BETTING À DAY
Additional challenges arise in the preparation of the Laval University Rouge et Or for their return game Friday night in Sherbrooke against the Vert & Or, who has just played his best match of the Mathieu Lecompte era.
After a victory against the McGill Redbirds on Sunday, the Rouge et Or will play a second game after only four days of recovery and preparation on Friday evening.
“We find ourselves with a schedule that resembles in the CFL with two games so close, except that our players are student-athletes and not professionals, underlined head coach Glen Constantin. Quicker recovery and assimilation of the game plan adds spice to our season. We held three good practices after a break on Monday. »
On the side of the Green & However, we keep the suspense as to the identity of his starting quarterback.
Absent since the start of the season due to surgery, Anthony Robichaud has been training with his teammates since the start of the week, but head coach Mathieu Lecompte would not confirm whether he would be in uniform or not.
A changing system< /p>
“We think Robichaud will be in uniform,” said Constantin. We are preparing for the two quarterbacks. Robichaud is a pure passer who is mobile. With Charles Picard, Sherbrooke plays with tight ends to take pressure off the quarterback. If Robichaud is the starter, we'll have to see how he reacts to his first game of the season. The system changes from quarterback to quarterback. »
« The Green & Gold encountered a lot of adversity at the quarterback position and they managed to come out of it well, chasing Constantin. They have a good balance on offense and we have to defend the whole field. »
The Green & However, Justin Chapdelaine, ensures that tight ends are here to stay, regardless of the identity of his pivot.
“It's really important to bet on hybrid players, he he explains. Like David Dallaire in Laval who is versatile, we also have athletes like Sébastien Binette and Louis Saint-Amour who are able to run tracks and block. It is an important asset that is really difficult to defend. »
Constantin believes that the Vert & Or is playing his best football of the season.
“They are having a good time and are at their best. They do well in all three aspects. Their defensive front is solid against the ground game and manages to put pressure on the quarterback. Their two kickers are very good even if they do not know the expected season. Special teams are always a big factor against Sherbrooke. »
With 195 wins, Constantin will equal Brian Towriss' record if the Rouge et Or win in Sherbrooke. In 33 years at the helm of the Saskatchewan Huskies, Towriss has scored 196 wins.
“With the short week, I didn't have time to think about it. After being asked about it before our first game of the season, I put it aside. If we have a good season, it will happen naturally. »
Learning a lesson
The Laval pilot assures that the 23 to 17 defeat in Sherbrooke in 2021 is ancient history. This was the Vert & Gold against Laval since its debut in 2003.
“In defeat, we learned a lesson, that anyone can be beaten. It is not the history book or your logo that decides the outcome, but your actions on the field. Personally, I can't wait to return to Sherbrooke. »
An offensive line on a mission
The Université Laval Rouge et Or's ground attack wants to continue its momentum.
The Rouge et Or had their best games against Concordia and McGill in their last two outings, amassing 219 and 266 respectively yards.
“We are challenged by the coaches every week if we are able to run,” said left tackle Nathaniel Dumoulin-Duguay. We are competitors and we want to take up the challenge. This is an additional motivation. On a personal level, I am happy with my season and I want to continue showing my aggression. »
Jean-Antoine Dean-Rios agrees.
“Every game, we are told to run well with the ball and we have no choice but it works,” said the blocker on the right. If we can't run, it's like we're only doing 50 percent of our work. I have had ups and downs and I feel that I am on an upward slope. I don't want to come down. »
Rivalry between friends
During the first duel against Sherbrooke at the curtain raiser of the season in a 27 to 3 victory, the Rouge et Or had focused mainly on the pass.
“We didn't run much, but you can run against anyone,” said Dumoulin-Duguay. We will have to have a good game because Sherbrooke will be ready to counter us”.
The student in sports intervention who evolved with the Pionniers de Rimouski in the college ranks will cross swords with his former teammate Dylan Côté.
We are good friends, but there is no has no friends in the field. Friendship is after the games. It's always good matchups when you go against each other. We both want to prove that we are the best”.
A tailor-made match for Alec Poirier
Inside linebacker Alec Poirier will be an important piece for the Rouge et Or to slow down the Vert & Or ground attack.
Alec Poirier will feel like he's returned to his youth when he hits the grassy field at the Université de Sherbrooke .
“It reminds me of my youth when I played with the Laval-Laurentides Wildcats,” said the Rouge et Or inside linebacker. the prevailing race. »
With his 240 pounds, Poirier will be at the heart of the action against the Vert & Or who likes to run with the ball in the absence of his first two quarterbacks.
“I like the ground game, he said. When you go back to cover, you can make a tackle, but the chances are better when the ground game is in the spotlight and you can blitz. It's always fun getting tackles for loss.
Glen Constantin believes this is a perfect match for Poirier to shine.
“It's a game designed for his style of play,” said the Laval pilot. Alec is a good player to stop the ground game and we realized that even more when he had to be absent. »
Another key element
Jean-William Rouleau will also be a key element in curbing the ground attack of the Vert & Gold.
“We don't have the same type of defensive front as Concordia which relies on lighter guys and I don't think Sherbrooke will attack us the same way,” explained the star tackle. Instead of attacking us head-on, I believe they will disguise their formations. Their offensive coordinator is very creative and we're going to get our money's worth.
Rouleau believes quarterback Anthony Robichaud will play his first game of the season. “If Sherbrooke beats us by a lot, they will take second place and for this reason I believe that Robichaud will be back, he mentioned. If he does not play, it will be played a lot on the lines and on the ground. »
Respecting the game plan
Poirier is impressed by what the Vert & Or manages to do on offense despite the absence of Robichaud and Zachary Cloutier.
“When you win with your number three quarterback, it shows that you know what you are doing. On our side, we will have to avoid overdoing it and respect our assignments. Their carrier [Lucas Dalin] is good and he follows his blocks well. He is able to exploit openings when they arise. »