It’s easy to come up with lots of clichés when talking about this week’s game with the Purple Ponies from UWO. After all it is the one we’ve been waiting for and the biggest game of the year (at least on our home schedule). And, it will determine who gets a playoff bye and where the likely semi-final rematch will be held.
And while it is a huge game, it’s a little disappointing that some of the glow is off the Stangs after their loss to McMaster two weeks ago. It would be more dramatic to have the opportunity to upset an undefeated team at this point in the season. Mind you the Mustangs are the #4 ranked team in the CIS while the Gryphons are #6, so it’s still an important matchup that fans all over the CIS will be paying attention to.
The Mustangs are 5-1 and coming to Guelph off of a 61-20 victory over the Laurier Golden Hawks. Guelph is also 5-1 and on a 5-game winning streak. The Gryphons also have a 13-game winning streak on their home field to defend. The Gryphons have yet to lose on the new turf installed at Alumni Stadium back in the summer of 2012.
My Take: The loss to Mac makes the UWO squad a more difficult opponent. It’s harder to upset a team that has recently been upset. At the same time, the fact that Mac could beat this team shows that they may not have been the team we thought they were. Anyways I don’t doubt that Guelph has the talent to compete with and defeat Western. The key may be our offense. The O needs to put together a complete, or near-complete, game like they did against Ottawa, Queen’s and Carleton. If the offense can take advantage of the field position that the defense and special teams give them and pick up first downs to give the D a rest I think the Gryphons will be in a good position to win the game.
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I have already seen three game previews. I expect tomorrow (Friday) the Guelph Mercury and London Free Press will have stories that preview the game as well.
- Gryphons.ca’s preview – Gryphons host Mustangs in Top 10 matchup
- At OUA.ca, most of Mike Hogan’s In the Huddle column this week focuses on the Guelph-Western game. He looks at some relevant stats and also discusses the injury issues that could impact the game.
- Western Sports Info Department – Western faces Guelph in battle of CIS Top 10 teams. The westernmustangs.ca article includes the graphic below.
Recent Series History:
Guelph has had competitive games with Western in recent years but the only regular season victories were in 2007 and 2012. Coincidentally those are the last two seasons the Gryphons played in the Yates Cup. Guelph has lost two playoff games to Western Ontario during that time – the 2007 Yates Cup & a 2009 quarter-final.
2013 – did not play
2012 – 42-39 Guelph
2011 – 33-29 Western
2010 – 15-8 Western
2009 – 41-39 Western
2008 – 47-16 Western
2007 – 31-17 Guelph
On-line – OUA.tv
Radio – London’s Newstalk 1290 CJBK