It really illustrates the words of Monty Mosher:
"Nill and Sumarah — brothers in arms from their days in the early 1990s as assistant coaches at St. Francis Xavier through their years at SMU to 2006, when Nill left for Calgary — sat a metre apart Thursday at the Tower in Halifax.Picture fans sounding like Peter Griffin standing outside a stem cell clinic: "Why are we not showing this live on national TV?"
"They were separated by the Uteck Bowl and a layer of frost that may have thawed slightly with a handshake, a smile or two and a chat, but it’s more of a truce than a permanent end to hostilities.
" ... (Calgary QB Erik) Glavic has been repeatedly questioned about his reasons to leave and has never cracked, which explains why the Huskies have been unable to move on completely. He says he approached Nill after last season to discuss a possible transfer and Nill told him to carefully weigh his decision, but he would be welcome with the Dinos if that’s what he chose.
"'I have my reasons, some of them personal,' he said. 'When I conferred with my entire family, we agreed that this was the best move for me.' "
The drama has overshadowed the nuts-and-bolts football analysis, understandably. Coordinator Danny Laramee's Saint Mary's defence is deep and physical. It has not seen an offensive arsenal like Calgary's, but has the benefit of knowing a hundred times more about Glavic than an AUS team typically would know about the opposing QB during preparation for a national semifinal. They've got the films from 2006 and '07.
The question on the other side of the ball with Saint Mary's sophomore QB Jack Creighton is how much rope Sumurah will give him. As a general comment, it's a give-and-take with a less experienced passer. Putting parameters on him can play into a defence's hands if they know there are certain throws they don't have to defend. (Queen's in 2006 was a classic example, when they had then-sophomore Dan Brannagan throwing passes that went 40 yards horizontally and three yards vertically.)
The Uteck is going to boil down to whether the SMU's defence can limit Glavic and make it possible for Creighton to have his star-is-born moment. People should be excited for the possibility. You know about Creighton's daddy being a former NHLer of note, you might know his high school teams at Port Colborne Lakeshore won regional titles in Ontario, he and Ottawa's Bradley Sinopoli, among others, are the next wave of good CIS pivots. Ruling out the possibility of him busting out seems kind of foolish.
In short, these teams are a study in contrasts. Based on its D, running game and special teams, SMU should be a slight favourite, plus it is playing at home.
(For what it is worth, Canada West teams are 3-1 in national semis held in Halifax since 1993, but beware of small sample sizes!)
CIS reality show still packs drama (Chris Cochrane, Halifax Chronicle-Herald)