My quick thoughts
I do mean quick! My wife just reminded me I said I’d be ready to hit the road at 6 pm. We’re heading to Kingston tonight and then finishing the journey to Ottawa in the morning
In my opinion this is an important game in multiple ways …
- Heading into the playoffs next week Guelph needs the momentum that winning would provide. A win tomorrow would be the fourth in the last five games.
- A win would give the Gryphons a strong chance of hosting a playoff game and I’d much rather be heading to Guelph next week than back to Ottawa or to Waterloo.
- A win would bring the Gryphons to a 5-3 record. That was my worst case scenario before the season started. A 4-4 record would be hard to swallow.
- A win would be good for the programs profile – i.e. help with recruiting, keep the Gryphons in the Top 10, et cetera.
I’m not 100% confident that Guelph will win. The Ravens have more to play for with their playoff hopes depending on them winning. They are a talented team that hasn’t lived up to expectations but they are coming off a 43-0 beating of UofT.
I’d feel better if I knew James Roberts was 100% healthy and starting the game. I’m happy with the way Landers has played but I don’t like the inexperience factor. Things can go wrong with an inexperienced QB at the helm.
I am really hoping that the defense and special teams units play well enough that the pressure to win doesn’t have to rest to heavily on Landers’ shoulders. I said something similar before his first start against Waterloo and it didn’t work out that way. Landers did rise to the challenge. I just don’t want to have to rely on that again.
If the D and specials can play as well as last week then we should be fine.
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Game previews & related links
Heading into the final weekend of the OUA football regular season, the playoff picture is complicated. The mindset for the Gryphons, however, is simple. Beat the Carleton Ravens and head into the OUA playoffs as one of the hottest teams in the conference.
The No. 9-ranked Gryphons (4-3) are off to Ottawa in search of their fifth win in their last six games
The Ravens’ biggest challenge this weekend won’t be stopping the run or moving the ball, but it will be staying mentally tough. Going up against a team they’ve never beaten before in a game that determines their post-season fate, they’re bound to feel the pressure.
However, head coach Steve Sumarah says he’s doing everything he can to combat those feelings.
“The biggest thing for us is that we have to not think about anything other than the next play – forget what quarter it is, what happened on the last play or the play before that. We just need to stay in the moment, be in the moment and execute.”
He says the key to the game will be a consistency and solid play. This needs to be their best game yet.
“We’re treating this like a playoff game – you win, you keep going and if you lose, you’re out,” Sumarah said. “This is a one-and-done game and we have been really geared towards how we’re going to find the answers to win this and play another week.”
OUA Website: 55-Man Rosters
A quick note … James Roberts is listed on the Gryphons 55-man roster but that doesn’t mean he will be among the 47 players who dress tomorrow. I believe we will see Theo Landers make his third consecutive start.
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The series history since 2007
In reality there was no series prior to 2013 when the Carleton football program was revived. Before their demise in the late 1990s the Ravens were playing in the OQIFC and not the OUA/OUAA. You would likely have to go back to the 1960s to find a previous Guelph-Carleton matchup. Both teams played in the OIFC [Ontario Intercollegiate Football Conference] and then the CCIFC [Central Canada Intercollegiate Football Conference] at the time.
2016 – Did not play
2015 – 31 – 23 Guelph [OUA Semi-Final]
2015 – 44-12 Guelph
2014 – 44-22 Guelph
2013 – 48-12 Guelph
OUA.tv – Click here