Laval without complex against the Carabins

With four straight wins and five in the last six games, are the Université de Montréal Carabins the big favorites in this first duel of the season against the Université Laval Rouge et Or?

• Read also: A heavy challenge for the Rouge et Or defensive line against the Carabins

• Read also: Red and Gold c. Carabins: Muganda brothers motivated and excited to face each other

The Blues swept the Reds for the first time in their history last year. Two regular season victories and a first Dunsmore Cup title on home soil helped the Carabins reach the semi-finals nationally.

The two rivals will meet on Saturday at the Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard.

For a long time the team to beat in Quebec, the Rouge et Or have no intention of sticking their heads between their two legs in the metropolis. “We’re going to show up in Montreal without complex,” declared head coach Glen Constantin. We have nothing to envy to the Carabins. We have the talent, the chemistry and the cohesion to compete. We are better equipped than last year. »

The Laval driver is not concerned about the most recent results between the two RSEQ powerhouses. “We leave the statistics to the media and we don’t look at that,” he said. On our side, we focus on football. Many of those six games were close and decided by possession. »

New era

Bruno Lagacé believes that the recent successes of the Carabins against the Rouge et Or will not weigh in the balance.

“I remember that in 2018, we lost three times against Laval and we won the Dunsmore Cup in 2019, underlined the veteran defensive back. A single season cannot define a team. Our 2021 successes will have nothing to say. It’s a new era that is beginning and I think Laval will arrive stronger than ever. »

Carabins driver Marco Iadeluca bemoaned the 381 passing yards the Rouge et Or allowed the McGill Redbirds last Saturday. He doesn’t expect a walk in the park.

“McGill was betting on a new quarterback [Eloa Latendresse-Regimbald] and a new offensive system, underlined the pilot of Blues. He’s a very talented quarterback. Within the RSEQ, we have the best crop of quarterbacks since my debut in 2010. It is not easy to prepare in these circumstances. As for the Dunsmore Cup last year, I can’t remember the statistics. Our offensive and defensive lines will have to dominate and we will have to protect the ball. »

Play until the whistle

Among the best pivots in the country, Jonathan Sénécal represents a constant threat to opposing defences. “Jonathan’s strength is that he runs to find a place to shoot,” explained Constantin. He is a very talented quarterback who is very mobile and understands what is happening in front of him. »

“Obviously our covers will have to be tighter than during the game at McGill, continued Constantin, but the watchword this week in practice is that our defensive backs must finish their games until the whistle. . Their quarterback extends the games and we will have to be ready. »

Ready for everything

Even if the Rouge et Or have a strong propensity to throw the ball since the start of the season, Iadeluca is wary of the ground attack of his rivals.

“Like us, Laval wants to present a diversified attack and we have to respect both sides,” he said. Their offensive line has two players of 5e year [Nicolas Guay et Nicolas Thibodeau] and Laval has a very good offensive with Arnaud Desjardins and Kevin Mital who play very good football. »

A tertiary line that wants to recover

The Rouge et Or secondary line had a difficult afternoon of work during the game against McGill last Saturday.

Laval gave up 381 passing yards to rookie center Eloa Latendresse-Regimbald. Maxym Lavallée wants his friends to correct the situation.

“We made several assignment errors and we don’t want the situation to repeat itself,” said the veteran defensive back and captain. We gave a lot of yards. We weren’t satisfied with our defensive performance and we want to improve. We missed interceptions. Me first. The video tapes are going to be really useful, which we didn’t have during the game at McGill. »

A big challenge

If the challenge is great, Lavallée is happy to rub shoulders with pivot Jonathan Sénécal.

“I’m excited to face a quarterback who throws the ball very well and who is at the top of his game,” said the CNDF product. It’s never been so true to play to the whistle against a guy of Sénécal’s caliber who finds a way to make big plays in difficult situations. »

Even if the communication in the huddle for his offensive teammates should be easier, Lavallée would have liked to perform at the CEPSUM.

“It’s a shame because it’s exciting to play in front of a hostile crowd. I can’t wait to see the environment in Grasset. In my only match with the CNDF, we lost in overtime.

Increased role for receivers

Despite the departure of a few receivers and the injury of wide receiver Hassane Dosso, who was selected on the 2nd team of all stars in the country in 2021 by virtue of his 48 receptions and four touchdowns for 757 yards, Lavallée does not underestimate the Carabins receiving group.

“There are always new faces among receivers and they find ways to make big plays,” he said. If they are on the field, it is because they are good players. I take nothing for granted. »

Carl Chabot has always enjoyed success against the Rouge et Or.

“He is to be watched since his university debut, underlined Lavallée about the half-insert of the Blues. He is excellent in space because of his agility and you will have to make sure to contain him and tackle well. He is more physical on the pitch than the video might suggest. »

The Carabins will be watching Kevin Mital at all times

Receiver ranks first in receptions, yards and touchdowns


The Carabins defense will be keeping an eye on slotback Kevin Mital, who had four touchdowns in his last game.

Photo archives, QMI Agency

The Carabins defense will be keeping an eye on slotback Kevin Mital, who had four touchdowns in his last game.

Kevin Mital’s name is on the lips of college football fans.

Author of four touchdowns, which represents a team record, against the McGill Redbirds, the Rouge et Or slotback is the leader among RSEQ receivers with 12 receptions for 200 yards in two games. Its five majors also represent a vertex.

“I was on a ‘high’ Saturday night after the game, but it was all over the next day,” said Mital, who will return to Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard, where he played his three collegiate seasons in a club uniform. André-Grasset’s Phoenix. I can’t wait to play the Carabins. This year, the focus is on us, but we watched a few films to find out their trends. »

Mital’s exploits obviously did not go unnoticed in the Carabins camp. “Kevin is playing very good football and we will have to limit the number of plays he makes,” said head coach Marco Iadeluca, who was Mital’s offensive coordinator for two seasons in Grasset. He is one of the most explosive receivers. We can’t stop him and we can’t use the same recipe to slow him down for the whole game. If we cheat by doubling it, other receivers will make us pay. »

Particular attention

Mital expects special attention. “They will do everything to slow me down,” he summed up. Last year, the outside linebacker on the short side [Harold Miessan] was slowing me down and the defensive back [Bruno Lagacé] was waiting for me 12 yards away. I line up in several formations and it becomes more difficult to overtake me. If they do, they’re going to miss a player somewhere and other receivers can take advantage of that. »

Lagacé is fully aware of the threat posed by his former teammate. “We will have to keep our eyes on him and always know where he is on the ground, explained the student at HEC and teammate of Mital for two seasons to André-Grasset. He received a lot of balloons since the start of the season and that allowed us to learn a lot about him. Kevin is a special player and as Charles-Antoine Sinotte says [analyste à TVA Sports], it can be rain or shine. »

“On the videotapes, we see that he is fast,” added Lagacé. He has regained Grasset’s form and that seems to be helping him. »

As he told us last week, Mital now tips the scales at 215 pounds, the same weight he weighed in his senior year of college.

He played at 230 pounds last year. In his only season with the Syracuse Orange in the NCAA, the scale weighed in at 248 pounds in anticipation that he would be turned into a tight end.

While the Rouge et Or offense has had some good times since the start of the season, Mital recognizes that the game against the Carabins has a special meaning.

“For the offense, this will be our real test. Sherbrooke had a good defense and McGill made mistakes. We know that the Carabins like to put pressure and Justin [Éthier] is ready to place its pawns according to what Montreal will present to us. I can’t wait to return to Claude-Robillard, a field where I know the end zone well. »

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