Carbines: an attack ready to be repelled

To say that the Université de Montréal Carabins offense was at full throttle in 2023 is an understatement.

Through eight regular season games, the unit led by coordinator Gabriel Cousineau scored 30 touchdowns and averaged 413 yards per game. Against Vert & Or de Sherbrooke in the Quebec semifinals, she collected four majors in a 54-3 dominance.

The Blues offense, however, failed to find the payoff zone in a 12-6 win over Laval Rouge et Or University in the Dunsmore Cup final last week.

A few days before the Uteck Cup against the Western Mustangs, no one from the Carabins has the impression that this inefficiency in possession of the ball will be repeated in the Canadian semi-finals.

“Is that something I’m worried about? No way! We played great attacking football all year. Every time we had a little bit more difficult games, we came back the next week,” emphasized head coach Marco Iadeluca.

“We’ve done too well this year for just one game to shake us up.”

Same story with defender Jonathan Sénécal.

“We’ve been scoring touchdowns all season. That is not the part that defines us, said the pivot. We also have to give credit to Laval. They played an excellent game.”

As for Cousineau, his players must learn from what went wrong against their arch-rivals in the Quebec section.

“It’s a good wake-up call to win a championship like the Dunsmore Cup without playing your best game in attack,” he said. We know we have an exciting offense when we play to our potential.”

The breathtaking Jonathan Sénécal

It’s impossible to talk about this “electrifying onslaught” without highlighting the amazing year Sénécal is having. Mirabellois has been very good since playing on the college circuit, but he’s on a different planet in 2023.

No. 12 finished atop all RSEQ statistical categories at his position in the regular season. He had 15 touchdown passes and 2,215 passing yards. He completed almost 70% of his relays and only threw four interceptions. The 24-year-old also had 394 yards and six rushing yards.

Sénécal was selected as the RSEQ Offensive MVP of the Week six times out of a possible eight. Not surprisingly, he was named MVP of the tour.


However, don’t ask Sénécal to send flowers, that’s not in his personality.

“I’ve been playing with basically the same book for three years. Everything is easier and easier. I know my readings and I’m comfortable. I must also highlight the work of my teammates. Everyone has raised the level of their game this year, which makes my task a lot easier,” he answered simply when asked what made him successful this year.

The injury that forced him to change

Iadeluca was more vocal than his full-back when it came time to analyze what was different about Sénécal this season. The experienced coach recalled that his athlete played most of the previous campaigns with an injury that prevented him from using his legs as he knows how to do well.

“This injury forced him to be more analytical. He learned to be able to pass without being able to move.”


Cousineau made the same observation, adding that it allowed Sénécal to make better decisions.

“He calmed down when he was in the protective bag. (…) He no longer pushes the ball like before, said the offensive coordinator of the Blues. He takes the sack when it’s time and is much more careful with his throws.”

– Carabins and Mustangs will meet this Saturday at noon in CEPSUM. The match will be broadcast by TVA Sports.

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