This loss at McMaster strikes me as similar to a several other games in recent years. A 54-11 blow-out in Ottawa in 2010 and the 21-12 upset at the hands of UofT last year come to mind. Both were road games as was the McMaster game. The loss to the GeeGees has a lot of similarities when you think about. The scores of the two games are about as close as you can get, 54-11 and 50-9. The main culprit in both cases was an athletic, veteran QB whose scrambling the Gryphons could not contain. Brad Sinopoli and Kyle Quinlan are very similiar players.
The UofT loss was a completely different sort of game. Embarassing but also incredibly frustrating. I expected at some point Guelph was going make a breakthrough and run away with the game as they had in 2009. The Justin Dunk-led Gryphons played a very poor, even embarassing, first half, only to blow it open in the 2nd for a 53-25 win. The Gryphons need to get to the point where they can play poorly and still win. The loss to the Varsity Blues essentially ruined our season and playoff hopes. As bad as the McMaster game was it shouldn’t do either of those things.
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This week I am not going to run through some of the things I normally do after a game – positives, negatives, players of the game, etc. But I think it is worth examing who dressed, started and played, and who didn’t. As Coach Lang told the Mercury, 27 of the 47 players Guelph dressed were in their first or second of eligibility.
The starting line-up included one true freshman, at the toughest spot on the field for a freshman to play, left tackle. That would be Kyle Fraser, a 6’4″ 270-lber from Lakeshore Catholic. Another former Lakeshore Gator also got his first CIS start – tailback Cory Davidson. Davidson had seen previous game action in 2009 and 2011.
The balance of the offensive line was the same group that played together in the final three games last season. Matt Richardson at RT, Matt Nesbitt at RG, Cody O’Neil at C and Lucas Meschino at LG. The other two OLs who dressed were Jamie Lalonde and Cam Wilhelm. They both got lots of reps in the second half – Lalonde at guard and Wilhelm at tackle.
The new starters in the defensive backfield were Zack Androschuk, Mac Myers and Iain Hutchison. As expected John Rush started at the Mac LB position and Jake Reinhart at Will LB. IIRC Jeff Finley started at DT and Kalven Seilis moved out to end though the D worked out of a 3-4 formation most of the night. Defensive end and 2011 Rookie-of-the-Year Jordan Thompson did not play. Other new faces who saw action on D were DLs Zach Mallough and Blake McNeely, linebackers Fraser Speakman, Pat McGrath and Curtis Newton, defensive backs Graham Smyth and Colin Mandich.
A familiar face on special teams in 2011 Alex Charrete got his first start a receiver and made his first OUA catch. Freshman receiver A’Dre Fraser played as did red-shirt freshman James Ingram but veteran David Harrison was in street clothes for the game. Marc Rutledge saw the first regular season action of his career. There were two players I saw out on the field whose numbers weren’t listed in the program – 24 & 82. I’d would only be guessing if I threw out any names.
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Other stuff – Good news! Football ticket sales have resumed. I bought a pair of Gryphon season tickets today online at Gryphon Box Office.
Look for a preview of the Windsor game to be posted tomorrow. I wasn’t sure if I would do it but I now plan on making the trip to Windsor. I’m hoping that the Gryphons have the type of bounce back game that makes it a worthwhile trip.