Thoughts on the Western game

It was a well played game but we lost.  Certainly our players and coaches deserve praise for planning and playing a great game.  Some people thought I was too positive in my assessment of the game in Windsor last week.  But the positives I saw in the Windsor game are part of what they built on to come up with this solid effort today.

The Negatives

  • We lost the turnover battle to Western – 3-1.  A fumble on our 35 yard line led to a Western TD.
  • Perhaps the most costly mistake – a blown coverage that led to the game winning TD.
  • Western was able to draw our DL offside four times.
  • Not much production from the rushing game – 75 yards.  But there were some big first down pickups.  Enough that the UWO defence could not ingore the run.

The Positives

  • The offence scored three TDs for the second straight game.  Jazz Lindsey was excellent, passing for 330 yards.  He spread it around with seven different receivers each catching two or more passes.
  • The O-Line had a solid game.  Matt Richardson, a four year starter at Guard, played RT for the first time in his OUA career and did it well.
  • The offence picked up 23 first downs, the non-Waterloo season high.  That helped to keep our defence fresh.  Western’s big O-Line and running game did not take over and dominate late in the game as they had against other teams.
  • The front 7 on D were outstanding.  Western RB Tyler Varga was held to gains of 2 yds or less 10 times.  They got pressure on the QB including 3 sacks for -17 yards (Millar 2, Thompson).
  • On specials, our coverage and return teams were significantly superior to Western’s.  We nearly doubled their average punt return and KO return averages.
  • Daniel Ferraro had his best game of the year.  While his punts were not huge (avg 33 yds) they were consistent and had improved hangtime.  He was perfect on FGs (37 & 42 yds) and PATs.

Check out the CIS website for complete game stats.

Game stories can be found in both the Guelph Mercury and the London Free Press.

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I mentioned the shift of Matt Richardson from RG to RT.  That move was made to get freshman Matt Nesbitt his first start on the O-Line at RG.  Nesbitt played at DT vs Waterloo and saw a little bit of action at OT late in Windsor game.

Perhaps the more notable personnel changes were on defence.  The linebacking corps was reworked with the goal of getting a bigger lineup on the field to defend against the run.  Jake Reinhart was shifted from the middle to the Sam LB position and once again he led the team in tackles – 5 solo, 8 assists.  Freshman John Rush was inserted at the Mac LB and responded with 2 tackles, 12 assists.  He also recovered a fumble.  Curtis Rukavina, recovered from a shoulder injury, got his first start of the season at the Will LB spot.  He had 4 assists.

After splitting carries amongst three tailbacks in the first four games Rob Farquarson seems to be coaches’ choice going forward.  He is the only TB to touch the ball in the past two games.  I hadn’t seen much of Farquarson as a pass catcher prior to yesterday when he picked up 35 yards on 3 catches.  A shovel pass was the big gainer.

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Video highlights from

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16 Responses to Thoughts on the Western game

  1. Gryph Fan says:

    What do you think of the running game? How can it improve? What happened to Legace( one of your players needed to step up) and is there anyone else on the roster to bundle with farquarson if legace isn’t that guy?

  2. Bob from Burlington says:

    Good efforts Gryphons against Western. True to my prediction on cis blog before the game, Guelph had a chance at an upset win that they almost pulled off. You can finish the season with at least a win against York(40 plus points by Gryphons if they continue as in last 2 weeks) and then on to play Laurier. The following week in the last game of the season, you will either get a Laurier team that has already clinched their playoff spot(and resting players) with a win against McMaster or a desperate Laurier team coming off a losing game against Marauaders. Either way, you have a chance to win the last 2 games of the year.

  3. Stangsfan says:

    Here you guys go again making all these excuses for a team that was simply outcoached. Western capitalized on mistakes by the Gryphons. Better luck next year Guelph! Maybe there will be some coaching changes. It is obvious that Guelph is lacking in the whole “team” idea. Some peoples comments make me think that the team is centred around one or 2 players. That isnt how it works!

    • Outcoached?! Your 5-0 team nearly lost on your own field to a 1-4 team.

      I think Western has more coaching issues than Guelph. You’ve already had two DCs quit this year.

      • stangsfan says:

        Sorry Peter…check the final score….seems to me that Guelph lost. And yeah maybe a new DC, but at least they have an idea how to beat teams defensively

  4. JohnQ says:

    Is Guelph out of the playoffs? If they beat both Laurier and York, and Laurier loses to McMaster and Guelph, does that not put Guelph in the playoffs? Regardless, I think the team gave me a lot of optimism for the next season. The game against Western kept us interested for the first time this season. The team played really well on the whole, yes, they made a big mistake with the botched coverage which lost the game for us. Jumping offside 4 times on the D line is unacceptable. Watch the ball! However, the D played great and the offence is showing great promise. Next season is not going to be a run of the mill season for Guelph. I think 5 or 6 wins is not out of the question! There is a lot of collective talent which showed itself this weekend.

  5. Bob from Burlington says:

    Peter and Stangsfan. Guelph perhaps deservedly underrated this year(new QB in only last 2 games) with some poor initial games and yes I agree also, Western a tad overrated. Western under Greg Marshall does not typically show a lot of their best schemes until the last game or two. Mustangs will show a very different defense in playoffs. I am convinced Marshall is concerned about opposing teams studying regular season films prior to playoff matches. Mustangs played well against Gryphons against the run, but were a bit porous against the pass- this could be due to defensive alignments or alternatively due to the athleticism of receivers. Laurier receivers were excellent on the catch 2 weeks ago and did well after reception – I believe similar for Gryphons. As a Western alumni(but OUA fan) I am not at all convinced at this time the Mustangs are playing and winning Yates this year- their final regular season game at Richardson in Kingston will help me decide.

    Guelph will be better for next year, and it is my hope that the Guelph/Laurier game is a meaningful one. My gut feeling is that Golden Hawks will have their playoff berth clinched by the time you meet with them in your last game. One can only remember that fabulous game at University Stadium ion Waterloo a few years ago where Guelph spotted Laurier a 21-0 lead and then returned a wide FG attempt for TD and eventually Gryphons won that game. If perchance the Laurier/Guelph tilt at the end of the season decides a playoff berth it will be an outstanding atmosphere.

    Gryphons have a lot to look forward to both this year and next. Who can forget the atmosphere you have at home when team playing well- 2007 Yates Cup was one of the best times I have had at an OUA stadium.

  6. Halton Eyes says:

    If Laurier beat McMaster they will have clinched a playoff spot but will have a legitimate chance for a home playoff by beating Guelph.

    Guelph won’t have an easy game either way but hopefully they’ll be in a position for a playoff spot with a Mac win over Laurier.

  7. marcus says:

    Wow! Another loss. But yes the score was close. But see heres the thing. Mistakes, mistakes mistakes. I mean really Peter, junior football players in high school dont go offside as much as Guelph did on defence. Hot tip boys…watch the ball! Jazz Lindsey played well…so what will happen to Rosetti? Also sorry but the defence seriously lacks some key players. The secondary got caught sleeping too often and it cost them, and the front guys….well keep lookin coaches! Once again lots of dancing around but limited pressure. You would think with the way things are going and have gone the coaches would pull off the blinders and take some chances. But I guess that is too big a risk for these guys.

  8. Grant MacDonald says:

    Marcus, I’ve come to the conclusion that you have no idea what your talking about. Specifically on the Defensive Line front. I know defensive line play and I know how you have to play western. When you play Western the #1 priority is STOPPING THE RUN!!!!!!!! guelph let up just under 200 yards, 50 of those by the QB. Not great, however not terrible considering the opponent. Which may I add is the #1 team in the country.
    Secondly, Westerns QB was sacked 3 times, one of which was a forced fumble and key turnover. If you know of someone on the Guelph team who can bring more pressure against that Oline PLEASE….PLEASE tell us who this magical person is…All I hear from you is how who they have is terrible and that they have better…I’ve played DL for a long time on that team and know most (no rooks) players strengths and weaknesses. So if you want a true honest opinion on someones DL talent and capability then ask me. But you may not like what you hear.

    • marcus says:

      First of all Grant…this was York. Secondly, the defensive secondary was very sloppy against Western. My point is had the defense limited their mistakes ALL AROUND then the Mustangs would have been defeated. You think I am bashing the Gryphons…not true…I just think they could do better, so don’t get your knickers in a knot. 4 defensive offsides are unacceptable, especially at this level, right?

  9. Grant MacDonald says:

    Yes, this was York…However, i truly don’t feel the need to comment on York, or Waterloo as they may as well be byes. Also, I have been away from my computer so I never read the posts previously.
    Absolutely, 4 defensive offsides are unacceptable. And they did cost the gryphon defence some extra time on the field. Your comment is 100% right.

    My problems lie with the
    “and the front guys….well keep lookin coaches! Once again lots of dancing around but limited pressure. You would think with the way things are going and have gone the coaches would pull off the blinders and take some chances. But I guess that is too big a risk for these guys. ”

    Anyway, hopefully whoever you wanted to play got to against York, because this Laurier game looks to be the last of the year. (and i still haven’t gotten a name???)
    Even if the Gryphs Win, they still need a UofT loss to Waterloo to make the playoffs, which is doubtful.

    • marcus says:

      Sorry Grant, but really I have no names. The point I have been making all season is that there were opportunities throughout the season where players not normally dressing could have been put in. The reason I say this is for development. The difference between good coaching and great coaching is the great coach will prepare his troops for the future while the good coach just focuses on the present. The move changing QB’s when Guelph did was brilliant. They have allowed Jazz Lindsay to build his confidence and make a difference on the field, meanwhile Chris R. can focus on improving his game for next year. This is just one example of a smart move by the coaches. With 100 kids on the roster my argument is that whether it is defense, offense or special teams, there were opportunities for players to get their feet wet. If all these players were selected by Guelph to be on this team, then dont you agree they bring something to the table? I think it was necessary for the coaches to take some chances, especially at this point of the season. They did this against York. Now they have played some “newbies”, freshmen or whatever you call them, but there must be more. Earlier on I offered a suggestion that a potential move to help a struggling offence was to move 2 key defensive linemen to the O line. Now the offence is doing a better job. Is it because of Jazz? I don’t know, but all along I have only thrown out suggestions for what I thought would make a difference and improve the Guelph game. So , No I dont have any specific names for you. Do you not think there are some members who havent seen action this year that might want a chance to make an impact in the next game? Building a players confidence and self esteem is a powerful weapon to have on a team. Use the last game as an opportunity. But if you still think I havent got a clue, well thats your opinion and we can agree to disagree.

  10. JohnQ says:

    Grant. Guelph is on an upswing in all areas. If they had played this way from the first game we would be in a completely different situation with a few more wins under our belts. I definitely think they will beat Laurier this Saturday if everyone is healthy. As far as UoT, they can be decent or not so good. They haven’t put up many points in last few games. I don’t think Waterloo is dead in the water on this one. I’m crossing my fingers!

  11. Halton Eyes says:

    Without a run game and trying to throw against Toronto the likelihood is not good for Guelph.

    A win against Laurier would be great for the Gryphons.

    • I think the loss of their 5th yr QB Evan Martin is what really hurts Waterloo. Martin and his 5th yr receivers gave the Warriors a pretty decent offense. They passed for big numbers against Western and were up 17-0 against York before he was lost for the season. But I’ll still have my fingers crossed, hoping that UW can pull it out.

      I agree a win against Laurier on Saturday would be a very big win for Guelph, even if we don’t secure a playoff berth. I am very optimistic after seeing OC Todd Galloway outline his plans for the game at today’s QB Club luncheon. Sorry! Can’t reveal any details at this time.

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