Oct. 12, 2004
EASTON, Pa. (www.lafayette.edu) -
Head coach Frank Tavani
on last week's 35-14 win at Columbia:
Certainly I was pleased with how our team bounced back after a tough homecoming loss. We missed some opportunities and would have liked a different outcome, but it's always about how you get off the mat and play the next week, win or lose. Then to go out there against Columbia who had just taken Princeton to an overtime game, it was a solid win for us, on both sides of the ball and special teams played pretty well and we were able to get our running attack going. Joey was punishing their defense and the big play, obviously, coming out in the second half when they come down the field and score, and we respond right back. Brad makes a big play on 3rd and 7, and again they come back, and then we score again. Overall I was pleased with our whole operation and how we responded.
on this week's Patriot League contest at Bucknell:
Now heading into the league stretch, to make a run, you're going into every game that's very difficult. We're facing an opponent in Bucknell that's as good as any we've seen all year. They have an outstanding defense and an offense that creates preparation problems with a great quarterback, and an offense that could break a big play on you at anytime as the teams that they've played so far have found out. We know going up there to their place, it's a big day for both teams and every week will be a big week from here on since there are league ramifications. I think this year particularly, you've got to watch week to week because anybody on the schedule from here on out is able to beat anybody else. We're on fall break, and the good fortune with that is that we're able to spend more time in preparation, in a week that the preparation is more difficult preparing for that triple option look that they have so we have that extra day. It's almost like preseason camp, and it's nice since we don't have any NCAA restrictions on hours since we're not in session, so that will be a help to us. We're looking forward to making this league run.
on this week's injury report:
Jonathan Hurt is possible, they did an MRI yesterday to follow up and he ran around yesterday, so I'll know more in the next couple of days, but he's certainly possible and we'd like to get him in there. Trey Martell is possible, Taj Murphy is out with his ankle injury, and Joe Ort is back and that's a help to us at the wide receiver spot. Just so it's out there officially, Archie Fisher spent a lot of time with his mother and he has decided to apply for a medical redshirt which obviously helps us down the road. Instead of one season with Archie, it gives us an opportunity to have two. It's a matter of him getting healthy enough to perform at the level that he'd like to, and it's a decision that was strictly left up to he and his mother to make. He'll have the opportunity to apply for it and go through the process.
on the offensive backfield situation:
When you come back when you're hurt, you've got to work your way back into the lineup, nobody gets inserted right back in there and obviously Joe McCourt has stepped it up and with both fullbacks in there it makes us a better attack from a two-back standpoint. We're actually using two backs more than we would have anticipated at the start of the season. Joe is coming into his own and in better shape, and he's worked through those things. I think he has been able to exercise some of his frustration on the opponents. It's a great situation to be in, when Joey needs a breath we can run Jon in there, and if Jon isn't ready to go we have Alfred Belton and Chris Williams, who is coming off the injury.
on backups who have stepped up:
That's been the nice thing about this football team, as you go into any season, a lot of the time it's not the starters who are making plays down the stretch, it's guys who have waited their turn and stayed healthy and played hard. So many of our players are getting the opportunities and often it's the backups who make or break your season. At one point John Loose said, "We're out of safeties," and I said, "Well put somebody else out there and lets go," you can't cry over spilled milk, and our kids are responding.
junior cornerback Larry Johnson:
on the young players contributing in the secondary: They're pretty much up to speed. Coach Loose does a good job of preparing us for what has to be done. A lot of our young guys are stepping up and coming in and making plays.
on looking for his first defensive touchdown: I've had some opportunities to make plays and I'm disappointed since I worked hard enough to put myself in position to make those plays, but it just gives me a reason to work harder and get it done the next time.
on the play of the kick return unit: We want to give the offense good field position to get a drive started, so it's definitely something that we work hard on. Fortunately we've been able to make some good blocks and I'm able to read off them and get into a seam up the field.
sophomore quarterback Brad Maurer on his 63-yard touchdown run:
It was a combination of the two (speed and fear). It was nice since usually plays like that don't break for a long gain. It's a five yard gain and then line up and do it again. Everything worked out perfectly and the timing was just right so I could squeeze in there. It was turf-aided, I told everybody after the game, on grass I don't have that kind of speed so it's another ball game out there on turf.
Coach Tavani on gameplanning for Bucknell's offense:
I could tell you, in last year's preparation I think he (Brad) ran it better than they were running it. Brad will tell you it was the most fun he had all last year. We won't use him at all this year, he'll be preparing our offense. Michael DiPaolo will run it and do a nice job, he's aggressive and a very good athlete in his own right so he'll be over there running it.
Larry Johnson: Their offense is a lot of misdirection so the key is just preparing. We've been watching a lot of film and getting an idea of what they're going to do before they do it, and put ourselves in a position to make the plays when they come. As long as we prepare ourselves we'll be fine. There are keys that we're looking for and setting ourselves up in the right defense. Playing against Brad in practice definitely prepares us since their quarterback is very athletic. It lets us know what to expect and gives us a chance to defend an athletic quarterback before we face him in the game.