Football: Uteck Bowl preview: Mustangs/Rouge et Or

Our football game previews continue with the Uteck Bowl, with Jared Book, Neate Sager, and Rob Pettapiece.

All stats in the "overall" section refer to the regular season and playoffs; all others are regular-season only. Explanations can be found in the Loney Bowl preview. See also the previous commentary for Western and Laval in the Yates Cup and Dunsmore Cup previews.

Western Mustangs at Laval Rouge et Or
12:30pm ET

RPI (rank)12

Rob: Ah, the fun of team rankings after just ten games. If you go by SRS, Western are huge underdogs, but RPI has them as essentially equal. This one's actually not a foregone conclusion, which is more than you can say about most Laval home games.

Jared: Laval had their first scare of the season last week, and are looking to keep their perfect record in bowl games at PEPS. Sherbrooke's defence was very good at stopping Laval, and have an offence that worked mainly with misdirection. They came an end zone interception away from winning the game after iffy clock management.

Pass Yards/Game210.2253.8
(CIS rank)168
Surplus Passing2847
(CIS rank)73
Rush Yards/Game254.2207.0
(CIS rank)13
Surplus Rushing1740
(CIS rank)52


Pass Yards/Game216.5175.7
(CIS rank)133
Surplus Passing-21-52
(CIS rank)51
Rush Yards/Game84.654.9/td>
(CIS rank)32
Surplus Rushing-33-42
(CIS rank)42

Jared: Western has a ground attack that may be able to keep Laval off balance. Liam Mahoney was a similar quarterback to Western's Donnie Marshall. In the 2008 Dunsmore Cup, Mahoney's Stingers played Laval at PEPS and had them off-balance, and were an end zone interception away from winning the game (starting to see a pattern yet?).

Rob: Marshall will probably be more of a ground threat than Mahoney, too, which would help the Mustangs toward an upset. (Mahoney had just 34 rushing yards on 7 attempts in that game.) But speaking of threats, it will be interesting to see the Western secondary (5th against the pass) go against Bruno Prud'homme and the Laval pass game (3rd in the country).

Jared: Actually, Julian Feoli-Gudino, their top receiver, was injured in the game against Sherbrooke. He says he will play but I have heard he's a lot more questionable than that article says he is.

Rob: That would certainly change things. He was the 2008 Vanier Cup MVP and combined with then-QB Benoit Groulx for a few outstanding catches.

Nov. 22, 2008: LAV 44-21 UWO (in Hamilton).
Rob: The last time these teams met in a game that mattered was the 2008 Vanier Cup, but both starting QBs from that game have since moved on to coaching. Hopefully this game will be closer than 23 points.

Rob: Laval 30, Western 21. This is harder to predict than it looks.

Neate: Laval 26, Western 17.

Jared: The running back trio that Western has is much better than what Concordia and Sherbrooke did when they were close to dethroning the Rouge et Or. Laval's defence is very fast, and look for Western to use the different looks to their advantage. Laval 24, Western 21.
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  1. A few comments and corrections:

    Laval has played 11 games so far, 9 in the regular season and two in the playoffs. Laval had their first scare at CEPSUM when they beat Montréal by a single TD (19-12). The only pattern I can see between 2008 and 2010 is that it's very hard to beat a good team (Concordia 2008 and Sherbrooke 2010) three times in the same season, and yet Laval managed it. But if 2010 really follows a pattern similar to 2008, then Western should be pounded in the range of 59-10 in the bowl game!

    Julian Feoli is out for the season with a broken fibula.

  2. Yep, we wanted to make the correction Sylven did. BTW, when they played at the CEPSUM we lead in first downs 22 vs 10, to give you an idea of the game.

    The merit of Sherby was to give them a close game at the PEPS. That's impressive in itself.

    Julian Feoli-Gudino is out, but they have so much depth at the receiver position that it shouldn't be much of an impact on the game.

    If Sebastien Lévesque can run (since he hurt his knee in the middle of the season, he hasn't be the same), that will be a blowout. If not, the purple bearer can keep some hope...

  3. Mustangs by 3 in an upset. Marshall will avenge the 2003 loss at Ivor Wynne in HAMILTON when he was at McMaster and should have won that game. Down by 7-10 at half by errant dopey call by someone of sideline/out that resulted in Laval INT/TD, McMaster rallied to get within 4 points at end of game. Laval players totally relished that win that was the early beginning of their current 10 year run.

    As Western alum I hope to attend game at Peps next weekend if Western able to pull off upset.


  4. The last time Marshall played Laval at Ivor Wynne he wore purple clothing not maroon and 2003 was Laval/St Marys.

    Western lacked a running attack last time they met Laval, Riva being a good open field runner but not adequate for the pounding yards. Hipperson will help in this area.

    Western will only get blown out if they fall behind in this game. If they're ahead or close look for the Marshall simplistic approach to the game........ he'll take whatever he's given, over and over until he's stopped.

    I don't agree with Sylven, this will not follow historical references and will be close.

  5. It would be impossible to take a match-up breaker, like Feoli-Gudino, out of the equation and not have some type of trickle-down effect.

    Western's defensive backfield looked a little banged up at the end of the Yates. If the game-breaking speed of 83 isn't there to exploit the Mustang pass defenders logic and common sense dictates a degree of impact.

    Next-level athleticism, strength, vision, or speed plays a huge part in deciding the outcome of most high-end high school, NCAA, and CIS contests.

    Laval will miss Feoli-Gudino. The only question: how much?

    Happy Slide

    P.S. Go Stangs Go

    Happy Slide

  6. Thanks DSquared as I failed to note that the
    Nov 15/2003 game was in fact the Churchill Bowl. That was indeed a game very winnable and likely one of Marshall's most disappointing loss. Mac team was epic that year, Lumsden in the backfield and a team capable of beating St. Mary's the next week in the Vanier.