CIS Gameday: 46th Vanier Cup

Nearly four months of workouts, practices and games has led us to one final game for national supremacy. The Laval Rouge et Or come into the game undefeated and hope to complete their season by winning the national championship at home. The Calgary Dinos come into this game looking to avenge a Vanier Cup loss from last year at the PEPS Stadium to the Queen’s Gaels.

#5 Calgary Dinos (9-2) vs. #1 Laval Rouge et Or (12-0) [11:45 AM EST]

Prepare for the battle of the clichés in this game. Calgary is looking for redemption after their loss to Queen’s last year. Dinos QB Erik Glavic is in his 5th and this is his last chance for CIS glory. Dinos coach Blake Nill’s has struggled to defeat the Laval Rouge et Or at Saint Mary’s and has his first crack at them with Calgary. Laval is playing on home-turf at the PEPS Stadium. The Rouge et Or are also looking for redemption this afternoon (well, technically, starting this morning) after being denied a chance to play for the Vanier Cup on home turf last year. Alright, I’m clichéd out.

If you were to base this matchup off the national semi-final games, you would think that Calgary is set to disappoint the R&O once again. After all, Calgary decimated the Saint Mary’s Huskies for the second year running in their semi-final while Laval struggled to get anything going against Western but managed to pull out the win. (Regarding last week’s game: Defensive battle, my ass. I’ve seen teams of five-year-olds execute better offensively than Laval and Western last week.) However, this season has seemed like a season-long Laval coronation and with good reason. Barring last week’s egg laying, Laval has been the best team in the country.

This game could come down to how well a Laval pass defence does against Erik Glavic. They tore Donnie Marshall apart but I think you could find high school defences that could effectively defend a Donnie Marshall pass attack. EG has been on fire for the last three of weeks. He has 11 touchdowns against only two interceptions over the playoffs. Meanwhile, Laval has picked off their opponents 13 times in the post-season. Glavic may be twice a Hec Crighton award winner but he has to remember that it doesn’t make him invincible. If he can protect the ball and not make Favre-ian decisions, the Dinos will have a shot.

I’m really not sure if the last two games the Rouge et Or have played were out of character or a preview of what to expect this year. After all, coach Glen Constantin was just named the CIS Coach of the Year so he must have his charges adequately prepared for action. Well, except for the last two weeks when they’ve just scraped out a win. If Chris Milo has to be the star player he was last week, I don’t think that coach Constantin can maintain his perfect Vanier Cup record.

Since we won’t have the live coverage on Twitter today, let’s do the keys to the game on the blog:

Calgary: Pressure Prud’Homme – Bruno Prud’Homme was harassed all day by the Western pass rush. They used stunts and blitzes to keep the pass attack off-balance as much as possible. Also, Prud’Homme was knocked out of the game with an alleged concussion but Laval’s coaching staff seem to deny this report. It’s the championship game so there’s no shame in going for the jugular.

Laval: Get to Glavic – Erik Glavic missed the early part of the season with a knee injury and the Dinos have been handling him with kid gloves ever since. Hit him hard, then hit him hard again. If you get “blocked into his knees,” so be it. It’s the national championship game. Take no prisoners!

Pregame Coverage:
Rise and Shine, It’s Vanier Cup Time (The Globe and Mail)
Rouge Gridiron’s Bleu-Print (Calgary Sun)

Broadcasters:
TV: TSN, Radio-Canada
Radio: CHQR 770 AM (Calgary), CHYZ 94.3 FM (Quebec City), Quebec CHRC 800 AM (Quebec City)

CIS News and Notes

TSN’s CFL insider Dave Naylor reported on Sunday that the 2011 Vanier Cup would be paired with the Grey Cup at BC Place in Vancouver. The last time that the two games were paired was the 2007 game at the Skydome in Toronto. The Vanier Cup is expected to be played on the Friday before the big game.

The OUA handed out their players of the week awards on Monday. The offensive player of the week was guard Matt Norman because no one at the so-called skilled positions did anything worthwhile. David Lee was the defensive player of the week after spending having spent most of his Uteck Bowl in the Laval backfield harassing quarterback Bruno Prud’Homme. Special teams player of the week was Darryl Wheeler probably by process of elimination. All this begs the question, what was the point of handing out football players of the week awards when only one OUA team was in action and they lost?

And speaking of OUA awards winners, the OUA’s MVP was named the Hec Crighton Award winner. Ottawa’s Brad Sinopoli picked up the award as the CIS’ most outstanding player thanks to being tops in the country in passing yards, touchdowns and completions. St. Francis Xavier’s Henoc Muamba won the Presidents’ Trophy as the best defensive player. The JP Metras Award for best down lineman in the country went to Arnaud Gascon-Nadon of the Laval Rouge et Or. The Peter Gorman Trophy for rookie of the year went to Calgary Dinos QB Eric Dzwilewski. Thomas Hall of the Manitoba Bisons picked up the Russ Jackson Award for outstanding achievements in the fields of citizenship and academics.

Final CIS Football Rankings
1. Laval Rouge et Or
2. Western Mustangs
3. Saskatchewan Huskies
4. Ottawa Gee-Gees
5. Calgary Dinos
6. McMaster Marauders
7. Montreal Carabins
8. Regina Rams
9. Saint Mary’s Huskies
10. Sherbrooke Vert et Or

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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