♦ I love the 4 p.m. start time. Normally, this time on a football Saturday morning I’d be scrambling around trying to get ready to leave for a stadium. There is always lots of communication – “where are the cow bells?”, “we’ll have to buy ice when we stop at the Beer Store”, “have you seen my Guelph touque?”.
♦ I have a good feeling about this game. If I’m right, the Gryphons turned a corner in the Laurier game. After lots of issues that hurt their performance for much of the season, the Gryphons have started to put it all together at the right time. Lots of young and inexperienced players who were in over their heads early on in the season have matured.
♦ The Gryphons aren’t as healthy or injury free as they were through last season but that has been the case since the pre-season. We now know what we have. Adjustments have been made to suit the talent on hand, particularly on offense. And the biggest question on D – the LB corps – has been answered in a positive way. In fact, Luke Korol’s 8.0 tackles per game leads the OUA [tied with a CU LB] and I have a hard time believing he won’t be an OUA All Star.
♦ The running game is key today in my mind. Running the ball and stop the run. I hope to see a continuation of way Guelph ran the ball on a very good Laurier D – a defense that is very similar to McMaster – and against York. I think we’ll see a mixture of the twin backs set that combines Johnny Augustine and Mack Jones and Guelph’s more traditional pistol formation. I love that James Roberts has also been a little more aggressive rushing the ball.
♦ Mac’s run game is Chris Pezzetta. Pezzetta is a power back but I don’t see Mac being able to line up and play smash mouth football. Their run game works off their pass game. They killed us in the first game this year with too many easy yards off draw plays. If DC Grandy doesn’t change anything else, and he probably will, I’d like to see him have a LB keeping an eye on Pezzetta and not let him get to the second level untouched after Guelph has dropped into coverage.
♦ Wow! is it warm out today. But it is breezy too. IMO wind, more than rain, effects the passing game. The forecast shows the wind continues throughout the afternoon but slowing in the early evening.
♦ Good thing I didn’t make a big deal or share the recipe for the Honey Mustard Chicken Drumsticks I was going to bring to the tailgate today. I just took them off the BBQ a few minutes and I’m not at all happy with. I wouldn’t even be eating them except I’m hungry. I will hae to come up with something better next week.
♦ Finally, I hear there is an article in today’s paper version of the Hamilton Spectator about the game. Unfortunately, I can’t find a link for it. It talks about the patchwork job has had to do to field a healthy O-line. When I looked at the depth charts last night I did notice RT Nick Firlit wasn’t listed. A DT who was shifted to O-Line back in training camp is listed as the starter. The rest of starting OLs for Mac were the players I was expecting to be starting.
♦ When I went on-line to buy tickets I noticed that they were cheaper than I expected. Only $15 for Adult General Admission and $5 for students/children. The issue of price has come up in conversations about attendance issues. I really don’t think cutting prices for playoff tickets by $5 will make much difference. A big part of the answer is making OUA games an event. Banning barbecues and harassing tailgaters, as Mac has been know to do, works against developing football games into the events they could be.
♦ I already have my lawn cut and some leaves raked up today. Did I mention I like the late starting time!!