Carleton Ravens 2021 Football Season Preview

For the first time in over 600+ days, OUA football is back but more specifically, Carleton Ravens football is back! With there being a complete year off in between seasons, let’s quickly review how the 2019-20 season went for the Ravens.

The 2019-2020 Season

Carleton Ravens head coach Steve Sumarah leads the team onto the field before a game.
Credit: Carleton University

Carleton’s start to their 2019-20 season was rocky, at best. The Ravens had a demanding schedule to start the season. Their first two games were against the Gryphons and the Mustangs, who ultimately finished 1st and 2nd in the standings in 2019. During Week 1, the Gryphons played spoiler in the Raven’s home debut as they won 37-20. Things wouldn’t get any better for the Ravens as they would drop the next two games with a combined score of 74-47.

There was a bright spot for Carleton’s offence for the first three games, and that was their passing game. In all three games, they achieved over 250 pass yards. The passing game was the Raven’s strength in 2019-20 since their run game would surpass 100 yards only once during the first three games. On defence, the bright spot was on the ground, as their best performance would be holding the Gryphons to 123 rush yards with an average of 3.4 yards per carry. However, teams like the Gryphons, Mustangs and Warriors exploited the Ravens defence in the passing game. The Ravens allowed 813 passing yards; two of those three games featured the opposing team passing for over 300 yards twice!

Things would get brighter for the Ravens team as the season continued. Entering Week 4, Carleton was desperate to win as they were outscored 111-67 during that unfortunate losing streak. They would welcome the Toronto Varsity Blues at MNP Park. The Ravens run defence played great once again, holding the Varsity Blues to only 46 rush yards and used their lethal pass offence to put up 385 yards through the air as the Ravens held on for a 29-19 victory. This game was important as Week 5 would be the Panda Games and the Ravens needed as much momentum going into that game as possible. The Ravens wouldn’t get the result they wanted as the Gee-Gee’s beat them by a score of 32-10, using six Ravens turnovers to their advantage to secure the win in the 51st Panda Games. That would be the only loss the Ravens would suffer for the rest of the season as they would win the final two games against McMaster & Laurier, finishing the year 4-4 with a 2-2 home record and a 2-1 away record.

What To Address

CANADIAN NIGHTMARE: Carleton Ravens DB waits more than a year to be allowed  back into Canada | Ottawa Sun
Jonathan Edouard of the Carleton Ravens. PHOTO BY VALERE WUTTI /Valerie Wutti

With this upcoming season, the Ravens need to address their pass defence issue. Even during the season’s final three games, it was cause for concern as they allowed 267 against the Gee-Gee’s, 334 yards against the Marauders and 190 yards against the Golden Hawks.

In addition, the Ravens have to look to score more points which is easier said than done, as they finished with the 3rd fewest points scored in the OUA with 181, which averages out to 22.6 per game.

Looking at the 2021 schedule, the Ravens have it pretty easy. They play the Gales x2 (finished 3-5 in 2019), Lions (1-7 in 2019), Gee-Gee’s x2 (5-3 in 2019), Varsity Blues (2-6 in 2019).

The Carleton Ravens kick off their long-awaited season at home on Saturday, September 18th, against the Queen’s Gales at 3 pm. The Panda Game takes place Saturday, October 2nd at TD Place at noon.

Cover Photo: @CURavensFB on Twitter

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