As each CIS football team is officially eliminated from playoff contention, we'll reflect on what they did this year and compare their results to our expectations.
Next up: Mount Allison, who lost 59-21 to Saint Mary's this weekend.
RPI: 19th (out of 26)
Points for: 18.3
Points against: 43
Passing yards: 187.0
Rushing yards: 116.1
Passing yards against: 241.4
Rushing yards against: 235.6
Looking back at our preview questions:
Q: CAN they squeeze out another .500 season or is it back to the cellar of the country's worst football conference?
A: Pretty obviously, the latter. Mount A took a steep slide downhill this year, getting dominated in just about every statistical category and losing most of their games by a lot. There were some moments of hope where they played well, such as a 42-41 overtime loss to X, but they couldn't close the deal. Sustained success in CIS play isn't easy, and this shows the Mounties still have a ways to go.
Q: WILL quarterback Jake Hotchkiss be included in a country-wide top-10 list again?
A: Depends on your list, but not likely. Hotchkiss only averaged 185.6 passing yards per game this year with a completion rate of 50.7 per cent and seven touchdowns against 15 interceptions. That's not going to put him on too many positive lists.
Q: WHAT will happen to the defence, which returns just seven players?
A: Nothing good. Most critically, the defence couldn't stop the run, allowing 235.6 rushing yards against per game. Of course, some of that was in games where Mount A fell behind significantly early and opponents ran to kill the clock. The defence wasn't effective in general, although some of that was also thanks to the offensive woes. Still, the defensive side of the ball was a critical part of the Mounties' problems this year, and some of that can be attributed to inexperience. The growing pains this year may lead to better things down the road.
Q: NO GARY ROSS?
A: Yes, no Gary Ross, and Mount A was significantly worse in most areas without their all-everything superstar. Hotchkiss wasn't as effective without one of his best receivers,the ground attack suffered and the Mounties' return game wasn't as dominant. Nick Kukkonen and Daniel Tomei weren't bad (22.6 and 22.0 yards per return respectively), but they weren't as threatening as Ross on his best days. Neither's going to be a legitimate Hec Crighton candidate any time soon. In fact, Mount Allison may be short on those for some time to come, unless their recruiting takes a drastic upswing.