CIS Countdown 2010: Montreal Carabins

We welcome Deux Fans from to preview their team of choice, les Carabins.

In 50 words or less: After losing the most key players in the Q, will the Carabins be able to keep up? Helped by an easy schedule, the answer lies within the experienced coaching staff needed to help the younger ones “step up”, the much needed discipline, and a minimal injury year.

Burning questions: We definitely have too many burning questions for this team...

CAN Alexandre Nadeau-Piuze be a more than adequate QB?

WILL the defence, especially the renewed front seven, be able to keep les Bleus in the game?

CAN the first- and second-year players replace the fourth- and fifth-year players effectively?

CAN Rotrand Sené maintain his progression after his tremendous first year?

2009 recap: After an impressive start and a victory at home against Laval, which brought them to the top of the UFRC Top 10, they seemed to cool down, with losses against Sherby & Bishop’s. They went full stride into the Dunsmore Cup, but the hostile PEPS and way too many injuries kept them from the upset.

Departures: QB Marc-Olivier Brouillette, DE Mathieu Brossard, DE Martin Gagné, LB Gaius Renelick, LB Joash Gesse, LB Christian Houle, CB Hamid Mahmoudi, WR Kevin Rivet, WR Mathieu Razanakolona, CB Jerry-Ralph Jules, C Stephane Turner, DB Jean-Michel Lafrance, OL L-A Aubertin.

Arrivals: S Delian Charles (transferred from Bishop’s), DE David Menard (two-time collegial AAA All-Star), OL Olivier Quevillon, DL Jean-Sebastien Martel (who's 240 pounds and ran a 4.36 40-yard), QB Mathieu Dostie, WR Maxime Fournier-Rioux, CB Tony Rayapin (directly from France).

Keep an eye on: All the vets who will have to maintain the Carabins' essential quality: WR Frank Bruno, DT Gregory Alexandre, DB Jean-Gardy Clermont, OL Sébastien Taché and FB Mark DeLuca.

Coach & coordinators: Marc Santerre is entering his 5th year and has had the same OC (Pat Gregory) and DC (Denis Touchette) since his arrival. They can also count on full time Spiro Ferodouros who brought the Carabins’ special teams to the top of the Q last year and who will try to repeat this year with kicker/punter Pierre-Paul Gélinas as his main weapon. They also have a new QB coach Sean Dougherty, formerly of McGill, tasked with making sure Alex Nadeau-Piuze and especially the two new QB rookies progress rapidly to be able to be compete.

Off-the-field factors: Everybody knows about the Montreal-Québec rivalry, but for different reasons, Les Carabins seems to have a rivalry with every team in the QUFL, with the possible exception of McGill. Therefore, each game is tough and usually has a lot of penalties.

Stock up or stock down: Neutral – There’s way too much “if” to say up, but too much talent and commitment to say down.

Schedule (all times Eastern):
Thu Sep 2 7:00pm vs. Sherbrooke
Sat Sep 11 1:00pm at Concordia*
Sat Sep 18 1:00pm at St. F-X
Fri Sep 24 7:00pm vs. McGill
Sat Oct 2 1:00pm @ Bishop's
Sat Oct 9 1:00pm vs. Laval*
Sat Oct 16 1:00pm at McGill
Fri Oct 22 7:00pm vs. Concordia
Sat Oct 30 1:00pm vs. Bishop's

* Televised or webcasted on Radio-Canada; audio for all games available at CKAC.
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