Western prepares to
smoke U of T
By Ian Denomme
BEAT TORONTO 58-0 AND WESTERN BEAT LAURIER 20-17. THEREFORE, WESTERN
WILL BEAT TORONTO 2000-1... OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. Western hopes
to do to Toronto tonight what every oher OUA team has done - embarrass
The mood in the Toronto
Varsity Blues football dressing room can't be upbeat.
Coming off a 61-10 loss to Queen's University on Saturday and a 58-0 loss
to Laurier the week before, they now face the daunting task of taking
on the Western Mustangs (ranked seventh nationally) tonight at Birchmount
Stadium in Toronto.
Toronto coach Bob Rainford knows the odds are heavily stacked against
his team which is now 0-5 but said he still tries to keep
his players competitive and motivated.
"We stress competitivness at every practice, try to keep our poise
and stay physical. We have to be competitive on every play," Rainford
The Mustangs, who hold a 4-1 regular season record, are coming off a 24-17
win over the Waterloo Warriors.
Despite the Blues' dismal record, Western head coach Larry Haylor isn't
looking past them.
"Toronto isn't nearly as bad as their record indicates," he
said. "They've always played us tough, but we know that if we play
well in the next two weeks we can go into Ottawa and have control of our
With the two teams heading in opposite directions, their respective goals
are very different. Rainford said he would like to try to keep the score
down and be really competitve.
The Mustangs will try to continue to improve on their ability to make
big plays and Haylor said he would like his team to do a better job of
hanging on to the football. Western has fumbled only twice on offense
in their first five games, both of which occured last week against Waterloo.
Toronto's defense has eight returning starters, including Ontario University
Athletics all-stars Derek Wheeler and Mike Plonka, who will have to contain
Western's explosive offense, currently ranked first in the OUA with 2,533
On offense, the Blues are led by former Mustangs quarterback Carter Livingston,
who played at Western from 1998-1999. The Blues have only managed to score
32 points in their first five games this season, while giving up 208.
Western quarterback Chris Hessel said it will be difficult to get motivated
for the game, but they can't underestimate Toronto.
"They have nothing to lose, and everyone who plays Western gets up
a little more. We have to play a full 60 minutes which we haven't
done yet this season. There are no easy games," he said.
Hessel admitted the Mustangs' upcoming game against the University of
Ottawa in three weeks is in the back of everybody's mind, but said the
team won't take any games leading up to it lightly.
"[Toronto] has good defense, with lots of fourth and fifth-year guys,
and on any given Sunday, anybody can win we can't take anything
for granted," Hessel said.
Western and Toronto have been rivals since 1929, the year of the Mustangs
inaugural season. Western holds a 62-54-8 overall edge against the Blues,
including wins in the last seven head to head matches.
The game will also be special for Haylor as he inches closer to the all-
time Canadian Interuniversity Sport wins record. He recorded his 150th
regular season win last week in Waterloo, only the second man to accomplish
that feat. He is now only three wins away from tying the record held by
former Laurier and Waterloo coach Dave "Tuffy" Knight, with
three games left in the regular season.