Thanksgiving weekend in the OUA kicks off with a Top 10 matchup between the No. 6-ranked Queen’s Gaels and No. 7 Guelph Gryphons Friday night (6 p.m. ET) at Richardson Stadium in Kingston.
Queen’s enters the game as the only undefeated team left in the conference, with a 3-0 record after defeating the Toronto Varsity Blues 35-11.
Despite the short week, Gaels head coach Steve Snyder is still confident in his team.
“It’s tough to get them used to it (the shorter week),” said the third year head coach. “Our guys have done a really good job adjusting.”
Gaels’ standout Rasheed Tucker continues to dominate his competition, averaging 139.3 rushing yards per game this season.
After adding 194 yards and two touchdowns on the ground last week, Tucker was awarded the OUA Offensive Player of the Week.
With the conference’s best rushing attack, Snyder knows his team will be tested against Guelph, which defeated the Gaels 27-24 in overtime during the 2019 season.
“We are going to have to be really physical with them,” he noted. “It’s an impressive, very well coached defence with some big, strong athletic football players.”
“It’s going to be a grind, but we are looking forward to the challenge.”
As Tucker and the rushing attack for the Gaels have drawn a lot of attention through the first half of the OUA season, receiver Richard Burton’s contributions have not gone unnoticed. Through three games, the fourth-year player from Ottawa has scored four receiving touchdowns, tying him for first in the country.
“You often times have to pull him back he works so hard,” coach Snyder mentioned about the veteran. “He wants to win and he wants to be the best.”
While the Gryphons have played just two games this season, the 2021 campaign has already had its ups and downs.
After knocking off the top-ranked Western Mustangs, Guelph went on the road and fell flat against the Windsor Lancers without their starting quarterback, Shawn Lal, who will be out for the second straight week with an upper body injury.
As Queen’s attempts to run the ball like it has so far, the Gryphons have only been able to muster 82 yards on the ground through two games, 23 of which came from backup quarterback Deandre Rose who played in relief of Lal.
“When we do get to game time and get to dial in on who’s taking snaps,” the Gaels’ coach added. “We’ll be ready.”