Fisher Field, Family Weekend and great weather is in the forecast. We're playing a very good football team in a traditional rivalry, a historical football team and one of the best in Division I-AA over the last 15 years so it's certainly an exciting time for our entire football family. Following last week's game, we were pleased to go up and get a league win. It would have been awfully difficult to open up with a loss and then go six more weeks without playing a league game. We had our concerns with how productive their offense had been the week before against a very good Duquesne team and rushed for almost 400 yards, so we had more than enough to be concerned about, but you have to give all the credit to our defensive staff headed up by John Loose, who specializes in stopping the option from his days up at Army. He put in an entirely different defense with 3-4 personnel, and guys were playing out of position in other positions, and one of the best middle linebackers we have goes down and a freshman comes in and plays great, so it was a good night. I was most impressed with how physical we were right from the start. Everybody was hungry and nobody wanted to take any chances early or give them room to breathe and add to the circus atmosphere that they were trying to create. Just as I thought in the second half, they would make some adjustments and it was a hard fought second half. Even though didn't put points on the board I thought we played very well, we pitched a shutout defensively and offensively we did a lot of things to get out of the hole and change field position when our backs were against the wall. The bottom line is anytime you pitch a shutout and score 31 points you've had a pretty good day.
on the defensive effort against Bucknell's spread option:
The package has been in, we put it in all the time and spent time on it in preseason camp. We certainly took some practice days and took some reps at an option look. We're just glad Carlos Lowe wasn't running that option for them since if you had seen him run that during the week, you would have had some concerns with some of the talent and speed we had back there. You have to be able to simulate that, especially at game speed, and that takes great athletes. You can go right back through to Brad Maurer who ran that offense for us, to Michael DiPaola who executed that offense, to Carlos Lowe, and we had some great speed kids on the wings who were able to simulate that. We were well prepared and had a great defensive game plan put in by our defensive staff.
on the intensity on the sideline last week:
Some of that credit I'm going to give to Blake Costanzo, in fact I'm considering putting the head set back on and letting him take care of firing everybody up, he had them out of their minds on the sideline. Just having him there means so much to the kids, and they think so much of how he plays and what he's accomplished. He's a volunteer intern right now and he really had those kids fired up right from the opening kickoff, that hit that Chris Bacon put on the wedge, he knocked a couple of those kids right out of the game. That's where it all started and that enthusiasm just kept building. I've never seen our sideline that enthusiastic. I didn't have to turn around once, they were in the game. Maybe it was night football, and it will be exciting to have the opportunity to do that at home. We were very, very physical and certainly pleased with the effort.
on the mentality of the offensive line:
We have a little attitude, we're a big, strong group and I think we're as good as we've been on the offensive line. I think we're in great shape, it goes back to preseason camp where they impressed me with everybody making the 16 110's, and we've never had that happen. They know we have a big horse back there and they have to get a piece of somebody, and we're going to pound some yards out. We're going to throw, and the first game was not indicative of what we're capable of doing in the pass game, and we're very strong in that area, too.
on this year's schedule against the Ivy League:
The Ivy League is an outstanding conference and as good as any conference at our level. The fact that they don't participate in the I-AA Playoffs, they don't get the kind of recognition that they deserve. Year in and year out, there are several Ivy teams that should be in the top 20. There are teams in the past, Penn particularly, that would do very well with some of those teams in the playoffs. They have some outstanding football teams, and we're playing four of the best, which I think is great for our schedule. I believe firmly that what we do in the Patriot League, and what they do in the Ivy League, is what college football should be all about.
on the importance of Fisher Field at Fisher Stadium to the program:
You feel some pressure to win the first game at the new stadium but we don't want to lose sight of what's at hand here, for everyone, particularly our fans. Our kids have been watching that out the atrium since they came back for camp, and in meetings they're sitting there looking out the window, just like I've been watching it since March or April out my window. As it's evolving, it just gets better every day, it's just incredible how nice it is. For them, it's a pride thing, and everybody feels good knowing that we don't have to answer questions any more, and I was just talking with the President 20 minutes ago about this very thing, we don't have to go into any living room and make any excuses or answer any questions if there's a commitment to football, just go there and look, `that's a commitment to football', and that's something we needed to do.