PREVIEW: Gryphons look for a victory at home against Varsity Blues

Guelph, Ont. – Following a hard fought 34-27 last minute overtime loss to the McMaster Marauders to open 2014 conference play, the CIS No. 8 Gryphon football team is looking for a win in their home opener on Saturday against the Toronto Varsity Blues (0-1).

Kick off is set for 1 p.m. at Alumni Stadium. The game will also be streamed live and live stats will be available at OUA.tv.

The Varsity Blues and the Gryphons have had a healthy rivalry over the past four seasons, but from the last two matchups the Gryphons have been able to come out on top. Guelph is looking for a repeat of their 2013 win against the Varsity Blues, where the Gryphons came out on top with a dominant score of 38-12.

After a heartbreaking loss to the McMaster Marauders in overtime, the Gryphons are looking to turn their season around with a win at Alumni Stadium.

The Gryphons struggled in the red zone against the Marauders in their season opener, with quarterback Jazz Lindsey (Markham, Ont.) only able to complete 14 of his 30 passes. Lindsey threw for 195 yards against McMaster with only one touchdown. However, Lindsey did have a chance to show off his run-and-gun style with 20 rushing yards on five attempts.

Guelph veteran Rob Farquharson (Niagara Falls, Ont.) will prove to be a challenge for the Varsity Blues defence, as he totaled 143 yards on 21 carries in the game against McMaster. Farquharson averaged 6.8 yards per run, as well as scored a touchdown against the Marauders.

In the 53-17 loss to the Laurier Golden Hawks, the Varsity Blues allowed 329 rushing yards. Gryphon running back duo Johnny Augustine (Welland, Ont.) and Farquharson will prove to be a challenge to the Toronto defence.

A’dre Fraser (Halifax, NS) leads the Gryphon receivers with six catches for 103 yards so far this season, with Alexander Charette (St. Catherines, Ont.) tallying four catches for 42 yards and one touchdown. Against McMaster, Fraser had a notable offensive performance with a 50-yard return after a missed field goal, setting the Gryphons up for a touchdown drive. Against McMaster, Fraser averaged 17 yards per catch, while Charette was averaging 10.5 yards per catch.

The Gryphon defence remains dominant with 56 tackles on the season so far. MacKenzie Myers (Guelph, Ont.) leads the defence with nine solo tackles, with Michael Carney (Burnaby, Ont.) close behind with seven solo tackles and one assisted for a total of eight tackles. Carney, along with Colin Mandich (London, Ont.) and Curtis Newton (London, Ont.) have proven to be a threat to their opponent’s pass game, each recording a pass break up in the season opener.

The Gryphon defence is ready to prepare against a strong pass game as the Varsity Blues offence, led by quarterbacks Simon Nassar (Toronto, Ont.) and Chris Jugovic (Hamilton, Ont.) totaled 335 yards passing in their game against the Golden Hawks. Nassar earned himself 234 yards completing 16 of his 28 attempts, while Jugovic was 11-of-21 for 99 yards.

The Gryphons will undoubtedly keep an eye out for Llevi Noel (Toronto, Ont.) in coverage as he has proved to be the teams’ favourite offensive weapon. Against the Golden Hawks, Noel made nine receptions for 190 yards and one major.

The Gryphons will head to Alumni Stadium in Guelph for their home opener and O-Week Game on Saturday, September 6th. The game is set to kick off at 1 p.m. at Alumni Stadium.

(Source:  Michelle Pino, Guelph Gryphons Sports Information)

Varsity Blues versus Gryphons 2014 Preview

The University of Toronto Varsity Blues football team heads to Guelph to take on the No. 8 Gryphons this Saturday, September 6 at Alumni Stadium.
 
Kick off is set for 1 p.m. The game will also be streamed live and live stats will be available at OUA.tv.
 
The Blues and Gryphons have established a competitive rivalry in the last four seasons, starting with a last-minute Gryphons field goal in 2010 to win 15-13. U of T rebounded with a thrilling 21-12 victory on home turf in 2011 and will be out to redeem themselves, having lost the last two match-ups in 2012 and 2013.
 
Toronto opened their 2014 regular season campaign with a 53-17 loss to the Laurier Golden Hawks Monday night.
 
“It wasn’t the way we wanted to start the season,” said Greg Gary, now in his fourth season as the Varsity Blues head coach. “We need to put that behind us. We have a short turn around and need to focus immediately on Saturday. Guelph is a talented team and it is always is a good battle. We need to put our heads down and grind it out for four quarters in order to be successful.”
 
Quarterbacks Simon Nassar and Chris Jugovic both saw action in Week 1. Nassar went 16-of-28 for 234 yards and one touchdown, while Jugovic was 11-of-21 for 99 yards. Second-year receiver Llevi Noel was their most popular target, making nine receptions for 190 yards and one major.
 
The Gryphons are also 0-1 after a 34-27 overtime loss to the McMaster Marauders on Labour Day.

Guelph’s running back duo of veteran Robert Farquharson and Johnny Augustine will be need to be kept in check, and Gryphons quarterback Jazz Lindsey is always dangerous.
 
The Varsity Blues return home for Week 3 as they host the York Lions in the 45th annual Red & Blue Bowl on Saturday, September 13 at Varsity Centre. Kick off is set for 1 p.m.

(Source:  University of Toronto Varsity Blues Sports Information)

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