Thoughts on the Montreal game – part 1

Freshman recruit Charlie Taggart getting after Carabins QB Gabriel Cousineau Photo:

Freshman recruit Charlie Taggart getting after Carabins QB Gabriel Cousineau

WARNING: I really have nothing but positive things to say about the whole experience in Montreal. If that bothers you then don’t read any further.

  • UdeMontreal’s CEPSUM Stadium is great little stadium. It is built onto the side of the school’s hockey arena and with a sloping concrete roof. On the opposite side there are bleachers built right onto the side of Mount Royal. It makes for a very loud experience on the field and sidelines according to players and coaches, even with a crowd of only 2,324.
  • The atmosphere was energized right from the pregame party to the last whistle. It was a better football atmosphere than you will experience in 50% of OUA regular season games. The Carabins fans were friendly, welcoming and helpful. [I was really surprised how many Carabins fans knew of Peter Gryphon and had read this blog.] I didn’t mind for a second having to pay $19 for a ticket even though that is more than you will pay for almost any OUA game.
  • Going “fully live” only made this game better. There were no significant injuries that I’m aware of for the Gryphons. To my knowledge a sprained ankle might have been the worst. Montreal did have more players who needed “medical assistance” than did Guelph but I don’t know of any serious injuries for the Carabins either. [I saw a receiver injured at the Mac-Laurier scrimmage who may miss more time than anyone from this game.]
  • Don’t think for a second that the score or the stats reflect the competitiveness of the game. When the two teams went 1’s vs 1’s the Gryphons held the Carabins offense off the score sheet. Thru the 1st, 2nd & 4th Qs Guelph rotated QBs Blewett and Roberts every two series. QB Job Reinhart played every series of the 3rd Q. Guelph started rotating 2nds and 3rds into the game at all the other positions – OL, DL, WR, RB, DB, LB – from the start of the 2nd Q thru the 3rd. In the 4th Q it was almost all 2nds and 3rds.
  • The defensive stats show very few of our veteran starters played enough to record any real stats. In fact, only Curtis Newton made the list of Top 10 tacklers. Redshirt freshman DB Leigh Szela led the way with 5 tackles while true freshman DE Charlie Taggart had 2 sacks among his 3 tackles:
    24 L Szela 5.0 . . . . . .
    93 C Taggart 3.0 2.0 2.0 . . . .
    94 B McNeely 3.0 . . . . . .
    95 D Horta 3.0 . 1.0 . . . .
    59 F Speakman 2.5 . 0.5 . . . .
    25 N Parisotto 2.5 . . . . . .
    53 L Korol 2.0 . . . . . .
    27 J Johnson 2.0 . . . . . .
    30 S Munroe 2.0 . . . . . .
    15 C Newton 2.0 . . . . . .
  • Playing a team as good as the Carabins will yield dividends for the Gryphons in the OUA regular season as Western is likely the only OUA team we’ll face with that calibre of talent. It was a real opportunity to measure and evaluate talent. For so many of our young guys things will get easier from here.
  • The Carabins really seem serious about becoming a passing team. Or at least a more balanced team. Their 24 rushes for 159 yards wasn’t a bad outcome for Guelph. It was the passing numbers that look awful – 25 for 458. But at the same time I’m not too worried about the ton of passing yards given up. None of the big plays came against experienced DBs. The coaches used a lot of Cover 0 in difficult situations deliberately, in order to evaluate the coverage skills of inexperienced DBs. They could have been protected with coverage help but then they don’t learn as much. Montreal, QBs in particular, were good enough to exploit our backups to a much greater extent than the average OUA QB would have.
  • On offense the only real disappointment was not getting any running game going. We had 49 net rushing yards on 19 carries with most of those yards coming from QBs. One of the bright spots was how often our QBs completely faked out the UdeM D and were wide open on the bootleg. [Had Jazz played he may have done some serious damage in those situations.] Receivers looked pretty good. Better than in the Day 3 practice for sure. I recall 3 catchable balls being dropped, all by guys in their first-ever CIS game.
  • Some of Guelph’s most impressive performances came from inexperienced players – freshman QB James Roberts, WR Colin Booth, WR Curtis D’Hollander, freshman DE Charlie Taggart and RS freshman DB Leigh Szela.
  • This is where I got the game stats from –

A few of the Guelph faithful in Montreal

A few of the Guelph faithful in Montreal


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