The U of T Varsity Blues were the victims of a beat down by the defending Yates Cup champions, the Guelph Gryphons in Week 1. Down 39-1 after three quarters of play, U of T showed some fight scoring three touchdowns in the final quarter to narrow the gap to a final score of 41-22.
The McMaster Marauders were pitted against the Carleton Ravens in Week 1. The Ravens are a team on the rise and have shown great potential after re-entering the league three seasons ago. The new re-iteration of the team made their first playoff appearance last year, in what was their third season. The Ravens were deemed to be the favourite to win in the game and Mac made a statement that those who did pick the Ravens, picked wrong. Mac dominated all facets of the game en route to a 40-10 win pitching a complete game on offence and defence.
U of T Varsity Blues Look to Rally Against Mac in CFL Atmosphere
The U of T Varsity Blues offence struggled against Guelph until the fourth quarter of their Week 1 loss. Guelph, after the game, was ranked #6 nationally. McMaster is a similarly built team, and like Guelph, an OUA playoff team from last year.
The Marauders team is fast and aggressive with players that can make an impact at every position. If unchallenged it will be a long day for the Varsity Blues. Asher Hastings is certainly able to pick apart Toronto’s defence at will if they don’t bring consistent pressure. The fourth year quarterback, in his opening game, threw four touchdown passes as the receivers consistently blew past the Ravens secondary coverage.
Watch: Hastings finds Cameron again to extend Mac's lead to 21-3 in the second quarter: pic.twitter.com/ErEFyP4Edd
— McMaster Athletics (@McMasterSports) August 29, 2016
Richard Gillespie and the Blues defence will need to lock down receivers long enough in the game giving time for the Toronto front seven to generate a pass rush that can throw Hastings off his game, a task easier said than done.
Mac’s defence may pose a big problem for the Blues, and with athletes at all positions, it’s only a matter of time until someone gets free for a hit on Toronto quarterback Marcus Hobbs. Mac sacked Jesse Mills five times last week. The way to combat this is by throwing quick passes before a rush can be established, but that can be problematic because the Mac secondary is talented enough to identify patterns and jump routes if the play calling becomes too routine.
CFL Game Atmosphere
Very few players from the CIS make it to the CFL so this game represents one of the few occasions these iniversity players may get to play in a pro-like atmosphere. Mac’s players are pumped to play in Tim Horton’s Field, after selling out Ron Joyce Stadium in Week 1.
“Hopefully we get a big crowd, there’s a concert and the (Hamilton) Tiger-Cats game after we play so that’s exciting,” said receiver Danny Vandervoot.
Mac played an almost perfect game last week. Toronto will need to do the same if they don’t want to get blown out of the water by the Marauders in front of a big crowd Hamilton crowd.
See you on Labour Day! pic.twitter.com/GqA43TbZmt
— Hamilton Tiger-Cats (@Ticats) August 29, 2016
Main Photo Courtesy of Alistair Boulby and McMaster University.