What can I say? That was a very nice win for Guelph.
It is the second week in a row the Gryphons have opened up a good size lead against another Top 10 team and cruised to a win. Guelph just built that lead a little sooner today than against McMaster. I mean, you really can’t expect more from your offense than to score touchdowns on four of their first five drives.
But a lot of the credit goes to the defense. Ottawa’s first 4 offensive drives:
2 plays, 0 yards;
2 plays, six yards,
2 plays, 2 yards – John Rush INTERCEPTION returned to the OTT 17
2 plays, 3 yards
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I saw a lot of what I said I wanted from the Gryphons in my preview of the game. Specifically,
I do think/hope that the Guelph defense will be able to put the GeeGees off their game.
I don’t think I want to see this game turn into a shootout.
If there is one thing I’d really like to see from the Gryphons tomorrow it would be fewer penalties. That, and more consistent execution from the offense, would make the Gryphons a much better team.
Oh well. Three out of four isn’t bad, as the Gryphons still had 10 penalties for 90 yards. Five or six penalties for less than 70 yards would be more reasonable/acceptable. The GeeGees were actually the least penalized team in the OUA coming into this game with 5.7 penalties per game. They more than doubled that today with 13 penalties for 106 yards. I believe three of those penalties were for roughing the kicker.
No question Ottawa believed they could block a punt as they frequently came after Gabriel Ferraro. That, in and of itself, is unusual. For the past four seasons few teams ever made more than a token effort to pressure the Guelph punter which is a credit to long snapper Daniel MacDonald who puts the ball in the punter’s hands as quickly as anyone in the CIS. Mind you, two of those penalties came in the final three minutes when the GeeGees were desperately looking for a big play. Good work by Ferraro to get every punt away cleanly.
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Links for game stories, recaps & stats:
In the first quarter alone, Roberts had already racked up 181 passing yards and accounted for three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing). The Gryphon defence meanwhile had held Wendel and the potent Gee-Gees aerial attack to just 28 passing yards in the opening quarter.
Guelph Mercury: Gryphons quick to put GeeGees away
The win lifted the Gryphs to 5-0 and was Guelph’s 12th consecutive regular-season victory. The team record is 14 in a row set in the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
The mid-season clash between no. 5 ranked Guelph and no. 9 ranked Ottawa was not as close as many had hoped, as the Gee-Gees trip to the Royal City ended in a 46-28 Guelph win.
Guelph opened up the scoring with a touchdown on their first drive, which led to the opening of the floodgates. The Gryphons then scored again on their second drive and again on their first play of the third drive following a Derek Wendel interception. With a three-touchdown deficit in the early goings of the first quarter, the Gee-Gees needed to get in rhythm, something the highly touted Gryphons defence did not allow them to do until late in the first half.
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A few other quick notes:
- Forget about his passing. We all knew James Roberts had 25 of 35 for 391 yards, 0 INTs in him. I loved seeing Roberts take off for his fourth rushing TD of the season on a 5-yd scamper. Again, he is not a dual threat QB but the more often he makes unexpected plays like that the more difficult he makes the job of opposing DCs.
- I also loved seeing ten players make catches, six with two or more receptions. Jacob Scarfone had the biggest numbers – 7 for 122 & 2 TDs – but James Ingram with 6 for 99 yards had what I would guess was a career day in terms of receiving.
- Johnny Augustine continues to get it done – 21 carries for 102 & a 27-yd TD reception. I keep thinking he looks like the smallest 210-pound person I’ve ever seen but it is working for him.
- Jailon Bell got his first start at DB in place of an injured Iain Hutchison. Bell had a solo tackle and two assists. I also recall him breaking up a pass but that doesn’t show on the stats sheet.
- Freshman QB Theo Landers saw his first regular season CIS action. He was under centre for nine plays as the Gryphons sought to run out the clock. With a 1st down at the Ottawa 38 and thirty-some seconds left the Gryphons went into Victory Formation and Landers took a knee, only to have Ottawa coach Jamie Barresi call a timeout in order to stop the clock. It seemed sort of bizarre that down 22 points he wanted to try to get the ball back with 15 or 20 seconds left.
- That wasn’t Barresi’s only bizzare decision. He repeated one of his boneheaded calls from the 2014 game. Trailing 28-7 early in the 2nd Q he went for it on 3rd&1. He ran the same play he did in a similar situation last year – the option pitch. Same result again – Guelph stuffed it. Turnover on downs. James Roberts threw a 27-yard TD pass to a wide-open Johnny Augustine on the next play.
- I was a little disappointed with the crowd turnout for the game. The attendance isn’t listed in the Box Score but I’d be surprised if it was 2,000. Closer to 1500 would be my guess. Very few students were in the crowd. I know it’s tough to get them out again just a week after they were soaked at the Homecoming Game but it was a very nice day to watch a game.
- Ask and you shall receive. The replay of Ryan Nieuwesteeg’s spectacular one-handed catch …