Yates week thoughts & links

It is my contention that to understand the season the Guelph Gryphons have had you have to ignore the season opening 50-9 loss to McMaster. Just throw it out. In statistics you would call it an outlier and ignore it because it doesn’t help when you are trying to understand your subject. The fact that so many people take that game result seriously is why so many people just couldn’t understand  how the Gryphons could go 7-1 in the OUA. Or how they could knock off higher ranked teams – Windsor, Western & Queen’s (twice).

The preseason victory back in August over the Saskatchewan Huskies actually is a better measure of the Gryphons than the McMaster loss. That win, taken together with 7 regular season victories and last week’s playoff win, gives you a more accurate picture of a pretty good team. If people had ignored the Mac game and looked at the wins over Saskatchewan, Windsor, Waterloo, UofT and WLU they wouldn’t have been nearly so surprised by the victories over Western Ontario and Queen’s. The September 3 blowout loss was a terrible game but not indicative of the 2012 Guelph Gryphons.

If you drop the stats from the Mac game you also get a better statistical picture of the team. And by better I don’t mean more flattering, even though it obviously is. By better I mean more accurate. For example, 5 of the 6 interceptions thrown by Gryphon QBs were against Mac as were 3 of the 8 sacks given up in 2012. The Marauders won’t be facing the same team in the Yates Cup that they faced back on Labour Day.

I said after the loss that the Gryphons just needed to forget it and put it behind them. That was the theme in a story in the Mercury the other day – Mac will see a different Gryphon team.

The Guelph Gryphons are trying to leave their OUA football opener behind.

The Gryphs began their regular season on Labour Day with a 50-9 loss to the McMaster Marauders at Ron Joyce Stadium.

“That wasn’t us,” Guelph running back Rob Farquharson said. “That was a long time ago. That was the first week of the season and we’ve gotten a lot better. We’ve grown miles and miles from what we were then … We just have to focus on what we can do.”

The Gryphs get a chance to atone for that setback on the same field Saturday when they tangle with the Marauders in the OUA Yates Cup final.

There weren’t many positives to come out of the opener. McMaster had 510 yards of total offence, almost 300 yards more than the Gryphs. Quarterbacks Jazz Lindsey and Luke Nangle struggled as they combined to complete 11 of 32 pass attempts and five interceptions and they were sacked three times.

Guelph’s running game that day was led by Lindsey’s scrambling as he gained 30 yards on five carries. Farquharson had 25 yards on five carries, both season lows. He finished the regular season third in the OUA in rushing with 940 yards.

“I’ve just got to read my line and take what they give me,” Farquharson said. “McMaster likes to bring a lot of pressure so I have to be aware in pass protection and protect Jazz and I know he’ll do the same for me in the run game.”

*     *     *

With a big game comes with lots of extra attention. There are plenty of media stories this week.

Former Gryphon QB Justin Dunk has written a column in the Guelph Tribune. Heading into this weekend’s game, Dunk reflected on that 2007 championship game and looked ahead to what Guelph might need to do to beat the nation’s No. 1-ranked team and hoist the Yates Cup trophy. Full story here: Ex-Gryphon pivot talks Yates Cup.

The K-W Record looks at the Gryphons and the game from the perspective of the Laurier connection Jeffries effect boosts Gryphons run to Yates Cup. In the story the writer quotes Guelph coordinators Kevin MacNeill and Todd Galloway, mentions Mac HC Stefan Ptaszek WLU connection but forgets that Mac’s DC Greg Knox is also a Jeffries’ disciple.

Kitchener native, St. Mary’s graduate and Gryphon freshman starting left tackle Cam Wilhelm might not know too much about Jeffries and the true believers he’s inspired. But Wilhelm said there’s no secret to the Gryphons’ watershed year.

“Coach Galloway is the first to arrive, the last to leave every day. It’s no wonder he has bags under his eyes,” said Wilhelm, 19.

In the spirit of Jeffries, MacNeill pointed out that former Gryphons head coach Kyle Walters has to get a lot of the credit for helping to assemble a superb class of seniors on Guelph’s roster.

The Welland Tribune gets into the act of an interview of Gryphon captain and Port Colborne native Mike Millar. One of the Q & A’s:

Bernd Frank: As a fifth-year veteran as well as a team captain do you feel there is added pressure on you to be role model for your teammates – especially, the younger ones coming up – or you relish the responsibility that Coach Lang and his staff have given you? How has this leadership role helped the way you play your game on the field?

Michael Millar: I don’t feel that there is any added pressure, but I do feel as if I have to be a role model for the team. The younger players look up to you, and this is something that I often overlook. It was a role that I wanted to put myself into for this program, and the role model aspect is just something that the job entails. I find that the added responsibility raises my level of play. I play more for my teammates than I do myself, and I don’t want to let them down.

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One Response to Yates week thoughts & links

  1. birddawg says:

    The keys to Guelph’s win will be: as Coach Lang says playoff game are lost so execute your job well and capitalize on Mac’s mistake; you play for the love of the game – remember that always, hit hard and know the football gods are with you. I’ll do my part as the 13th man! Go get ’em Gryphons!!!!

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