Guelph’s Numbers Game: A small preview of the upcoming OUA football season

Friday, September 7, 2012


Written by Karim Koorjee

Numbers are important! No not the unpopular network TV show.  Those who believe ourselves to be sports enthusiasts know certain numbers can be considered vital, in order to celebrate major sporting events, to strategizing upcoming games and man to man battles. 100 Points in a game conjure up memories of Wilt’s greatest “on court” achievement.  16-0 is something that Dolphins players toast to whenever an exceptional team loses that pivotal first game.  24 is the amount of Montreal Stanley Cup victories and conversely, 1967 is the last time the buds have tasted Champaign from Lord Stanley’s Mug.  Teams throughout history have used numbers for key elements in order to change the game in their favour.  From switching from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 in football, or in the NBA in the 90’s as coaches would be trying to organize a double team a certain Chicago player, numbered 23.

As the Gryphons Football team prepares to begin their season this labour day, there are a number (pun intended) of numbers that the team can have in the back of their minds to strategize and have a path of how they want their season to unfold.

Numbers  # 1:  2  6  and 4

The Gryphons had a less than stellar year last year with a 2-6 record with 4 points during the OUA season.  As obvious as this sounds, this number needs to change for the better in order to move up in the rankings and give the team a shot at the post season. To achieve this they should be concentrating on the next set of numbers.

Numbers  #2.  123 and 105 and 30.  

In their pre-season tune up in Saskatchewan, Guelph’s offense was able to maintain a steady force along the ground.  With 123 yards on the ground, Guelph’s running back core was able to eat some time off the clock as well as gain some valuable yardage when it counted.  Although the Huskies were able to gain 105 yards rushing throughout the game, it’s the number of 30 yards in the second half that should really put a smile on the faces of the Gryphon faithful.  If the defense can repeat that stifling effort defending against the run over the course of the season, there are many games that can turn out as the next set of numbers.

Numbers  #3.  26 and 21.

Due to the defense coming up big in the second half (primarily the 3rd quarter) and a productive outing from quarterbacks Lucas Nangle, Matthew Carney and Jazz Lindsey, Guelph was able to win an entertaining game 26-21 against Saskatchewan.  The whole team was able to play as a cohesive unit and if they can come together well during every game, they have a decent shot at making some head waves this season.  However, as there is in sports not all the numbers add up to positives as…

Numbers  # 4.  10, 5, 4 and 1.

The OUA has generally been the toughest division within the CIS due to the good quality of programs spread around the province. This season is no exception, as  four of the top ten ranked schools in the country are going to be knocking at Guelph’s door.  At number 10 the Windsor Lancers were able to have a good season last year and will be meeting the Gryphons on September 8th.  The Gryphs also have to deal with back to back games against the 4th and 5th ranked teams in the nation, as they will face the University of Western Ontario Mustangs on October 6th followed by the Queen’s Gaels on the 13th.  The last on the list is the # 1 ranked, and defending Vanier Cup Champions from McMaster, whom the Gryphons will be in the trenches with this Monday in Hamilton.  Although this isn’t the easiest of schedule’s, as long as Guelph can keep their momentum from their win against Saskatchewan going, they have a good shot at competing well with the entire OUA this year.  And a good way in keeping that ball rolling is our last number of the day.

Numbers # 5:  13

As in the 13th man! Go and support your Guelph Gryphons for every game. The fans mean the difference.

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