OUA Morning Warmup: Week 6

All teams in the OUA are now in their second halves of the season this week. In action this week, only Western, Ottawa and McMaster have yet to have a bye week. After their lackluster performance last week, Western is probably wishing they had some time to regroup. As for the Gee-Gees and Marauders, they play the Toronto teams which is as near to a bye week as anyone can get while on the gridiron. The week’s final game sees Guelph seek a measure of redemption for their Week 5 egg-laying against Laurier.

Queen’s Gaels (1-3) at #5 Western Mustangs (4-1)

I don’t think anyone could have predicted before the season that this rivalry game was more critical for the Gaels than the Stangs. After all, Western is only really looking for revenge after repeated defeats at the hands of the Gaels. Queen’s is tied in 6th with Toronto for the OUA’s final playoff spot. This is, however, a Queen’s team that is hitting its stride. They’re coming off a pair of close losses to Guelph and Ottawa and appear to be turning the corner to a 2007 Western-esque team. Western, meanwhile, is falling apart. They’ve dropped the ball, literally and figuratively, against Windsor and Guelph and pulled out two earned, though not deserved, wins. With the expected return of Nathan Riva this week. The Mustangs’ ground attack has to do all the heavy lifting for the U of WO for them to have a chance against a resurgent Queen’s squad.

Pregame Coverage:
Mustang’s Riva Champing at Bit to Churn Up Yards (London Free Press)
None Bigger Than This (London Free Press)

Broadcasters:
TV: The Score
Radio: CJBK 1290 AM (London), CFRC 93.3 FM (Kingston)

#2 Ottawa Gee-Gees (5-0) at University of Toronto Varsity Blues (1-3)

Ottawa is the top team in the OUA because of their ability to get through tough situations. They topped Western on a last-minute touchdown drive in Week 2 and last week scraped out a two-point overtime win over Queen’s. This week looks like Ottawa’s chance to unwind after last week. This week, the Gee-Gees go down to Toronto to face a Varsity Blues side in the midst of a playoff battle. Ottawa is far and away the superior of the two sides contesting  the game but you can never count out a dangerous team on the cusp of (by its standards) greatness.

Pregame Coverage:
U of T Blues Rookie Jake Sazio Treasures His Football Legacy (Toronto Star)

Broadcasters:
Online: SSN Canada
#8 McMaster Marauders (3-2) at York Lions (0-4)

Normally I would use this portion of the weekly preview to talk big stories or keys to the game. Mac comes into this game fresh off a thorough drubbing of Windsor. York is York. This game is really just a tune-up for the Marauders’ second- and third-string players. After all, if the starters go down for the count at some point over the final three weeks of the OUA season or the playoffs, experienced accumulated by the replacements could make the difference in the clutch moments of a big game.

Pregame Coverage:
Mac Readies to Maul York (Hamilton Spectator)

Broadcasters:
Online: SSN Canada
Radio: CHML 900 AM (Hamilton), CFMU 93.9 FM (Hamilton)

#10 Guelph Gryphons (3-1) at Laurier Golden Hawks (2-2)

Despite their lackluster performance in Week 5’s Fraudulent Bowl against Western (a popular internet name for the game that I don’t like but can’t possibly disagree with), the Gryphs hold onto the #10 spot in the national ranking. I don’t think they have proven themselves as a top 10 team yet. They have a top 10 defence and a top five running back. The biggest problem is the man under centre. Everyone knew Chris Rossetti would have big shoes to fill when he took over for Justin Dunk. Yet here we are at the mid-point of the season and he’s only thrown one touchdown pass. Until Guelph finds a passing attack, you can’t really call them OUA contenders.

Pregame Coverage:
Football: Is WLU’s Montoya an Inelligible Player Downfield? (The CIS Blog)

Broadcasters:
Online: Radio Laurier

OUA Standings
1. Ottawa Gee-Gees 5-0
2. Western Mustangs 4-1
3. Guelph Gryphons 3-1
4. McMaster Marauders 3-2
5. Laurier Golden Hawks 2-2
6. Queen’s Gaels 1-3
7. Toronto Varsity Blues 1-3
8. Windsor Lancers 1-4
9. York Lions 0-4

Note: Information on broadcasters has been pulled from athletic department websites, the OUA website, and various articles read during the week. We make no guarantees over the completeness or accuracy of the listings.

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