Montreal preview & live blog

Carabins logoWho:  Université de Montreal Carabins
What:  Inter-conference preseason game
When:  Sunday, August 24 @ 4pm
Where:  CEPSUM Stadium, Montreal
Why:

  • high level of competition – Carabins are a perennial Top 10 team; they are the last team to defeat Laval; they have more victories over Laval than any other team
  • opportunity to travel to the same city that will host the 2014 Vanier Cup
  • face a team the University of Guelph has never played before (unless in the old OIFC)
  • the Carabins traditionally play a style of football not frequently seen in the OUA – a ground-n-pound, ball-control run game with a very tough defense.

*     *     *

About the Carabins

UdeM Coach Danny Maciocia Photo: carabins.umontreal.ca

UdeM Coach Danny Maciocia
Photo: carabins.umontreal.ca

– the UdeMontreal is centrally located on the north side of Mount Royal
– team colours – royal blue, white & black
– fielded a football team from 1966 to 1971
– football was re-incarnated in 2002
– team has made the playoffs 11 straight seasons
– 70.3% winning percentage the past 11 seasons
– current head coach is former Edmonton Eskimos coach and GM Danny Maciocia
– Maciocia is entering his 4th year [3-yr record 19-7-0]
– 5 Carabins players were selected in the 2014 CFL draft
– one Carabin player is currently in an NFL training camp

*     *     *

My hopes and expectations  …

  •  It’s an exhibition game. It won’t be perfect. The score isn’t all that important. Depending on the way the team plays I could be as happy with a 7-point loss as a 7-point win. The score at the end of the 1st or 2nd Q may be more significant than the final score.
  • I hope that the Gryphons can be competitive with the Carabins along the line of scrimmage. Both teams have to replace some top notch linemen but Guelph will not be dressing a single one of our D-Line starters from last year. I’ve spoken highly of our DL depth and it will get a real test on Sunday. I like our O-Line talent but we need to find two new starters. We went to Saskatoon in August 2012 relying on some very young OLs. It worked out well. I would love to see the same level of competence against the Carabins on Sunday.
  • To put things in perspective, the Windsor Lancers went to Montreal for a similar game in 2012. The Carabins totally dominated the Lancers along the line of scrimmage. IIRC Windsor managed a paltry 40 or 50 yards of offense, while Montreal ground out 400+ yards. The Carabins played no preseason games prior to the arrival of Coach Maciocia.
  • The Gryphons will dress 73 players, including at least 16 high school recruits. They should all see action. Montreal will use almost 80players. I hope to see some excellent individual performances. Breakout performances from some freshmen would be nice. Something akin to the games that Jazz Lindsey, Alex Charette and Mike Ullerick had against Concordia in 2011.
  • The Carabins will have a slight advantage in preparation – 10 days of training camp versus 6 for the Gryphons.
  • Speaking of freshmen, and I include redshirt freshmen, it may be the only game some of them dress for this season. I think this is a great experience for them – a quality road trip with air travel,  hotel, face a top CIS team and have game film from it. I can’t help but think that the thought of doing that every preseason has some appeal to recruits.
  • Speaking of film, Gryphon coaches and players will have some excellent footage to review. I think it yields more benefits than scrimmaging with a York or Laurier. Not that those spring scrimmages weren’t worthwhile but this game better prepares us to take on Mac on Labour Day.
  • I hope to see a tough, hard-hitting game from both teams. There’s always a risk of injury. Players also get hurt in practices and scrimmaging with their own team. The CIS needs more inter-conference games and one of the excuses for not playing them is “risk of injury”. Lets hope there are no serious injuries.

Check back here Sunday afternoon for some live updates from Montreal.

CEPSUM Stadium - capacity 5,100

CEPSUM Stadium – capacity 5,100

 

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7 Responses to Montreal preview & live blog

  1. Gryphfan says:

    Looking forward to reading about the game. Montreal will be a huge test to see how the Gryphs fair against one of the elites of the CIS. I checked out a Carbins blog and if the online translator is accurate, the blogger was calling Guelph the “tomatoes”. Great start to a friendly rivalry.

    Thanks again Peter for the ongoing coverage of the team.

    • You’re correct about the name “tomatoes”. That’s one reason I really hope the Gryphons where their white or yellow jerseys.

      It is a very good matchup. Montreal will probably be the #4 ranked team in the country. Guelph is probably #6 or 7.

  2. You’re dead on about the injury thing, I’ve always hated it when people use the rear-view mirror perspective when injuries happen and when they happen to impact players. Life’s fraught with dangers and misfortunes that trip us up; the old saying rings true, “s*** will happen.” There’s no use in wringing one’s hands when the unfortunate happens. Heck, opportunity is born in taking chances and putting one’s self “out there.” There’s plenty of good reasons that Greg Marshall and Blake Nill played exhibitions with Laval in years past, the same intrinsic benefits await the Gryphs in Montreal. Plus, YOU’RE IN MONTREAL, the best place for a night out in the entire country. This sounds like a great road-trip, have fun with it. Maybe you could take a few more vids with your phone?

  3. DeuxFans says:

    Hi, very accurate post regarding the Carbs. The only error I’ve found is that black isn’t on the football team unis since at least 6-7 years…

    Yeah, the tomato nickname was in relation with your yellow jersey… Hey it’s a blog, let’s have fun a little.

    Sorry to hear that 5 of your best starters won’t be on the CEPSUM field. It will put more pressure on your younger players who could have problems handling the Blue Power…

    I hope your oline is in good shape, because we do have a really good dline with a lot of depth. I expect that a lot of these players (most of them never played at their position in a game situation at the CIS level) will want tho impress coach Maciocia and friends…

    • It will be interesting to watch our QBs play. None have ever played quarterback at Guelph before. Two are straight out of high school. So the O-Line and run game nèed to be good.

  4. Clovis says:

    This will be a repeat of the Windsor exhibition game — an utter rout. But at least U of G gets to hang out in a great city

  5. DeuxFans says:

    They better be quick, because nobody runs inside on us… Even Laval…

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