Western could surprise in the 2007 OUA postseason

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

It has truly been a seesaw year for the Western Mustangs’ football program.

The team had its growing pains at the beginning of the season; the first at the helm for head coach Greg Marshall. The Purple and Silver started out 0-4, with their first loss being a heartbreaking overtime shortfall versus the Queen’s Golden Gaels.

Next weekend, the squad has a chance at redemption. The ’Stangs go back onto Queen’s turf in Kingston for the Ontario University Athletics quarter-final. This time, I hope " no, I think " we will see a different result.

Let’s break it down. Despite the early-season underachieving, Western arguably has the most talented team in the OUA. Studs on both sides of the ball " Michael Faulds, Randy McAuley offensively and Nick Kordic, Matt Carapella and Vaughn Martin on defence come to mind " are playmakers.

With Marshall roaming the sidelines, the ’Stangs won’t get outcoached any week. The team has won its last four games and seems to be hitting its stride at the right time, dismantling Waterloo in the second half last week to make the postseason.

Turnovers and special teams play has plagued the Mustangs on and off throughout the season. However, the team has been more consistent lately. When the offence can limit turnovers, they can throw points up on any program in the province. Combine this with a stout defence " they’ve given up only 13 points and no offensive touchdowns in the past four weeks " and these Mustangs can let the horses out of the stable.

Regardless of how hot the team gets, the road won’t be easy. If the ’Stangs beat Queen’s in Richardson Stadium next week, they’ll likely have both the Ottawa Gee Gees and the Laurier Golden Hawks standing between them and the Yates Cup.

There’s no denying turnovers have been the Achilles’ heel for Western this season; Faulds has a ton of interceptions and nonsense such as fumbling near the goal line has cost the team oodles of points.

But make no mistake: this is a very talented, well-coached unit. If the offence limits mistakes and the defensive line continues to dominate, we just might see a Colorado Rockies-esque turnaround in 2007.

I, for one, have faith.

Share this article on:

Facebook | DiggDigg |

Copyright © 2008 The Gazette