The Gryphons will take to the Alumni Stadium field for their season opener Sunday with a young but experienced group at quarterback.James Roberts will enter the season, his third with the Gryphons, as the No. 1 pivot for the second time and will guide a team that’s out to advance further in the playoffs this season.“I think we’re very ready,” Roberts said following Thursday’s practice. “I think after that first day of training camp we realized we’re all ready to go right away. We’re very anxious and we just want to get out there.”Of the four quarterbacks the Gryphons have this season, Cambridge native Roberts is the lone one who hails from Ontario. He’ll be backed up by returnees Theo Landers of Maple Ridge, B.C., and David Luke of Halifax and Kennesaw State transfer Zach Buchan of Dawsonville, Ga.Living away from Guelph during the summer means the athlete has to be a self-starter in order to keep up with the workout routine.“It’s definitely difficult,” Landers said. “It’s something that I definitely don’t think everyone can do and it really takes some mental focus and physical focus. You need that self-driven ambition. It’s something I think I did fairly well over the summer and I was making sure I was constantly talking to the coaches and making sure I was updated on the play book. I made sure I was throwing once a week and stuff like that and keeping my body in shape.”Landers kept up with the Gryphon workouts and also took up another sport in the summer to help with his football.“(Strength and conditioning coach Jordan) Foley was posting his workouts online so me being out in B.C. in Vancouver, I made sure I was reading those and following up on those,” he said. “I also did some boxing over the summer to keep me training and it was something to keep my footwork good.”Being at his second camp with the Gryphons made it easier mentally for Landers, but the physical part of the workouts never gets easier.“When it comes down to throwing every day, there’s nothing that can really prepare you for four-hour practices and all that throwing over a week, two weeks,” Landers said. “It’s just making sure that I ice all the time and making sure I get the right amount of sleep — eight hours — and making sure that I get the right amount of food and stuff like that. That definitely helps me get through the training camp.”Roberts completed 60 per cent of his passes during the regular season last year as he threw for 2,236 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also threw 10 interceptions and was sacked 15 times. In the playoffs, Roberts completed 54 of 93 pass attempts for 657 yards and a touchdown. He was intercepted four times, three times by Montreal in the Mitchell Bowl loss, and was sacked eight times.While Landers is in his second season with the Gryphons, he saw little action last year. He attempted two passes and didn’t complete either of them.Both are dealing with a play book that is similar to last season’s.“The play book hasn’t changed much,” Roberts said. “We always add things and we always manipulate things and change some of the reads and some of the smaller details, but overall in a general sense it hasn’t changed much.”While the play book has few changes, the team is different than last year’s squad with the loss of several players. Roberts’ favourite target, Jacob Scarfone, is out with an ACL injury and James Ingram, Dylan Husty and Lucas Spagnuolo are gone due to graduation. During the regular season last year, that foursome accounted for 89 receptions, 1,391 yards and 11 touchdowns.“We’re different in many senses,” Roberts said comparing this year’s Gryphons to last year’s OUA championship Yates Cup winners. “We’re a bit more athletic at some positions and a bit less experienced in that same kind of sense, but I think we are definitely moving forward and always will be at this program.”“This team is very different from last year,” Landers said. “I think we’re more focused and we’re more driven. We have good leadership, like we did last year, but it’s a different kind of leadership and we have a common goal of winning that last game.”The Gryphons have also adopted a team-first mentality.“With coach (Kevin MacNeill), he’s been very keen on that to make sure the team’s a lot closer,” Landers said. “That’s one big thing from last year, how much closer the locker room is. The offence and defence, we’re all one unit this year.”The team also feels like it’s about time they played an opponent. Last weekend’s scrimmage with the McMaster Marauders was a nice appetizer, but now it’s time for the main course — the OUA’s regular season.“We’re all very ready. I know me personally, I’m mentally ready, physically ready. I’m ready to go,” Landers said. “Some of the big guys are getting a little tired of hitting each other and some of our wide receivers are kind of getting sick of seeing the same (defensive backs) every day. It’s definitely going to be interesting when we go up against a different uniform. I think all the guys are really excited about that.”“It’s building up because it’s been so long,” Roberts said. “The last time we played, we lost. There’s definitely some anger still built up and we’ll be able to let that fly freely on Sunday.”The Gryphons are to play the Toronto Varsity Blues in their season and home opener Sunday at Alumni Stadium. Game time is 1 p.m.