- The highlight of my weekend thus far – Clemson’s 38-35 win over Georgia last night. It was the biggest game of the NCAA’s opening weekend matching the #8 CU Tigers against #5 UGA Bulldogs. This is a great regional rivalry even though the two teams play in different conferences [ACC & SEC] and don’t face each other every year. Clemson’s Death Valley is a fantastic place to watch football. [Check out this video.] I’ve been a dues paying member of Clemson’s famous fundraising organization IPTAY since 1988. I probably would never have started this blog if not for having followed the Tigers for decades via newsletters, newspapers, websites and blogs. Clemson and Guelph have an uncanny number of similarities that I have pointed out numerous other times, from having roots as agricultural colleges, to hiring head coaches who were both receivers coaches without HC experience, to winning National Championships in the early 1980s.
- I probably should have mentioned it in one of my posts following the Laurier game but I forgot. Attendance for the season opener was 2,155. Not a bad number considering the early start to the season, unusual Sunday date and, of course, the fact that no students were on campus yet. Guelph also hosted a late August game back in 2010 because of the Waterloo steroid fiasco. Attendance that day was only 800-something.
- Another great feature that debuted at the season opening game was Section 101. It is a raised wooden deck with railing and tables situated just south of the permanent stands. It is licensed to serve beer during the game. There is a $5 admission charge and a limit of 150 people. I’d have more to say but I didn’t have the opportunity to check it out personally. We have the Tiger-Cats to thank for that additional facility. Good of the UofG administration to finally allow beer sales at games.
- Tickets for the Sept 21 Homecoming Game vs McMaster went on sale this past week. Even with the seating capacity exceeding 13,000 this season I fully expect tickets to sell out. Go to Gryphons Box Office to find the links to buy Adult admission tickets. You will have to stand in line at the Mitchell Athletic Ctr if you want to buy Student tickets. And the sale to students won’t begin until Sept 11.
A couple more articles in the Guelph Mercury. First, Gryphs to stay defensive against Lancers focuses on Iain Hutchison and the defense. Then, Gryphon kick returner aims for all-star repeat looks at A’dre Fraser. From the former article … Going up against Windsor after Kennedy threw for six touchdowns the previous week is nothing new for the Gryphs. They experienced the same thing last year in their second game of the season, and they won that one 28-9 at Windsor in what might have been Guelph’s best outing of the season. And … “Austin [Kennedy] was hurt last year, and I don’t think, defensively, we played as good as we could have last year,” Hutchison said. “This year is a new mindset and we’re putting in a lot of new stuff. This game is the most important game of the year.”
- Hutchison’s statement above about this being the most important game of the year sounds like an a classic overstatement but reading the full article puts it in context. Yet there is a sense in which it is literally true. Since the Lancers are a legitimate contender for the playoffs, a loss to them could be even more costly than an upset at the hands of a lesser program because it would do more to denigrate our place in the OUA standings. This is a must win game if Guelph wants to be sure of hosting a playoff game and, even more, of securing a first round bye.
- I want to get back to the recruit profiles ASAP. I started late this year, then got sidetracked with so much other news once training camp started. I believe I still have 5 profiles to write on high school recruits – OL Tyler Iveson, DB Mannie Quainoo, DB Justis Croasdale, DB Bryce Hines and LB Alan Florez. Then, there will be profiles on the six CIS transfers – DE Ben Osmow, DT Daniel Horta, Sam LB Duerell Jackson, DL Ian Marouf, Rec Lucas Spagnuolo and QB Mackenzie Blewett. My interest in covering Gryphon recruiting and providing profiles of all the recruits stems bask to my long time following Clemson and NCAA football. Recruiting is the lifeblood of a football program. I did share some thoughts on several of the transfer players here and here.
- QUOTE OF THE DAY: You can’t win the Kentucky Derby with a mule – Coach “Bear” Bryant. [That sounds like a reflection of the importance of recruiting if you ask me.]
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