CIS Football Report (Bowl Week)

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It’s the time of year where only two teams are left as the Vanier Cup is less than a week away after Bowl weekend.

It will be a cast of unusual characters with some of the most dominant teams in the CIS long gone from the chance to win the champions.

The UBC Thunderbirds are in the Vanier cup for the first time since they won the Vanier Cup in 1997.

They have not been a very successful team in the last few years but a host of new people has given the team a new sense of hope for the Vanier.

The Montreal Carabins are slightly more familiar as they were in this exact spot only one year ago.

That year they were the surprise team, a role that the T-Birds will take this time around, and won it all.

That championship was their first in the program’s history and now they are back looking for the second.

The Vanier Cup will determine the best team in the league but it is not going to be an easy fight after a full season.

This is the point of the year where the tricks of coaches can come in handy more than any other part of the season.

A coach’s job in university football is to recruit and put the proper system in place to make their team successful.

A big part of the job though is to motivate those young players in order to get them to play to the best of their abilities.

It is far easier said than done though with motivation being a tough thing to accomplish when every player responds to different things.

Sometimes they don’t need motivation and other times they need someone to pump them up before every game.

It is always a tough thing to do but when it gets to this time of year it becomes even tougher as the bag of motivational tools is wearing thin after almost three months of playing.

One piece of motivation that coaches use more often than not is exactly what the Thunderbirds are using right now.

It is something that many pro teams can’t use but every university program can especially at this time of the year.

That is getting teams to play for those members of the team that will not be returning next year and may very well never play football again.

In Canada those are the fifth year players who will enter the Vanier Cup knowing that it could be their last football game.football-sidebar

It is not easy as many of these players have put a lot of time and effort into the game simply because they love to play.

Now they have to give that up and for many it is a tough thing but for those members of the last two teams still alive they could go out on a high note.

Those players then become a rallying point as teams want to play for those members of the team that have given everything to the team.

At UBC there has been a rallying point for much of the season but it is now only getting bigger as they get closer to a championship.

That rallying point is running back Brandon Deschamps who may not have expected it the way his season began. In training camp the fifth year player was called out by a 19-year old first year and new quarterback Michael O’Connor.

The biggest transfer in the CIS is not used to losing as the former IMG Academy QB and scholarship recipient at Penn State has only known success.

He called out Deschamps about his work ethic and his fire for winning and since that point the running back has seen a new level of play.

As the weeks went on he has only been better and now as they head into the Vanier Cup the players around him are playing for him.

After all Deschamps was a member of the Thunderbirds through the worst seasons that the team has seen.

They never had a winning record despite the efforts of Deschamps, at least until this year.

Now he is a win away from winning the biggest prize in the CIS and a win away from being rewarded for his commitment to the UBC program.

His teammates want to play for him and the young QB that called him out is leading the charge.

They want this win for their running back and for Blake Nill that is as much motivation as they need heading into the biggest game of the season against the defending champions.

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