10 Things: OUA Week Five
Updated: Oct 4, 2019
Rasheed Tucker Runs Through Varsity Blues
On Saturday afternoon the Queen’s Gaels handed the nationally ranked Toronto Varsity Blues a 37-33 loss. Queen’s was finally able to find an offensive rhythm in large part due to the play of running back, Rasheed Tucker.
Tucker had 28 carries for 210 yards and 2 touchdowns in the Gaels victory over the Blues. Tucker’s 28 carries accumulated for 71% of Gaels rushing plays, the Gaels rushed the ball a total of 39 times in the game. Of the Gaels 72 offensive snaps Tucker was featured on 29 (40%). Tucker has solidified himself as the feature back for the Gaels and was a major contributor in the win over the Blues. The Gaels will face the Laurier Golden Hawks in Week 6, who have given up the fewest rushing yards on the season.
Gordon Lam Hattrick
In the Warriors 34-24 win over the Carleton Ravens, no offensive player stood out more in this game than Warriors receiver, Gordon Lam. Lam had 7 receptions for 158 yards and 3 touchdowns. Lam burned the Ravens secondary for touchdowns of 7 yards, 17 yards, and his longest on the day was a 68 yard catch and run.
Lam was an absolute nightmare for the Ravens defence, no mater where he was on the field the Ravens had a difficult time containing Lam. Lam is a quick fluid receiver who has the ability to play from both the slot and on the line. Lam scored two of his three touchdowns aligned on the line of scrimmage and scored his third touchdown lined up in the slot. Lam’s versatility and speed make him a valuable weapon in the Warriors offence.
Andreas Dueck Dominant in Win
The McMaster Marauders offence, specifically their quarterback, Andreas Dueck looked impressive in a 47-19 win over the Windsor Lancers. In the game Dueck threw 21 completions on 33 attempts for 389 yards, no interceptions and 3 touchdowns. Dueck’s impressive day was highlighted by two throws over 70 yards each, including a 72 yard touchdown pass. When putting the ball in the air the Marauders offence was especially dangerous, Dueck averaged 18.5 yards per completion and 39 yards per touchdown pass.
Dueck was able to throw completions at an almost automatic rate. When the ball was in the air it was almost always placed in a spot where only a Mac receiver was able to make a play. Dueck looked patient and confident in the pocket, which translated to yardage, touchdowns, and a win on Saturday for the Marauders.
Pair of Gee-Gees Get W Against York
The Gee-Gees laid a fairly brutal beating on the York Lions as they put up 46 points and cruised to a 46-12 win. So at this point I’m sure some are wondering, “what’s so special about a blowout win?” *insert skeptical face emoji*. Its not the score that was impressive in this game it was the impact plays from a pair of young Gee-Gees.
Second year quarterback, Ben Maracle, who is taking over for the injured Sawyer Buettner, threw 18 completions on 32 attempts for 280 yards and two touchdowns. Maracle also carried the ball 3 times for 52 rushing yards. Maracle had a solid day, looking calm and poised in the pocket, he made plays when he needed to with his legs and the result was a near 300 yard day for him.
Jordan Burgher a second year running back had a big day for the Gee-Gees as well. Burgher carried the ball 11 times for 71 yards and added 3 touchdowns. Burgher’s 11 carries were the most of any Gee-Gee ball carrier. The play from the two second year Gee-Gees helped propel them to a commanding victor over the Lions.
Guelph Takes Western to the Wire in Defensive Battle
Western versus Guelph looked like it had the potential to be a game of the week. It was a good game… if you like defence, the game ended 9-3 in favour of the Mustangs.
The Gryphons defence was able to find success against the Mustangs, getting in the backfield for 4 sacks, 7 tackles for a loss of yards, 1 fumble recovery, and an interception. Chris Merchant was held to 20 completions on 29 passes for 222 yards and no touchdowns by a relentless Guelph front 7.
The Gryphons are the first defence on the season to hold the Mustangs to no offensive touchdowns in a game. Despite the stellar defensive play from their defence, the Guelph offence was unable to find much success as they could only manage to get in range for a field goal once. The lack of offence on part of the Gryphons resulted in a 6 point loss at the hand of the still undefeated Western Mustangs.
Upset of the Week
For the first time all season the Toronto Varsity Blues had finally received the national recognition they so rightly deserved. Heading into week 5 the Blues were ranked as the tenth team in the USports top ten national rankings. The Blues would be taking on the 1-3 Queen’s Gaels, who have played tough despite running into some early season struggles. This game would finish with a 37-33 Gaels win to stun the Varsity Blues, who may have entered this game somewhat over confident.
The Blues offence still played well in this game and Sequeira was still impressive, throwing for 345 yards and 3 touchdowns. However, it was costly and uncharacteristic mistakes that led Toronto to keep getting in their own way. For example, on the very first drive of the game for the Blues, Sequeira fumbled attempting a sneak, the fumble was recovered by the Gaels who turned the fumbled recovery into 3 points. On the following Blues drive, Sequeira sailed a bad pass that was intercepted. A route he normally would throw a strike on. The Queen’s defence would recover 3 fumbles, add 3 sacks, and force an interception in the upset win over the Varsity Blues. The Gaels were evidently prepare for the Blues in this game and it showed, the Gaels had a big game defensively and the offence was finally able to compliment the defensive effort with a solid offensive outing of its own.
Tre Ford Finding Rhythm
Tre Ford and the Waterloo Warriors have had a bit of a slow and underwhelming start to the season. Many had high hopes for the Warriors this season after an incredible 2018.
In the Warriors 34-24 win over the Ravens, Ford displayed exactly what made him such a dominant quarterback last season. Ford hit on 21 of his 27 passing attempts, throwing 348 yards and 4 touchdowns. Ford was on target all game long, seemingly unable to miss hitting on all levels of the route tree. Whether firing deep or throwing a check down pass Ford’s accuracy was noticeable. Ford connected on 2 long touchdowns of 68 yards and 45 yards, he also connected on a 17 yard touchdown and a 7 yarder. Ford’s play in the win against the Ravens was reminiscent of his 2018 season. Ford was calm, collected, and confident when throwing the football, something that needs to continue through the end of the season if the Warriors want to make any type of run in the playoffs this season.
Jaxon Hume Has the Zoom
Unfortunately for the York Lions the 2019 has been a struggle. Through the first five weeks the York Lions remain winless, most recently suffering a a 46-12 loss at the Hand of the Ottawa Gee-Gees.
The lone score from the Lions came on an incredibly impressive play late in the second quarter. Following a Gee-Gees score, Lions return man, Jaxon Hume took the kickoff 107 yards to the house for a Lions score. Hume provided a flash of optimism for the Lions as the Gee-Gees were only up 10 points following the big play from Hume. The Lions have a lot of work ahead of them as they finish out the 2019 season, but one thing they can feel comfortable with is their return game.
Do the Gryphons Have the Best D in the OUA?
The other day as I was aimlessly scrolling through social media I came across something relatively thought provoking; Are the Guelph Gryphons the Best Defence in the OUA?
After a closer look at some Guelph film I’ve formulated my own opinion on the matter.
Guelph’s defence is really good, but I’m not ready to call them the BEST. The Gryphons allow the 4th most yards in the OUA with 402.2 per game and the 3rd most passing yards per game, allowing 299.8 yards in the air. However, Guelph does allow the 3rd fewest rushing yards in the OUA, has the most sacks (20), and the most defensive touchdowns (3).
My evaluation of the Guelph defence is that they have a phenomenal front seven that makes up for a mediocre secondary. The Front 7 is clearly the strength of this Guelph defence and the front 7 causes so much disruption to opposing offences that Guelph can get away with having a softer pass defence. While I don’t believe Guelph is the best defence, I believe they are in the conversation for one of the top defences and I absolutely believe they have perhaps the best front 7 in the OUA.
The Mac Argument
It’s hard to make an argument surrounding great defences in the OUA without bringing up the McMaster Marauders. The Marauders on the season have allowed the second fewest yardage per game, 329.4 yards. The Marauder defence has also allowed just the fourth fewest rushing yards per game, 106.8 yards and the fourth fewest passing yards per game, 222.6 yards. The Marauders have also surrendered just 94 points on the season, third fewest in the OUA.
The McMaster secondary has also been one of the best in the province, the Marauders currently lead the OUA with 11 interceptions.They are a hard secondary to throw on with veteran defensive backs that can run and cover with the best receivers in the country.
The Marauders are a solid all around defence that is difficult to gash for big plays. McMaster does a good job of taking away the strength of an opposing offence and forcing them to play outside of their comfort zone. Based on what the Marauders defence has put on tape thus far, I would be willing to make the claim that the McMaster defence is currently the number one defence in the province.
Connor O'Neil is a former UOttawa Gee-Gee defensive back with a passion for Canadian Football and a desire to stay connected to the game.