As each CIS football team is officially eliminated from playoff contention, we'll reflect on what they did this year and compare their results to our expectations.
Up next: the talented, but unlucky, Guelph Gryphons.
Points for: 26.1
Points against: 30.8
Passing yards: 268.5
Rushing yards: 111.0
Passing yards against: 213.9
Rushing yards against: 173.6
Looking back at our preview questions:
Q: CAN Stu Lang lead the Gryphons against the OUA’s most talented rosters and coaching staffs in his second season?
A: It certainly wasn’t what Lang had intended. What was labeled a very talented bunch, the Gryphons finished the season losing five of the last six games.
The game that stung the most was the last game against the Laurier Golden Hawks. With a playoff game at stake for the Hawks, the Gryphons probably played their best game of the season, passing for 343 yards. Despite the offensive and defensive efficiency, they did not convert all that much. It was a sad sight, as someone who closely observed their games this season.
That was the narrative of the Gryphons this season, and they will be doing some soul-searching in the winter. They may have just had bad timing, as teams like Windsor and McMaster outperformed their expectations. But, this team should be back next season, with experience in hand.
Q: WHAT will the defence be like without long time stalwarts Adam Dunk and Matt Rossetti anchoring the linebacking corps?
A: The stats say it all: their pass D was pretty stout, but their run defense, where it seemed to count in the OUA this season, let them down. The real narrative is that it was a defense that tried to give their offense a chance at the end of games, and for the most part it did that. Unfortunately, the offense simply didn’t have enough. In their six losses, the team scored 16 points per game. Each of their losses were double-digit margins except for their loss against Laurier.
Did they look good? Not on paper. Despite their D being in the middle of the pack statistically, they were a close knit group that clocked a lot of playing time. With the nation’s second-most tackles recorded, this squad did what they could under the circumstances. With rest, they could have been as effective as most in the conference.
Whatever they have to do to pick themselves up on D, whether an adjustment with personnel or scheme, they will have a long winter to mull their chances.
WILL Chris Rossetti join the ranks of elite OUA Quarterbacks this season after flying under the radar in his debut as a starter?
A: Rosetti was a hit or miss project this season.
When he was good, he was tremendous, but he was a car wreck in his losses. When he won in that September game against Waterloo, Rosetti had four passing touchdowns and completed 68.8 per cent of his passes. In his losses, he wasn’t spectacular.
As indicated above, the defense gave him chances to execute, and he was simply ineffective in the backfield. Now, offensive production may be connected to offensive line productivity—Rosetti was sacked 12 times this season—but at crucial points in games, one should expect their leadership to step up.
For the most part, it did seem like Rosetti was trying to execute out there. In spite of passing for 53.7 per cent of his passes, Rosetti was the guy Stu Lang looked to push this team. Rosetti should have another chance to bring this team along next season.