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LONDON | The Vanier Cup will feature two “phenomenal” quarterbacks who are among the “elite” of college football in the country and who are at the top of their game.

• Read also: Huskies to tame for the Rouge et Or

• Read also: Rouge et Or at the Vanier Cup

This concert of praise for pivots Arnaud Desjardins and Mason Nyhus came from their head coaches. Glen Constantin and Scott Flory are aware that they have in their hands the crème de la crème of quarterbacks in the Canadian university network.

Both athletes dominated all year. They are the only ones to have averaged over 300 passing yards per game. And they lined up one touchdown pass after another.

“I think they’re two phenomenal quarterbacks. There is no doubt that they are among the country’s elite,” boasts Flory.

Constantin also spoke of “two very good quarterbacks”, specifying that the Rouge et Or’s career in the playoffs had already allowed him to compete with great players in this position.

At the Dunsmore Cup, they faced Jonathan Sénécal, before rubbing shoulders with Evan Hillock at the Mitchell Cup. “At the end of the season, we will be able to say that we have […] been tested by every good quarterback in Canada. »

A pure ferryman

Between Desjardins and Nyhus, the latter has the most experience. A fifth-year veteran, he had the experience of the Vanier Cup last year, in Quebec. A 27-21 loss to the Western University Mustangs.

The main interested party, freshly elected offensive player of the week in the country, intends this time to leave the field with a Vanier Cup at the end of his arms this time.

“We had to face elite teams outside of our conference last year. This experience will really help us for the upcoming match,” he believes.

“Mason, the only thing I see on film is that he’s not the bravest quarterback. It is not a Sénécal who can run. It’s not Eloa [Latendresse-Régimbald] Neither does McGill. It’s a pure smuggler who stays in the pocket”, specifies Constantin.

Professionalism

As for Arnaud Desjardins, if he does not have the baggage of Mason Nyhus, he benefits from the good words of the veterans around him.

“They told me that these are very physical games where nobody wants to make mistakes. We have to protect the ball. We’re going to have to make as many big plays as possible because they’re definitely not going to give it to us,” he said.

Scott Flory for his part praised the very good work of Desjardins. But he wouldn’t trade the experience gained by his own quarterback in recent years for anything in the world.

“He is the leader of our football team. He’s been to a few CFL camps, he’s seen how these guys prepare, how they manage their life off the field. He has a great professional approach. »

All-Canadian Gala

Three members of the Rouge et Or will be nominated Thursday night at the All-Canadian Gala to be held in London. Wide receiver Kevin Mital is up for the prestigious Hec Creighton Trophy, awarded to the country’s most valuable player. The tackle Nathaniel Dumoulin-Duguay is nominated for the JP Metras trophy given to the offensive lineman of the year on the Canadian university circuit. And Glen Constantin, elected head coach of the year in Quebec, could also be in Canada since he is a candidate to receive the Frand Tindall trophy.

In short

Thanks to his 17 tackles, including seven solo, Alec Poirier received the title of defensive player of the week… Kicker Vincent Blanchard, author of four field goals in five attempts, was elected player of the week on special teams… The management of the Quebec Remparts has announced that it will broadcast the Vanier Cup game on a giant screen at the Videotron Center before the hockey club’s game.

ARNAUD DESJARDINS #12


The duel between Arnaud Desjardins and Mason Nyhus promises for the Vanier Cup final.

Archival photo

The duel between Arnaud Desjardins and Mason Nyhus promises for the Vanier Cup final.

  • Player of 2e year
  • Matches played: 8
  • Passes attempted: 267
  • Passes completed: 195
  • Percentage of passes completed: 73%
  • Yards/games: 319.4
  • Affected: 20
  • Intercepts: 4

MASON HYNUS #8


  • Player of 5e year
  • Matches played: 8
  • Passes attempted: 298
  • Passes completed: 197
  • Percentage of passes completed: 66.1%
  • Yards/games: 344.9
  • Affected: 18
  • Intercepts: 3

A duty to facilitate the task

Glen Constantin wants ‘the best possible start’

After seeing his team come back brilliantly from a disastrous start last Saturday, Glen Constantin now wants his players to have “the best start possible. »

Successful comebacks are rare when you are down 17-0 in a game. Université Laval pulled off the feat last week, but head coach Constantin knows full well that it can’t work every time, especially in a Vanier Cup context.

That’s why he hopes his troupe won’t “make it harder” by making mistakes.

“Of course you want to have the best possible start so you don’t have to go up or win it tight,” he says.

“But when you look at that, apart from our mistakes, we were still moving the ball well. Even if we lost 17-0, I didn’t feel that we were downgraded as a team,” he added immediately, reassured by the rest of his flock’s performance at the Mitchell Cup.

“It’s a matter of playing better. »


Glen Constantin interviewed after Friday's press briefing in London.

Photo Didier Debusschere

Glen Constantin interviewed after Friday’s press briefing in London.

As strong as Western

And play better, it will be necessary. Glen Constantin compares the Saskatchewan Huskies to the Western University Mustangs, “but with a different identity. »

The different identity the Rouge et Or pilot is referring to is the Western Representatives Air Strike Force. Led by veteran quarterback Mason Nyhus, the Huskies offense dominated the country.

A veteran

On average, the offense gained 479 yards in each game, including nearly 350 passing.

“He’s in his fifth year, but I think he’s been in the program for eight years. It gives us an idea of ​​how much of a veteran he is,” Constantin notes of Nyhus.

“Pass coverage doesn’t hold any great secrets for him. We’re going to have to mix our covers up to a certain point and be able to put the pressure on. »

Make it “uncomfortable”

The key to trying to slow down the Huskies’ aerial game will be to put a lot of pressure on Mason Nyhus, Constantin believes.

“What I’ve seen is no one is pressuring him in the conference. They will focus more on coverage and pressure. I think it’s something we can do. We would like to make it a little more uncomfortable. »

The valuable experience acquired last year at the Vanier Cup will be an ally of first choice for the Huskies, who will certainly want to avenge their failure suffered in Quebec, on the ground of their opponents on Saturday.

On the phone, University of Saskatchewan head coach Scott Flory is relaxed. Listening to him, you quickly see that he feels privileged to still be able to play football at this time of year and that he is enjoying the moment.

“When you play in the cold at the end of November, when you are one of the last two teams to play for the championship, it’s great,” he says enthusiastically.

“Just too good”

He feels all the more grateful since his players nearly stumbled at the Uteck Cup last Saturday against the St. Fx X-Men. The scoreboard was 13-13 in the fourth quarter. Many would have thought that the Huskies would make short work of the Atlantic champions.

“We made mental mistakes, mistakes, things we don’t usually do. We took penalties. We will have to make fewer mistakes,” agrees Flory, at the helm of the Huskies since 2017.

The team hadn’t won a playoff game in nine years when he was named head coach in March 2017. The former Huskies, with whom he won the Vanier Cup in 1996 and 1998, is well placed to know efforts to become a champion.

“Against Laval, we know that if we make mistakes like at St. FX, they’ll take advantage of their chances. They are just too good. »

Respect

The former Montreal Alouettes color holder for 15 years does not hesitate to dip into the world of boxing to qualify the upcoming confrontation. “It’s going to be a heavyweight fight,” he warns.

“I have a lot of respect for coach Constantin and this football program. We know that he will have prepared his players well. »

After a day of practice on Tuesday, the Huskies headed to London on Wednesday. And this time, no question of taking a commercial flight. Delays and mechanical glitches from a plane spiced up the trip to St-FX a little too much for Scott Flory’s taste.

” Oh no ! It’s a charter flight, he says, even though the team is used to air travel during the season. We will certainly have control over our movements. »



Two shifts in a class of their own

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