TORONTO, ON – Queen’s made their presence known in their second game of the OUA season with a convincing win over the University of Toronto. Elsewhere, Laurier quarterback Taylor Elgersma put on a masterclass performance.
Three weeks into the season and the conference is starting to take place and teams are starting to separate.
While U SPORTS posts a weekly ranking based off media voting and an ELO system, 49 Sports’ Cameron Moore will publish power rankings each week throughout the season.
1. Western Mustangs
Surprise! Western are back in the top spot of the 49 Sport power rankings after staving off the Carleton Ravens. Their game against Carleton was close until the final minutes of the third quarter. Evan Hillock linked up with Seth Robertson twice for touchdowns in the second half to peel away and win 31-21.
Keon Edwards bounced back from a poor game last week, and rushed for 143 yards reminding everyone why he was last year’s leading rusher. Keanu Yazbeck also had a phenomenal game, making the most of his nine carries. The third-year back had the longest touchdown of the day with an 81 scamper in the third quarter. As a committee Western put up over 300 yards on the ground.
They were equally as successful in the air, Hillock threw three touchdowns, all of them to Robertson. Funny enough, all of the wideout’s receptions ended with points.
Its’ been back-to-back weeks now that Western only pulled away later into the game, next week they have the Yates Cup rematch. Let’s see if that trend continues.
NEXT: Sept .16 @ Queen’s Gaels
2. Laurier Golden Hawks (-)
Taylor Elgersma made a statement this week, and makes a serious case for best quarterback in the OUA. The six-foot-six signal caller was dialed in against Guelph. Elgersma completed 31 or his 39 pass attempts for 451 yards and six touchdowns. Elgersma’s six touchdown passes ties his head coach Michael Faulds personal best and equals a program best.
They didn’t run the ball a lot, only 18 of their 55 plays were runs. However they ran efficiently, especially through Quintin Scott, who averaged over 10 yards per carry.
To keep it simple, this is the best passing attack in the conference combined with a solid run game.
This team gave up a lot of yards, giving up 486 yards to Guelph. Laurier across their opening three games give up around 390 yards. The Golden Hawks finish their season with Windsor and Western. There is a concern in those games that they won’t be able to outscore those two teams.
Among the undefeated teams they allow the most yards, but only 12.5 points allowed per game.
NEXT: Sept .16 vs. Waterloo Warriors
3. Windsor Lancers (-)
The second shut out of the season came courtesy of Windsor in a 37-0 win over Waterloo. This defense has proven formidable over the first three weeks of this OUA campaign. They allow are third in points allowed (11.7). In terms of yards, the Lancers allow the least amount of yards (263). The strength of their schedule hasn’t been crazy, but these are good numbers nonetheless.
Windsor find themselves among the top when it comes to moving to the ball. Against the Warriors they amassed 626 yards. Similar thoughts come to mind when it comes to offense, the strength of schedule has favoured Windsor early on.
That ends next week, as they embark on a run of tough matchups.
Sept .16 @ Ottawa Gee-Gees
Sept .23 vs. Queen’s Gaels
Sept .30 vs. Western Mustangs
Oct .14 @ Laurier Golden Hawks
Each team they face in that run has combined for a singular loss in the opening three weeks of the season.
NEXT: Sept .16 @ Ottawa Gee-Gees
4. Queen’s Gaels (+1)
The Yates Cup finalist got their first win of the season against a struggling University of Toronto. After struggling to score in week one against Laurier, Queen’s dropped 40 points against Toronto.
The ground game was operating at a peak level with Jared Chisari rushing for 173 yards on 17 carries. Chisari also added two touchdowns on the day. The offense is very run heavy. In week one, they struggled to run the ball and only put up 10 points. In week three, they ran the ball well and scored 40.
Queen’s defense has been stellar in this small sample size. They kept the explosive Laurier offense to only 11 points. They followed that up by smothering the Varsity Blues.
That stellar defense is going to be tested again in the coming weeks facing Western and then Windsor. The offense will also be tested against Western, the Mustangs allow only 51 yards per game on the ground.
NEXT: Sept .16 vs. Western Mustangs
5. Ottawa Gee-Gees (-1)
The Gee-Gees had their bye this week meaning there is no new data about the team specifically, but they slide one spot regardless. Just because there is nothing to draw from a game this week, there is a lot to interpret from around the OUA.
In fact in week two they played Toronto and only beat them by five, scoring 35 less points than Queen’s against the same team. Its the same thing against Waterloo, Ottawa won by 19, while Windsor won by 37.
So far in the early portion of the season, the offense will go as far as Amlicar Polk will take them.
Ottawa is sliding into the better than the bottom half, not better than the top half type of team. This theory will be put to the test in the coming weeks playing both Windsor and Western. Following that they have the famous Panda Game against rivals Carleton.
NEXT: Sept .16 vs. Windsor Lancers
6. McMaster Marauders (+1)
The Marauders were rewarded for good performances in losses against both Windsor and Western with a demolition of York. McMaster join the shutout club with Western and Windsor being the third team to hold a team scoreless.
This was a straight up beatdown, scoring 71 points. Every quarterback got some work, all of them succeeding. Keegan Hall threw for 300 yards and a pair of touchdown, Stephen Narancic threw two touchdowns and Luke Thalman went channeled his inner Central Cee going six for six on his pass attempts.
NEXT: Sept .16 vs. Guelph Gryphons
7. Carleton Ravens (-1)
Carleton are currently in their McMaster Era regarding the opening of the season. Two good performances considering their opponents and have York the next week. The McMaster comparisons don’t stop there. Just like the Marauders, the Ravens held a lead against the defending Yates Cup champs.
Allowing an 81 yard run was the breaking point for Carleton and they weren’t able to recover and are unable to hand Western their first loss in the OUA in a long time. In the second half the Ravens were outscored 21-7.
Carleton currently possess the worst run game in the OUA, but a top three passing attack. A top tier run game is nearly a necessity to thrive in this conference.
Their pass defense is solid, sitting middle of the pack having played both Taylor Elgersma and Evan Hillock. Rush defense is a different story, being forth worst in yards per game (198).
NEXT: Sept .16 @ York Lions
8. Guelph Gryphons (-)
Guelph hold firm in the eight spot despite losing big to Laurier. The Gryphons went from having to deal with the best rushing team in Windsor to one of the best passing attacks in Laurier. Their defense failed to stop the high powered aerial assault of the Golden Hawks allowing six passing touchdowns.
The offense took a step in the right direction, getting back to the heights of their week one win over Toronto. Tristan Aboud threw for 277 yards and a touchdown. On the ground, multiple people were involved. Donavin Milloy rushed for 84 yards and Marshall McCray ran for 80 yards and a score.
Next week, their defense needs to match the same growth as the offense if they are to grab their second win of the season
NEXT: Sept .16 @ McMaster
9. Toronto Varsity Blues (+1)
Despite losing 42-9, Toronto move up one spot to ninth. Even though they have yet to win a game this season, its not as bad as it seems. Out of the teams below them they have the best defense.
The offense seems to be the main issues, failing to score more than 10 points for three weeks in a row. Although they are fifth in passing attempts, the Varsity Blues are third last in passing yards per game. Couple that along with a running game that averaged under 100 yards per game, they are having a tough time moving the ball.
This was a playoff team last year with a 4-4 record, and there is still a ton of season left for Toronto. The Varsity Blues have a bye week to go over film and fix the mistakes that have happened so far this season. An extra week to prepare for Carleton on Sept .23.
10. Waterloo Warriors (-1)
A week removed from their first win where they put up 52 points, they got shut out by Windsor. In the opening game, they kept par with Ottawa in terms of yardage and time of possession but turnovers proved costly.
The following week they built on the good performance and picked up a win against York. They still turned the ball over twice, but they moved the ball and thrived on offense.
This week it was a struggle on all sides. Waterloo allowed over 600 yards of offense, the most this team has allowed this season. On offense they only mustered 154 yards, the least out of their games. Windsor was their toughest matchup of the OUA season so far.
The Warriors have another tough matchup next week in the Laurier Golden Hawks. That ends the really rough part of their schedule.
NEXT: Sept .16 @ Laurier Golden Hawks
11. York Lions
Twice in three weeks York has been shutout. They maintained a relatively competitive match up with Waterloo last week, but this week was more like their first game.
The offense just isn’t good, the program is really having a tough time in the OUA. In nearly every offensive category, the Lions rank somewhere in the bottom three, often enough are last.
Defensively, it doesn’t get much better. This team allows the most yards per game, 100 yards more than second last and allow the most points per game (69)
This program needs some changes in order to put forth competitive football for the rest of the OUA season.