This Saturday, the Concordia Stingers take on the University of Montreal Carabins at stade CEPSUM on Saturday in the QUFL semi-final. It has the potential to be one of the closest playoff games in Canada this season, considering their only matchup this season, a 24-21 Montreal win at Concordia field in the Shrine Bowl came down to the final play. Both teams are coming off of two totally different weeks as well. Concordia had the week off due to McGill’s decision to cancel their season, while the Carabins went to Stade PEPS in Ste-Foy and got hammered by the Laval Rouge et Or.
Here is a breakdown of what to expect and who may have the edge.
This is a battle of two opposites. Montreal has a 1,000 yard rusher in Joseph Mroue who led the QUFL, in rushing yards this season and the best rushing offense in the QUFL while Concordia has the best passing offense in the QUFL led by Scott Syvret. Ironically, both teams have an average of 28.4 points scored per game, which means there is little to set these teams apart. The main difference between the two teams is that Montreal’s passing game is better than Concordia’s running game. Montreal put up just under 1300 passing yards this season while Concordia put up a little over 500 yards rushing. Concordia’s passing game is nothing to sneeze at as Syvret has six options on every play: Mark Kang, Juan Scott, Mike Renaud, Nick Saikaley, Nick Scissons and Concordia’s single-season record holder for most catches, Dan Mott, who can all be trusted to catch the ball.
It is evident why these teams are both currently ranked in the top-10 in Canada as they are solid with and without the ball. Concordia and Montreal have, respectively, the second and third best defenses in Quebec: not a surprise, either. In total defense, Concordia has a slight edge allowing 4.5 yards less a game than Montreal (285.5-290) but the main argument is to see how Concordia does against the run, and how Montreal does against the pass. Well, against the pass, Montreal is fourth in Quebec giving up an average of 202.4 yards through the air per game. Against the run, Concordia is third in Quebec giving up an average of 89.4 yards a game. However, in their only meeting of the season, Concordia had Mroue gain 138 yards against them on 26 carries, while the Carabins defense held Scott Syvret to 218 yards, intercepted him twice and limited the production of the wide receivers.
In a game like this, it usually comes down to which team is better on special teams, and that advantage goes to ConU’s duo of all-stars: Mike Renaud at punter and placekicker Warren Kean If the Stingers limit Mroue to under 100 yards, it goes a long way to securing a victory. If the Carabins limit the Stingers passing game to under 200 yards, it will go a long way towards them winning the game. Either way, Concordia’s running backs need to have a strong game and Jonathan Jodoin, Montreal’s quarterback has to have a solid game as well for their side to win the game. The winner of this game has the honour of visiting Stade PEPS, assuming of course the Rouge et Or beat the Vert et Or this weekend. Laval might just be unbeatable in Quebec, but don’t tell that to either the Stingers or Carabins who will refuse to go down quietly.