Penn football will travel to Princeton for a pivotal Ivy matchup Saturday. In advance of the game, we sat down with Tiger junior quarterback John Lovett, the reigning Ivy Offensive Player of the Week after accounting for seven total touchdowns Saturday at Cornell.
Daily Pennsylvanian: You weren’t able to go last year versus Penn, but what were the emotions like coming out of the loss? What are the adjustments you must make as a team to be more successful this year?
John Lovett: Watching from the sidelines was definitely hard to do last year. I wish I could have been out there playing with my teammates. We are focused on having a great week of practice this week to make sure we have a better taste in our mouths after the final whistle this Saturday.
DP: What clicked for you Saturday? How do you feel about how your offense is rolling right now?
JL: We finally played a complete game of football in all three facets — offense, defense and special teams. It was a great feeling to do that. The success of our offense starts up front. The offensive line has done a fantastic job opening up holes in the run game and protecting the pocket in the pass game.
DP: Take me through how you and Chad Kanoff have been splitting snaps so far this year; how is your offensive scheme geared to maximize each of your talents?
JL: Coach Perry preaches that the best 11 guys are going to play. Whether that mean two or three quarterbacks are on the field, or 5 receivers, the best 11 will play. He does a great job putting us all in a position to succeed.
DP: Penn hasn’t given up a touchdown in each of their last three first halves; how do you plan to expose their vulnerabilities early? What do you see as those weaknesses being?
JL: We are going to focus on what we can control, which is executing our offense to the best of our ability. We look to play every snap fast and physical.
DP: You and Justin Watson seem to be two early favorites for Ivy Offensive Player of the Year; do you feel any sort of personal rivalry with him?
JL: Justin is a great wide receiver. He must be fun to throw to. As far as a personal rivalry, there is none. The main focus is to win the football game.
DP: Would you consider Saturday to be a ‘must win’ game? After the Harvard loss, do you still consider your team a contender for the Ivy’s top spot?
JL: The way the Ivy League is set up, every single conference game is a must win game. We are excited and look forward to facing Penn this weekend. Every game is a ‘must win.’