Quote Originally Posted by LiveBreatheFootball View Post
We did see that until 2015 for sure: Laval getting thrashed against UBC in August 2015 (I remember being on forum while waiting for my connecting flight at SFO).

2016 and 2017 were pretty surprising for me though: I didn't expect Carleton to be scheduled- probably expected Western or Calgary or even 2015 Guelph!
Laval scheduling Carleton for 2016 and 2017 made perfect sense. The Ravens had been to Sherbrooke and beaten the Vert&Or the previous year IIRC.

Judging on recruiting alone Carleton had brought in the talent to compete with Laval. They had the undisputed best recruiting class in the country in 2013 and followed that up with another very strong group in 2014. I recall thinking that it looked like Sumarrah and company were recruiting to compete with Laval and Montreal more than focusing on competing in the OUA. As a result of that, for several years they had the largest, or among the largest, O-lines and D-lines in the country.

Let's not forget that Carleton handled the R&O through most of the 2016 exhibition game. They led almost the entire game. Some of that was the result of putting a lot more time and effort into game-planning for their opponent than is usually the case in exhibition games. The Ravens also kept experienced players in the game longer too. I think their performance vs Laval was a huge boost of confidence for CU.

I also think that confidence and their "moral victory" was the undoing of their 2016 season. The huge emotional boost made their season opener vs McMaster anti-climatic. In essence, their first OUA match became a 'trap' game and it showed in their flat performance.

As for being embarrassed in the 2017 re-match, Carleton had it coming. They had lost as much, or more, talent to the CFL as anyone. They had no one ready to replace QB Jesse Mills. They couldn't afford to put the same time and effort into preparing for Laval as they had the year before.

Jumping to 2018, I worry a little about whether the Guelph offense will be ready to compete with Laval. The Gryphons will be in a similar position to Carleton in 2017, heading into Quebec City with inexperience at QB. Added to that is the fact that Guelph graduates two 5th year RBs and doesn't appear to have anyone ready to take over. The running back issues could be solved by a stud RB recruit or two since a solid O-Line is in place.

The Gryphon defense will be solid beginning with the D-line. Only one LB is done. Experience in the backfield will depend on who sticks in the CFL with both Metchie and Parisotto certain to be drafted.