On Saturday, Western University will try to avenge a homecoming loss to the McMaster, and in the process advance to the Ontario Conference university football final.
With last Saturday’s 56-35 victory over Windsor, the Mustangs set up a rematch with undefeated McMaster. The Marauders defeated the Mustangs 33-27 at TD Waterhouse Stadium on Sept. 29.
Western coach Greg Marshall hopes the momentum from last week’s win will carry over into Saturday’s semifinal.
“We did a good job of scoring points against Windsor,” said Marshall. “We got our offence going early. We need to continue to distribute the ball well, but we need better coverage and special teams this week.”
The team is preparing the same as if it were any other game, says Marshall, but they are working to fix mistakes made in homecoming loss.
“We need to be more disciplined on defence,” he said. “They have a great team — we know that. But this time, we now know we need to put more pressure on their quarterback.”
McMaster quarterback Kyle Quinlan is coming off a 43-0 win over Wilfrid Laurier, rushing for two touchdowns and throwing for another.
First-year quarterback Will Finch will be a new addition to the Mustangs’ offence this time against McMaster. Quarterback Donnie Marshall got the start at homecoming, but was injured and forced to miss the remainder of the season.
“We need to protect our quarterback better this time against Mac,” said Greg Marshall. “We also need better running. We did not run well against Mac. We need to keep them off balance and use our running game better.”
Mustangs receiver Matt Uren hopes to continue his playoff tear, building on his quarterfinal performance of 403 total yards and four touchdown receptions. Uren’s four receptions against Windsor set a new Ontario playoff record.
McMaster is hoping to tie a Canadian Interuniversity Sport record for most consecutive wins. A win Saturday would be their 19th in a row dating back to Week 3 of the 2011 season.