TORONTO, ON – Three undefeated teams walked into week five of OUA looking to extend their perfect seasons. Windsor, Western, and Laurier all claimed victory. Remarkably, Windsor is 5-0 for the first time since 1975. Additionally, the Lancers have already past last year’s win total.
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 (-)
Western’s game against Ottawa was a microcosm of what their offense is all about. Anyone, at any time, can points on the board. Six different players got into the end zone on Saturday leading to a dominant 50-17 win.
The passing game can likened to Alexandre Dumas’ “The Three Musketeers”. Seth Robertson, Mohsan Jamal, and Savaughn Magnaye-Jones play the roles of Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. Routes ran sharply, cutting opposing secondaries like rapiers. All three of them are top ten in receiving yards and top five in receiving touchdowns. By proxy, this makes Evan Hillock the D’Artagnan of the Mustangs, personally the best character of the classic tale.
They needed a dramatic finish to put away Queen’s but reminded everyone this week who the top team is in the OUA. Their strength is the offense, first in yards (567.6 YPG) and points per game (46).
NEXT: Sept .30 @ Windsor Lancers (5-0)
2. Windsor Lancers (+1)
The old saying is that defense wins championships and there is no better defense in the OUA than the Windsor Lancers. They took advantage of Queen’s missing their starting quarterback Alex Vreeken and ravaged backup Russell Weir. Windsor got to Weir for five sacks and had three interceptions. Overall they held the Yates Cup finalists to only five points.
This defense is suffocating, they are the only team in the conference allowing less than 300 yards per game. Not only that, Windsor lead the OUA in takeaways (13) and sacks (24). Three more takeaway than second place, and seven more sacks.
The pass rush is lead by fourth year defensive end Kolade Amusan, who leads the OUA in sacks (8.5). In more than half their games so far, Amusan has two or more sacks. Adding onto that, he has nine tackles for loss, which also leads the OUA.
Heading into the biggest games of the season, a clash against undefeated Western. It will be the test of the best offense versus the best defense.
NEXT: Sept .30 vs. Western Mustangs (5-0)
3. Laurier Golden Hawks (-1)
Laurier’s fall to third has more to do with Windsor’s meteoric rise and less of their own fault. Like Windsor and Western, Laurier remains undefeated. The Golden Hawks had an all-around great performance against McMaster. They held the Marauders to 180 yards and put up 589 yards.
Laurier is built similarly to Western, they have an excellent quarterback in Taylor Elgersma. Followed by an excellent receiving core. Instead of three musketeers, it’s a dynamic duo consisting of Raidan Thorne and Ethan Jordan. Both of them are top-five in receptions and receiving yards.
In the last two weeks of the season, Laurier have to play the other undefeated teams. Before that, they take a trip to the nation’s capital to take on Ottawa.
4. Guelph Gryphons (+2)
Rising two spots once again this week, reaching fourth for the first time since week 1. Fourth place also is where they sit in the OUA standings. After suffering back-to-back losses to Windsor and Laurier, Guelph regained form. Last week they beat McMaster and this week they dusted York 88-7.
OUA offensive player of the week Tristan Aboud was a perfect 16 for 16 on his passes for 384 yards and six touchdowns. The first-year quarterback has completed 73 percent of his passes this season, which puts him among Elgersma (77%) and Hillock (70.5%).
Donavin Milloy was equally as incredible this week. The running back had 188 yards on just eight carries and a pair of touchdowns. Milloy is third in rushing yards per game (110.4). He is one yard behind Keon Edwards when it comes to total yards, but has 21 less carries than the Western back.
The Gryphons process is clearly working. They have a better record than last year and look well on their way to playoff a spot.
NEXT: Sept .30 @ Waterloo Warriors (1-3)
5. Ottawa Gee-Gees (-)
The new guy under center Josh Jansen played alright. He threw an interception, but he completed 19 of his 24 passes. A solid replacement for the injured Ryan Licandro. Still it wasn’t enough to win this week, losing to Western.
Amlicar Polk continues to excel regardless of the opponent. Against the Mustangs, Polk put up 140 yards on the ground and reached pay dirt twice. Polk leads the OUA in rushing yards (581) and all running backs in rushing touchdowns (5). It’s possible that he could be the best player in the OUA right now.
Ottawa is 2-2 on the season, with losses being Western and Windsor. They’ve yet to play Laurier and Queen’s, the Gee-Gees have one of the toughest schedules in the conference. Upcoming, they have an emotional clash with their cross-town rivals in Carleton.
NEXT: Oct .1 @ Carleton Ravens (2-2)
6. Carleton Ravens (+1)
Speaking of the Panda Game, next up in the power rankings is the Carleton Ravens. They completed their provincial capital sweep beating the University of Toronto Varsity Blues 46-7. Earlier in the season, the Ravens fell victim to the Mustangs and Golden Hawks. They rebounded in the last two weeks stringing together a small winning streak.
Over the past two weeks, Carleton has allowed only seven points. This week they held Toronto to just 20 yards of offense, by far the single lowest yards allowed in a game this season. Carleton led a hit parade on whoever dared to step under center, racking up eight sacks.
Tristan Lefebvre has had a nice season so far, third in the OUA in pass yards per game (266.3) and third in passing touchdowns (10). He’s taken over nicely for Tanner DeJong, who was a good signal caller for them last year.
NEXT: Oct .1 vs. Ottawa Gee-Gees (2-2)
7. Queen’s Gaels (-3)
The Gaels have fallen to 1-3 on the season after a huge loss to Windsor. Given the record, there is no reason the justify keeping them higher than the teams above. The season is going to get tougher for Queen’s, losing starting quarterback Alex Vreeken due to an injury.
The Yates Cup runner-ups have played all three of the undefeated trio, making their early schedule the hardest in the conference. Their only win came against a struggling Varsity Blues team.
The offense has not been to the standard seen from Queen’s over the past few years. They are seventh in yards per game (371.5) and eighth in points per game (21). Each of the top teams are either elite at moving the ball on the ground like Windsor, through the air like Laurier, or both like Western. Queen’s currently do not possess that.
On the defensive side of the ball Queen’s are quite good. They possess the ability to shutdown the run, evident by holding Windsor to 67 yards. On the season they allow only 114.8 yards per game. The passing defense, is top four in yards allowed per game (199.8).
If Queen’s are going to salvage the slow start and overcome the loss of Vreeken, it’s going to be the defense leading the way.
NEXT: Sept .30 @ York (0-5)
8. McMaster Marauders (-)
McMaster couldn’t get anything going in their loss to Laurier. Keegan Hall completed less than 50 percent of his passes and held to season-low 165 yards through the air. The running game struggled, only managing to pick up 29 yards.
Despite being 1-4, the Marauders have kept a few games really close. They one-score losses to Windsor and Guelph. The positive news for McMaster is their final three games of the regular season aren’t as difficult as the first half. Their opponents in the first five games carry a combined win percentage of 72. The combined win percentage of their remaining opponents is 33 percent.
There is a real chance McMaster rebound and finish the season with a 4-4 record. Going back to last year, that record was good enough to make the playoffs.
NEXT: Sept .30 @ Toronto Varsity Blues (0-4)
9. Waterloo Warriors (-)
Having a win on the board has Waterloo ahead of both Toronto and York. This week Waterloo had their bye week, getting an extra week to gear up against a surging Guelph Gryphons.
Waterloo average around 20 points per game, which slots them among the bottom middle of the OUA in that metric. They are moving the ball well, mustering around 400 yards per game, slightly behind Carleton.
Defense definitely is an area of concern, allowing the second most points per game (36). Same thing goes for yards allowed, second most. Only York allow more points and yards than Waterloo.
NEXT: Sept .30 vs. Guelph Gryphons (3-2)
10. Toronto Varsity Blues (-)
11. York Lions (-)