PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Offense – Johnny Augustine
Defense – Andrew Graham
Special Forces – Ryan Nieuwesteeg
Some highlights from the Gryphons.ca announcement:
Augustine racked up 146 yards rushing and three touchdowns against Waterloo in a dominating Week 1 performance … (t)he Welland, Ontario native averaged a first down every time he touched the ball (10.6 yards per carry).
Graham helped lead a suffocating defensive performance by the Gryphons on Sunday night at Warrior Field. The Human Kinetics major was a familiar sight in the Waterloo backfield as he accounted for two of Guelph’s four sacks on the night. Graham finished the game with 5 solo tackles ….
Nieuwesteeg delivered yet another dazzling performance in the return game, amassing 164 yards on 10 punt returns. The biggest highlight came on a 79-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter.
No arguments from me with any of these selections. Two days before the game I wrote that we needed a big season from Augustine and Sunday night was a good start. I love the way Graham plays and his nickname – “Angry”. I’m surprised Nieuwesteeg wasn’t also the OUA Special Teams Player of the Week. Sorry! But I don’t find anything exceptional with a kicker who scores 10 points [2-2 on FGs, 4-4 on convverts] when his long FG is 39 yards. Especially not when he punts for an average of 36.9 yards. Nieuwesteeg came out in the opener playing like the All Canadian he is. He was also honoured as the Gryphon Male Athlete of the Week.
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The Gryphons find themselves ranked #6 in the initial version of the FRC-CIS Football Top 10. That’s not exactly the way I see it but it is what it is. I think you’ll find that the voters often place a fairly high value on historical performance and reputation. I wrote a few weeks ago that I expected the voters to have Western ahead of Guelph and to keep them there all season. Not a big deal.
FRC-CIS Top 10 Week #1
1. Montreal (0-0) 289 (25) –
2. Laval (0-0) 231 (2) –
3. Western (1-0) 226 (2) –
4. Calgary (0-0) 213 (1) –
5. McMaster (1-0) 148 –
6. Guelph (1-0) 137 –
7. UBC (0-0) 109 –
8. Saskatchewan (0-0) 87 –
9. Mount Allison (0-0) 79 –
10. Manitoba (0-0) 73 –
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A few more thoughts on the Waterloo game:
- It was a good size crowd for a game before students are on campus. The Box Score says the crowd was 1,867. There were several hundred on the berm on the far side of the field. UW even had a “beer tent” on the sideline. It looks like the Warriors have taken some steps to make the game more than just a game.
- The score and the stats don’t mean as much in a mismatch like this. What I took pleasure in was seeing the offense execute with a good deal of consistency. And I liked the pace they operated at. We saw three or four series operating with a single TE. Particularly like seeing TE Gerrie pancake a Warrior DE. The offense only operated out of a three back set a few times.
- There are a couple of anomalies in the stats – Waterloo won the Turnover Battle 2-0 and they had a greater than 7:00 minute advantage in Time of Possession. Guelph’s lone INT led directly to the Warriors TD.
- Our receivers did a good job of blocking for each other, resulting in significant YAC yards. A’dre Fraser also crushed a LB with a block that allowed Augustine to get upfield on a running play.
- BCFC recruit Andrew Chichka [#61] saw lots of action spelling both Donnie Egerter and Daniel Horta at the DT positions. Chichka was recruited to play offensive guard. OL Andrew Pickett played the first half at RG and the entire 2nd half at OC. Starting centre Matt Nesbitt had an ice pack on his lower leg throughout the second half but he looked like he was available to go back in if necessary. Pickett was used as an additional “big body” on the D-Line in short yardage situations, just as he was late last season.
- This was the second week in row the Gryphons did not give up a sack. The Gryphon D sacked the UW QB 4 times and the Manitoba QBs twice.
- I’ve re-watched almost 3/4 of the game via OUA.tv On Demand. I thought the UW announcers did a good job. They knew their team and had done some research on Guelph. It was very positive to hear that the UW Athletic Department had increased significantly the scholarship money that is now available to the football program to assist in recruiting student-athletes.
Krown Countdown: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejOZc-JoOxk&feature=youtu.be