2013 Yates Cup Preview

yates_cup

The Yates Cup is one of the oldest trophies in North American Sports and the fight to earn the right to lift the 106 year old trophy is always a good one. For the last two-year the McMaster Marauders have been given the opportunity to call themselves the OUA champions but all that would change this year. After the loss of former Hec Crighton winner Kyle Quinlan the Marauders were not the same team that had dominated a conference for two years. They would still make the playoffs but would eventually fall to the new power in the conference. The Western Mustangs are a familiar face in the Yates Cup finals as they have won more Yates Cups than any other team. With 29 titles the Mustangs are in a familiar spot this year as a two-year absence would only make them go after it even more. The Mustangs were the last team to win the Yates Cup before the Marauders and this year they look better than any of their previous 29 title teams. The Mustangs would have a year for the ages in 2013 breaking records throughout the year on offence. They are the true sense of an offensive powerhouse and they are doing it all with a 2nd year QB. Will Finch has been the biggest part of this team and is already being pegged as the next great Canadian hope at QB. He would help the Mustangs to the best offensive year by any team in CIS history and would hold the passing record for a week before Bishop’s QB Jordan Heather broke it. The Mustangs are very confident heading into the Yates Cup final as they look to be the best chance to beat the Laval Rouge et Or this year in the Vanier Cup. They may be looking ahead to the national playoffs right now but they cannot look by a team that loves to play the role of the underdog. The Queen’s Golden Gaels are familiar with the underdog as they would win the Vanier Cup in 2009 when nobody thought that they would win the Yates Cup let alone the Vanier Cup. The Gaels will be back in this situation and they are hoping that 2009 comes around again. They are up against the best offence to play in the CIS ever and are trying to shock everyone by winning another Yates Cup. The Gaels and the Mustangs face off for one of the oldest and most prestigious trophies in the North America. They will also bring an end to yet another of the Big Four as the OUA has not had anyone win more than two Yates Cups in a row since the 2000-2003 McMaster Marauders. The changes continue this year as a new champion will be crowned with the Marauders out of the picture. For whoever wins it will be their first step in an attempt to become the next dominant team in the OUA. First they have to get through each other as the road to a Vanier Cup begins in London when the last two teams not named the Marauders to win the Yates Cup face off.

There is no question about the strength of the Western Mustangs as they have the best offence in the country. They would take this offence to the #1 spot in the OUA with an undefeated season. This year the Mustangs would average 57.2 points per game and would score a CIS record 458 points throughout the season. The Mustangs have been a force on offence and there has yet to be a team that can slow them down. Led by the passing game and Will Finch the Mustangs are averaging 422 yards through the air every game. The Mustangs also have a good rushing attack ranking third in the CIS and averaging 225.8 yards on the ground per game. Putting up that many points is not necessary for the Mustangs though as their defence only allows an average of 18.5 points per game and ranks 6th in the CIS. The Mustangs are clearly the favorites in this game and in the near future of the National Playoffs. They are a complete team with a good defence and a great offence that is looking to walk through the Gaels and on to the national picture. The Gaels will try to have an answer for the Mustangs and if there was any team that could challenge the mighty offence of Western it would be the Golden Gaels. The Gaels are second in the CIS for points per game behind only Western. They average 44.2 points every game and although it is still far from the Mustangs output they are the only team that comes remotely close. They enjoy a much more balanced attack on offence as they like to run the ball more than the Mustangs but can move the ball through the air as well. On defence they may be in trouble though as they are ranked 12th in the CIS in points allowed per game and are going up against a team that puts up more points than anyone else. The one bigger issue for the Gaels defence is that the Gaels are worse in their pass defence than their run defence. They are going against one of the best passers in the CIS and that part of their defence will need to step up big time if they hope to win. The Gaels are hoping to pull off a big upset in the Yates Cup and repeat their 2009 season when nobody expected them to win. They will be in tough though as the Mustangs are a force and will be able to get through the potential upset to win the Yates Cup.

 

Prediction:
Western Mustangs 46 – 34 Queen’s Golden Gaels

Yates_Snapshot

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