Football: Week 5 digest

Nine stories from the football weekend:
  1. Your Canada West leaders, the Simon Fraser Clan: A 20-3 home win in a turnover-filled game vs. Calgary means the Clan are on top of the country's most crazy-kooky conference.

    Can Dave Johnson's team keep it up? Three of their last four games are on the road and the home game is against Manitoba.

  2. UBC must mean "utterly bizarre coaching": This was covered off last night and at Out of Left Field, but one shudders to think what the fallout would be in the NCAA if a team committed the blunder that the Thunderbirds did in an 18-16 loss to Regina that should have been a 19-18 win.

    The T-Birds, down by two, had the ball at the Rams 21-yard line with 16 seconds on the clock. Somehow, some way, they ended up running a scrimmage play and managed not to try the field goal. Kicker Scott McIsaac had only made 11 straight, too. They even had a timeout to burn.

    (The only possible get-out-of-jail-free for the T-Birds: Ron Lancaster's grandson, Marc Mueller, is a Regina backup quarterback. Any good Saskatchewan football fan will tell you that the Little General could find a way to deliver a win from the Great Beyond.)
  3. J-Lee paints McGill's back porch red: This has been quite the season for national offensive records falling, so it might actually be surprising that Bishop's Jamall Lee(see Friday night's roundup) merely set the QUFL career record, missing the CIS single-game mark by four yards. He had 35 carries for 391 yards in McGill, coming within four yards of the all-time record. He's now at 3,642 for his career.
  4. Groulx plays the percentages: Laval QB Benoît Groulx completed 32-of-38 in a win at Concordia and is now completing a, frankly, ridiculous 79.8% of his passes, putting him well on pace to set a CIS single-season record. Three of the top six single-season marks are held by Laval passers, all in the past three years, but when you're completing 80% of your throws, you're not just a system quarterback.
  5. Manitoba gets back in the win column: A 27-17 win at Alberta, keyed by a 249-yard night by running back James Gerardy, gets the Bisons halfway out of the doldrums.
  6. Mac Stefs up: First and foremost, yes, Guelph gave it away on the University Rush game on The Score. One still has to be happy for the 1-3 Marauders after they came from 13 points down on the road to win 32-31 at someone else's homecoming. McMaster is starting to have some success coach Stefan Ptaszek's preferred style on offence, even though it's a very young team.
  7. New to the top 10: Sherbrooke beat Montréal 37-20 and will push them out of the Top 10. J.P. Shoiry had a 400-yard game ahead of back-to-backs against Bishop's in the Tussle in the Townships.
  8. Top 10 dropouts: No. 9 Calgary should fall out after fumbling six times (five of which SFU picked up) and not managing to score a touchdown. To quote the U of C alum who lives at 24 Sussex Dr., "Stéphane, we didn't get it done."

    Manitoba probably should return to the Top 10 after its road win at Alberta, although Calgary beat the Bisons by 20. It's either rank one of them or put in St. FX, who's 2-1 after outlasting winless Acadia in overtime.
  9. As the rest of Canada's hands were clenched its fits of rage: It's No. 4 Western at No. 2 Queen's in a battle of unbeatens — OUA unbeatens, some would feel compelled to add — next week on national television.
The game capsules are broken out in a separate post.
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  1. SFU leading Canada West confirms that we've entered Bizarro World, out west at least (though my dad will be happy, as he's a SFU alum). That's pretty much the equivalent of U of T leading the OUA. Yes, they've gotten a lot better this year, but going from winless for several years to a conference leader and a top-10 team? That's not supposed to happen. Also, the Rams, who I thought would be pretty good, only won on UBC's field goal blunder (and I didn't think the T-Birds would do too well this year). It's tough to tell what's going to happen next out west.

  2. Saskatchewan gets it together, takes the conference.

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  4. It has been an exciting year of CanWest football thus far. I've got mid-season grades, along with an outlook for the remainder of the CanWest regular season, posted at my UofS Dog Blog.

  5. Neate, I like your thinking! I hope you're right.