Gryphons win in Windsor – part 2

PLAYERS OF THE GAME

OFFENSE – Matt Nesbitt (Centre, 4th year, London)

DEFENSE – Cam Walker (Defensive End, 4th year, London)

SPECIAL FORCES – Daniel Ferraro (Punter/ Kicker, 4th year, Mississauga)

Scout Team Player of the Week – Jacob Ippolito (LB, Bishop McDonnell, Guelph)

The 4th year Nesbitt is the veteran of the offensive line and calls out the formation and blocking assignments on every play. This year’s unit has come together quickly and paved the way for the sixth best rushing attack in the CIS with 204 yards per game. Walker is the defensive player of the game for a second straight week. He was a force rushing the quarterback and recorded 5 solo tackles, 3 assists, 1 sack (-10 yds) and an additional tackle-for-loss. He also forced a fumble. Ferraro is another repeat winner having been named Player-of-Game in the season opener. He record 16 points on five field goals and one PAT. He hit on five of six field goal attempts with a longest of 32 yards. He kept up his strong punting in spite of a strong wind. Ferraro punted 8 times for an average of 38.2 yards (five more than his opponent) which provided the Gryphons with better field position throughout the day. Ferraro was also named the Gryphon Male Athlete of the Week.

Gryphons.ca Players of the game announcement

Gryphon Football Players of the Week (l-r) - Daniel Ferraro, Matt Nesbitt, Cam Walker Photo: gryphons.ca

Gryphon Football Players of the Week (l-r) – Daniel Ferraro, Matt Nesbitt, Cam Walker
Photo: gryphons.ca

*     *     *

Without a doubt, most of the questions people have asked me since the Windsor game have been about the offense. What’s wrong with the O? Where is the Offense we saw the previous two games? And other versions thereof.

I don’t claim to have the answers. In fact, that’s the problem. I’ve really been at a loss as to how to explain a measly 13 first downs and 271 yards of offense. You can’t do a lot when you only run 52 plays – the previous numbers 63 plays at Mac, 65 vs UofT, 75 against both Ottawa and Queen’s. I really wanted to watch the game tape on OUA.tv in hopes of gaining some additional insights. That was another frustrating experience.

Right off the bat, the archived version of the game was missing most of the 1st Q. It started with more than 8 minutes already off the clock. But what really frustrated me was the lack of ability to stop and rewind. Any time I attempted to re-watch one play I had to watch 10. If I wanted to watch it again I had to wait thru the same ten plays I had already watched twice. I didn’t even try to watch the second half. OUA.tv is not living up to the claims in the original press releases IMO.

A few thoughts on the offensive performance at Windsor:

  • I have a lot of respect for Windsor’s DC Donnovan Carter. Carter and his D deserve lots of credit for limiting the Gryphons’ O. Carter has a history of getting his under-manned units to perform very well against us.
  • Windsor did some unconventional things including using 5 defensive linemen when we had 2 TEs in the game. But they weren’t predictable, sometimes only using 3 down linemen but still packing the box. They also did some very unusual things in coverage.
  • The two week layoff appears to hurt the offense more than it helped. The momentum of the previous two games was definitely lost. In those games Guelph scored 106 points while amassing 1,062 yards against teams of similar quality to Windsor.
  • Robbie Farquharson never got on track. He slipped down in the end zone giving the Lancers a safety. He was slow getting up after several plays including one where he didn’t carry the ball. His stats – 8 carries for 30 yards, 1 TD. Was he injured or re-injured in the game? A coach told me after the game that they “rested him” in the second half.
  • My only issue with Jazz’s performance is he didn’t run the ball. I believe our offense becomes much more effective when he runs with the ball a few times. I’ve said I’d like to see him average 50 yards a game which is not a big number. He ran for 57 yards against Ottawa and 46 against Queen’s, but only 4 versus Windsor.
  • Penalties were part of the problem. I would guess there 6 or 8 delay of game, illegal procedure and offside penalties. That must be cleaned up.
  • On the bright side the Gryphons had only a single turnover and were a perfect 5 for 5 in the red zone, though unfortunately 4 of the 5 were FGs. There weren’t many, if any, dropped passes as I recall, so that’s a positive.
  • Running backs Brandon Gordon and Mason Swift were effective when they touched the ball. Gordon had 6 carries for 40 yards and Swift 3 for 23, averages of 6.7 and 7.7 ypc.
  • I was thinking during the 2nd half that perhaps Guelph coaches should give James Roberts a couple of series. Thinking more about it since I really wish they had.

I’m really not worried about the offense going forward. It was too much to expect them to equal their numbers of the previous two games. I look for them to be able to move the ball and score on the 3-2 Carleton Ravens tomorrow night.

*     *     *

CIS Top 10 2014 – previous week ()

1. Laval (1)
2. Calgary (2)
3. McMaster (4)
4. Western (3)
5. Montreal (5)
6. Guelph (6)
7. Saskatchewan (7)
8. Mt. Allison (8)
9. Concordia (9)
10. Laurier (NR)

Other teams receiving votes: Sherbrooke (8), Alberta (5), Windsor (5), Manitoba (1).

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