I loved the selection of the Queen’s Golden Gaels as our Homecoming opponent. While it’s true Guelph students and alumni will turn out to watch any opponent in the Homecoming Game this rivalry has been particularly heated the past two years with the teams meeting in the regular season and the playoffs both years. The teams have split the four games 2-2. The home team has won each time. Even the previous two meetings [2010 & 2009] were close and won by the home teams.
The Golden Gaels come to Guelph with a 0-3 record having had their season opening win against Windsor nullified because of their use of an ineligible player. The Gaels lost a close game in Week 2 to the Ottawa team the Gryphons beat in Week 3. Last Saturday the Gaels lost 43-12 to the Western Mustangs in a game in which it sounds like the Gaels had some positive moments. The Gaels’ head coach Pat Sheahan is talking about tomorrow’s game as essentially a playoff game. Or at least a playoff-sensitive game to quote Claude Scilley of the sportkingston blog …
“The consequence of losing this football game is you’ll pay a heavy price for it in the overall season,” Sheahan said, while nonetheless expressing confidence that better things are in the offing.
“Our team is gaining a sense of itself. (The players are) taking a look around and seeing how good they can be … but with any team like this you need to get a couple of wins under your belt to prove to yourselves that you can be what you see in the mirror. I think this team, by the end of the year, will be a very tough team to beat. I believe that. They have the ability to win the next two games.
Because this Queen’s team has a lot of young talent I can agree that they will get better before the season ends but I don’t believe they have the talent/experience at this point in time to beat Guelph. Nonetheless, I expect that this “desperate-for-a-win”, “backs-to-the-wall” Golden Gaels team will give the Gryphons their very best. It should make for an exciting game. I really hope that I have read this right and the UofG will be able to record their 4th win in their last 6 games with Queen’s
Record History: The Gryphons are 3-4 against the Golden Gaels over the past 7 years. During that time Queen’s has won the 2009 Vanier Cup and recorded a perfect 8-0 regular season in 2008. As much as it hurts to remember, the 2009 Labour Day game was one of the best games I have seen. In the archives of gryphons.ca you will find this summary of the 2009 game.
2013 – 34-17 Queen’s [Yates Cup semi-final]
2013 – 37-23 Queen’s
2012 – 42 -39 Guelph [Yates Cup semi-final]
2012 – 33-28 Guelph
2011 – did not meet
2010 – 21-15 Guelph
2009 – 52-49 Queen’s
2008 – 41-30 Queen’s
2007 – 26-14 Queen’s
Some other thoughts: This Guelph team had a pretty good game in the Ottawa rain last week but they can play better. I really doubt that the Gaels will roll over and play dead. Guelph should not underestimate this team or we may see another of those games when the Gryphons play down to the calibre of their opposition.
It sounds like the weather may be better than anticipated at the beginning of the week. The forecast for tomorrow in Guelph is for warm temps, a mixture of sun & cloud and a chance of 1mm of rain. We could experience fairly strong winds as we did in weeks 1 & 2 which did affect play from one quarter to the next.
The Guelph Mercury had a recent story about rookie Gryphons Nick Parisotto and Royce Metchie, both of whom are expected to start again this week – Gryphon rookies go from the stands to field in a year. I expect we’ll see a third true freshman in DE Charlie Taggart continue to start on the defense. Originally I thought we may see DE Blake McNeely back for this game but I hear he is more likely to return next week.
I wouldn’t be surprised at all if we see the biggest and best tailgate party [or maybe I should say “pre-game social event”] in UofG history. Alumni, families and fans will get the celebrations going in Lot 7 off of East Ring Rd about 10 a.m.. It was great to hear there will be a large contingent of football alumni from the mid to late 1970s coming out for the tailgate, HC Game and an after party at the Cutten Club. Also, Gryphon Football will be entertaining some of the best and brightest among up-and-coming student-athlete prospects.