Volume 92, Issue 32

Friday, October 30, 1998

big money


Mustangs focused on perfection

Dipesh Mistry/Gazette

By John Intini
Gazette Staff

The Windsor Lancers better not be expecting any apology letters on Saturday because there's little doubt the Western Mustangs are tired of saying they're sorry.

Members of the top ranked Western Mustangs (7-0) apologized earlier this week for what has been deemed inappropriate initiation rituals by university administration.

However, apologizing for their actions won't be in the Mustang play-book when they cross the white lines Saturday afternoon to play Windsor (1-5-1) in the regular season finale.

"We had some internal problems, but we think they have been rectified," said defensive coordinator and interim head coach Bob LaRose. "We have focused our attention on our opponent. We are very much in realization that Windsor can beat us and are not in any way over-confident going into the game."

According to Windsor head coach Mike Morencie, the internal troubles of the nation's top-ranked Mustangs is not something his club is relying on in their attempt to spoil the Mustangs' perfect regular season.

"It sure as hell didn't impact them last week," Morencie said, in reference to Western's 48-8 blow-out of Guelph. "We have our own problems to worry about and are just trying to improve every week."

LaRose, filling in for the second week in head coach Larry Haylor's absence, said the play of Windsor's starting quarterback Morgan Gallagher is definitely a point of concern for his defense.

"Gallagher is a multi-threat player," LaRose said. "He can throw from the pocket really well, but is even better throwing on the run. Statistics can be very misleading. His numbers are not up there because his defence is always on the field.

"He can be very dangerous and someone we have to stop."

The Lancers are currently dressing 31 freshman, which Morencie said makes it tough to win football games at the university level.

"We are starting some guys who we shouldn't be," Morencie said. "The good teams are able to move the young players up through the ranks. We have a number of our red-shirts as go to and highlight reel guys who shouldn't be rushed. It is just the nature of our program has forced them into starting roles."

According to Mustang running back Scott Crawley, the biggest threat in playing against Windsor is their unorthodox defensive style, which may throw a heavy-blitzing scheme at the Mustangs, unlike any they have faced this year.

"Windsor has a very odd philosophy," Crawley said. "They do not have a regular defence but are very inconsistent. They seem to blitz a lot and run all over the place. It is something that we haven't seen this season. We will either score or get burned by it."

The last time the Mustangs went undefeated was 1994. That was also the last time Western won the Vanier Cup, in a thrilling 50-40 classic over the Saskatchewan Huskies.

The road to the Vanier Cup continues tomorrow with kick-off scheduled for 2 p.m. at J.W. Little Stadium.

To Contact The Sports Department: gazette.sports@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998