I have to admit it … my first thought on the Carleton Ravens being Guelph’s opponent in the OUA Semi was disappointment. I was looking forward to another game with McMaster. Or save that, a chance for the Gryphons to avenge their only loss in a re-match with Queen’s.
Playing a team Guelph just beat 44-12 two weeks ago didn’t have a lot of appeal. On top of that, it is a possible “trap game”. It would be easy to overlook the Ravens and look ahead to the Yates Cup. Of course, there are a hundred cliches advising against that. Still, it would be much easier to focus on a rival like Mac or an opponent like Queen’s.
However, Carleton is a team to be taken seriously. Sun Media Parliamentary Bureau Chief and UofG alumnus David Akin made that important point in an email, essentially warning Carleton is a much better team than what we saw on Oct. 24. This coaching staff has generally done a good job of keeping this team focused on one game at a time. Let’s hope that is the case this week.
Another key will be playing a full 60-minute game. Rob Massey has called it “the same old story”, referring to Guelph’s pattern of building big leads before letting their opponents back into the game. And, in the comments section Birddawg and Mark make similar points. Their concerns … this years team tends to ease up in the second half, and … play a focused 60 minutes because anyone can be beat if they take their opposition lightly.
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At this point I’m excited for the game tomorrow and I’m glad to see I’m not the only one. Football alum Dan Crabbe has shared his to-do list.
And Guelph’s football-loving Mayor, Cam Guthrie, has gotten into the spirit of the game.
Dan Crabbe and Cam Guthrie will both be at the pre-game tailgate party in Lot P19. Crabbe is bringing his trophy winning chili to the Friends of Gryphon Football tailgate while Mayor Cam is judging the various chilies at the Parents-of-Players tailgate. I hear there is a chance of some special musical entertainment for tailgaters. A possible preview of the halftime entertainment – Strike up the band.
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Game previews & related links:
Guelph Tribune: Go time for football Gryphons
“He (Rob Farqharson) was so well liked by our football players. He contributed a lot, he played when he was hurt, he was a great role model. Guys respected him,” says Lang.
“And to see him get that close last year and not (win) it, I said listen: ‘How do you think Rob feels? Do you want to feel the same way? Here’s an opportunity. You can do something which hasn’t been done in a long time here at Guelph,’” says Lang.
“I’m relying on the fifth-year players, which we have a lot of, to keep the momentum going and to basically (challenge) the other guys ‘Hey we’re not finishing this season on a loss.’”
GoRavens.ca: Playoff Preview: Carleton Ravens at Guelph Gryphons
Keys to Victory – Pressure the Pocket – Guelph QB James Roberts shredded Carleton’s secondary for 327 passing yards and four touchdowns in Week 9. While Roberts only went 14-for-26, he had plenty of time to scope out two of his favourite targets — Jacob Scarfone and Ryan Nieuwesteeg — throughout the afternoon. If the Ravens are to pull off a historic upset this weekend, they will need to penetrate the Gryphon O-line and make the life of Guelph’s QB uncomfortable.
In the Huddle with Mike Hogan: “The Mistress” / OUA Semifnals
Winning at Queen’s is one thing. Defeating the Gryphons at Alumni Stadium is something completely different. With that said, do not sell the Ravens short. They are young and talented, but will still have to play almost flawlessly to win on the road.
TaylorVision: Guelph Gryphon Football Playoff Edition (video)
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The series history since 2007: In reality there was no series prior to 2013 when the Carleton football program was revived. Before their demise in the late 1990s the Ravens were playing in the OQIFC and not the OUA/OUAA. You would likely have to go back to the 1960s to find a previous Guelph-Carleton matchup. Both teams played in the OIFC [Ontario Intercollegiate Football Conference] and then the CCIFC [Central Canada Intercollegiate Football Conference] at the time.
2015 – 44-12 Guelph
2014 – 44-22 Guelph
2013 – 48-12 Guelph
This will be the first televised OUA football game since the 2013 Yates Cup. Hopefully the deal with CHCH TV to televise two playoff games will lead to the return of OUA to television on a regular basis. CHCH is available across the Ontario on the following channels:
Bell Satellite (218 SD / 1057 HD)
Bell Fibe (211 SD / 1211 HD)
Rogers Cable (121 SD / 521 HD)
Cogeco (12 SD / 707 HD / 59 [Windsor] / 411 [Kingston])
As with all home games, the GryphVision broadcast crew can been seen at OUA.tv Update: This comes as a surprise to me but the only broadcast of the game will be the CHCH broadcast.
Update 2: The CHCH TV feed will be simulcast on OUA.tv