Lafayette vs. Columbia Football Media Luncheon
Oct. 7, 2008
Head Coach Frank Tavani On Harvard game: "It's important that we looked at the film as a team to understand. Certainly credit Harvard, an outstanding team that probably played its best game of the season and we unfortunately probably played our worst as far as execution and that's what I think is glaring on film. I like to credit them with everything but really it was the things we did to ourselves that are the most frustrating as a staff and I think to the players, as well. We know that whatever the reason was, I don't know, maybe they thought the same was at 6 p.m. instead of 1 p.m., we just weren't ready to play. Those are things that come back to the head coach as my responsibility. Certainly with no classes during fall break, we've had some extra time to zero in and get some good meeting time as we prepare for an outstanding Columbia team this week."
On Colgate-Georgetown game not being made up: "I've got so many other things going on. It is interesting. I just had a conversation with Tom Gilmore from Holy Cross prior to coming up here. The only thing that comes to mind for me is I remember being in that situation; the unfortunate time when the Fordham player dropped over pregame. We didn't play that game. What I remember from that game is there was a lot of discussion and what it came down to was if we won our last game against Lehigh we were going to have to play on Wednesday after the season. I think Coach Gilmore has looked at it a little closer than I have on the schedule. You might have had to change some things around and it's kind of unthinkable that you're just going to hand them a win. It's easy to say yes, they probably would beat Georgetown but when you look at what happened last year with Bucknell beating Fordham in the last game of the year which shouldn't have happened and also the year that Colgate went to the national playoffs they had to beat Georgetown in the last four seconds of the game. It is what it is. I'm not in the position to make those decisions. I don't know that I agree with it but it's nice that someone wants to hand somebody a win and the way I see it, Colgate doesn't need much more help than they have already. Again, there's one answer to that--we control that by taking care of business ourselves and that's all I can really control and what we'll focus on."
On his discussion with Holy Cross coach Tom Gilmore about the situation: "He had the rule book out. He knew everybody's schedule. He knew that Colgate has an open date on the 15th, Georgetown has one on the 22nd. My initial reaction is both teams are playing an Ivy team this weekend and I know it's tough to tell both of those teams who are already scheduled to play down the road but your first concern I would think would be for the conference and that could end up being at the end of the season a much more controversial situation than it is. But it's like anything else in life. Things happen out of people's control, it's nobody's fault. You don't want to put people at health risks with the situation. I have too many other problems to worry about right now so I'm not going to get too excited about that. My reaction now is it's up to us to take care of our own destiny and we can take care of it by beating the rest of teams including Colgate in our conference and we'll have that opportunity."
On Columbia: "I'm sure this will sound like more coach-talk, but I see a much improved football team from a year ago, much more disciplined, particularly defensively. They're not making a lot of mistakes. They kind of maybe simplified their package a little bit but they're playing awfully hard. Offensively they give you a lot of problems and then you throw in triple option on top of it, there's an awful lot to defend there. I've seen all three of their games on tape and they really could be 3-0 right now very easily. This is a very much improved Columbia team and I'm sure they'll be putting up on their bulletin board like we put up in ours last week about the six-straight wins but that doesn't meant anything just like it didn't last week. The game is about this Saturday and how we come out and perform and how they come out and perform. I'm sure they'll be well-prepared and they're going to be a very hungry team looking forward to taking their shot at us and we have not played particularly well at that stadium."
On Columbia's red zone scoring and defense: "They've played some outstanding teams. Obviously Fordham, Princeton. You look at those things and they're playing very good football teams who have good records at this point. I know I'd like to have their red zone success because that's something we need to improve on."
Sophomore punter Tom Kondash On major, classes: "I'm a Mechanical Engineering major. Right now I'm taking four classes because I took two this summer. I'm taking Differential Equations, Statics, Thermodynamics and Engineering Professionalism and Ethics."
On his progression through the first four games of the season: "The first game with the weather obviously wasn't my best game. It was a good way to start the season, though. I'm glad that happened, I'm glad we had that terrible weather to start because I knew that everything from that point was going to be better as far as the weather and situations and everything. I just try to work on my times all week, trying to get faster, trying to get the snap better. Just trying to continue to work and get these guys good field position on defense because that's obviously key in any game."
On his punt that pinned Harvard at own one-yard line: "The snap was a little high to the right from Leo (Plenski). I managed to jump up and grab it and just got it off as quick as I could and fortunately I got a good roll as I've been fortunate so far this year at home."
Senior defensive end Jason Mills On major, classes: "I'm an Electrical and Computer Engineer. Right now I'm taking a senior design course, an Electromagnetics course, a Semiconductors course and a Controls and Design course."
On strong second half vs. Harvard: "I think in the first half I think we came out maybe a little over-zealous and we just lost a little bit of focus and they started running the ball and passing the ball so we just got a little laid back. During halftime we made the corrections and we stepped up and we felt like we could shut them down during the second and that will give us good momentum going into Columbia and the rest of the season."
"On being over-excited: "It was Harvard, we'd had a bad streak against them. We maybe got a little too pumped up and when things didn't start going our way we kind of put our heads down but we tried to pick it up and come together as a team during halftime and came out and had a good performance in the second half."
Junior tailback Maurice White On major, classes: "I'm an Economics and Business major. I'm taking Contemporary African Economics, Economics of Sport, Music of West Africa and Foundations of Education."
On offense improving on second-half scoring: "We haven't met as of yet but I'm pretty sure we will by the end of this week. That's been our main focus--to put a whole game together and be strong throughout the whole game. I know we haven't done that yet but we're looking forward to putting it all together and having a great showing at Columbia."
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