Gryphons lose opener at Mac

If you read my expectations for the game then you’ll know that Sunday’s loss was a HUGE disappointment to me. The fact it was a one-point game [16-15} almost didn’t matter.

I had a bad feeling from the moment of the first missed FG. The second missed FG, also in the 2nd Q, only made the feeling worse. Not taking advantage of scoring opportunities has been a real problem in games Guelph has lost to McMaster since 2014.

My other thought, as the game was playing out, was that the Gryphons were not running the ball enough. The Mac D never proved they could shut down the run. The only time Mac did a decent job of slowing down our running game was on the 1st Q touchdown drive when it took 4 attempts to get the ball into the end zone from the 5-yd line.

IMO Guelph let the Marauders off the hook by not running the ball more. I would have liked to see our O-Line given the chance to wear down the smaller Mac D.

2018 OLine vs Mac.jpg

Offensive linemen (l-r) 66 Liam Lapointe, 67 Coulter Woodmansey, 60 Colin Jerome, 64 Ben Petrie, 68 Eric Starczala       Photo: Gerry Fraser

Perhaps I’m wrong about this game and/or my expectations for this season. I plan on re-watching the game on OUA.tv before drawing any more conclusions.

Game Stories and Recaps

Gryphons.ca:  Marauders edge Gryphons in defensive battle

“Our defence played really well today and gave us a great chance to win the game. We just had a few too many execution errors on the day,” said Gryphon head coach Todd Galloway.

No question, the defense played well. I have bigger concerns than just “execution errors”.

The Hamilton Spectator:  Young Mac Marauders make their mark in 16-15 win to Guelph

After an ugly start that saw them trailing 10-0 after 15 minutes of football and 12-6 at the half, the Marauders found a way to regroup and respond. The result was a 16-15 come-from-behind win in front of a sweat-soaked sellout crowd at Ron Joyce Stadium.

Marauders.ca:  Maraudres edge Guelph 16-15 in season opener

“We learned we’ve got some grit, some perseverance, and the kids have really come together and they stuck together well in a game that had all kinds of adversity,” said head coach Greg Knox.

This ^^^ makes complete sense. The Marauders were gritty and obviously persevered.

Knox was pleased the entire team responded with a lock down mindset to close the game.

Lock-down may have been their “mindset”, but the game was still Guelph’s for the taking right down until the last 30 seconds. In the 4th Q, Guelph averaged 6 yards per carry. The problem was all 6 pass attempts fell incomplete. I say “fell incomplete” because in almost every case the receiver was open but the ball was off the mark. Other than one sack there wasn’t much lock-down by the McMaster D. A Marauder roughing-the-passer penalty aided the Gryphons more than the sack hurt.

OUA.ca: Box score  &  Game Stats

The stats are always interesting to look but you can’t accept those from yesterday’s game as 100% reliable. I checked back tonight to see that some of the errors and omissions have been corrected. The remaining inconsistencies relate primarily to special teams.  For example, rookie receiver Kiondre Smith returned 8 punts for over 100 yards. The OUA stats credit him with 8 returns for -12 yards.

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Players of the Game

2018 Wk 1 pog.jpg

When I read the details of the OUA Players of the Week I couldn’t help but wonder why Luke Korol wasn’t selected. His 11 tackles [5 solo/6 asstd] put him a couple of steps above the winner in my opinion. Cornerback Graham Brodie was the second leading tackler for the Gryphons with 5 solo tackles. Kade Belak was the leading Gryphon receiver with 4 receptions for 39 yards. Freshman Kiondre Smith returned 8 punts for 100+ yards and one kickoff for 27 yards in his first U Sports game.

U Sports Football Top 10

The season’s first came out today (Tuesday) and I’ll admit to being a little bit surprised to see the Gryphons in it. But, it also makes some sense that Guelph and Mac be ranked as closely as they are.

RANK SCHOOL RECORD MEDIA POINTS
(1ST)
ELO POINTS   TOTAL POINTS LAST WEEK
1 Western 1-0 116 (7) 130 246
2 Laval 1-0 112 (3) 117 229
3 Montreal 1-0 106 (2) 104 210
4 Laurier 1-0 79 91 170
5 Calgary 0-0 88 (1) 78 166
6 UBC 0-0 68 65 133
7 McMaster 1-0 32 39 71
8 Guelph 0-1 2 52 54
9 Queen’s 1-0 13 26 39
10 Regina 0-0 28 0 28
Honourable mention: Carleton (25), Acadia (21), Saint Mary’s (10), Alberta (5), Concordia (4)

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Korol tackle.jpg

LB Luke Korol wraps up Mac RB for one of his 5 solo tackles     Photo: Gerry Fraser

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One Response to Gryphons lose opener at Mac

  1. Birddawg says:

    Just wait until next year!

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