We join in progress (those women's basketball recaps don't write themselves, you know): it's Western 7, Saint Mary's 2 with about six minutes left in the first. Apparently London's getting everyone's snow right now, because it's clear in Waterloo and points east.
SMU QB Jack Creighton has his team near the Mustang 20 and nearly connects with Carl Hardwick on a sideline pass, but Hardwick's diving attempt comes up just short and they settle for a FG instead.
The snow and wind have died down a bit as Greg Marshall goes for it on third and inches. Michael Faulds gets it, then connects with Nick Trevail for a long first down, moving Western across midfield. SMU's pass defense has been pretty standard so far: it seems like every receiver has just one man to beat, which Faulds should be able to take advantage of. Not this drive, though: he misses Nathan Riva on second down, and Western gets those three points back (but barely!) as it's now 10-5 for the home team. Western's kicker is lucky to not be hurt after slipping on his plant foot during that attempt.
The difference in passing yards is noted - Western's ahead after one. But SMU almost immediately strikes with a pass to Hardwick, putting them ahead 12-10. Creighton got lucky, throwing into triple coverage, but he's over 100 yards now.
Faulds is dropped for a pretty huge loss on second down and Western punts away on the first drive after Hardwick's touchdown. The Huskies don't do anything either as a pass goes off Joey Doherty's hands. Craig Butler twists his way to a 44-yard punt return and Faulds now starts from the SMU 42, though all they get out of this drive is a single point. 12-11.
Seconds after the announcers praise Creighton's poise, he throws a pass to a purple jersey and Western returns it nearly to the end zone. The Mustangs' first attempt at a touchdown fails, but John Leckie appears to cross the plane on second down. Who knows? There wasn't a camera angle that had the ball and the goal line in the same frame. 18-12 now for Western.
Great, great blocking by SMU allows rookie Jahmeek Murray to break free on an end-around, then Murray takes it to the open field for 40-some yards. Another rushing gain, this one about 15 more, moves the Huskies inside the 30. Heck of a running game, this Saint Mary's team has.
Creighton fumbles, but recovers for merely an 18-yard loss. He wasn't holding the ball very close to his body and he's really, really fortunate that the ball bounced right into his lap because it was Mustangs all over him with a free run to the end zone.
Faulds is immediately sacked after the short punt by SMU. Even a York linebacker could have run through that hole in the offensive line. Quick 2-and-out for Western, who are unable to take advantage of another good field position. Sooner or later SMU's luck is going to run out here.
Another fumble magically finds it way back to Creighton, but Saint Mary's ends up losing yardage on both plays this drive and the punt is deflected off a helmet (really!), giving Western the ball on the Huskie 48. Faulds tries to go deep twice in a row, but misses his target the first time and the pressure gets to him the second as he's hit as the ball is thrown. The field goal attempt clangs off the upright. Darryl Wheeler may be tentative after slipping around on his first two attempts.
SMU gets started off the missed field goal, looking to get on the board in the last minute of the half, but instead Creighton throws an interception that Craig Butler returns for about 60 yards. 25-12, Western. The score is now more in line with how I think these teams have performed.
Instead of punting, the Huskies fake their way to a first down with about 40 seconds to go in the half. Who says punters don't do anything? Creighton throws it deep, but again into some good Western coverage and it hits the Mustang defender first. (A few plays ago, Western nearly picked off another pass. Creighton doesn't seem to be in a groove right now.)
That's the half as the sun goes down in London. UWO 25, SMU 12. Second-half post will be up top.