Similar to this year's game against U of T, Queen's headed into this weekend's tilt with York knowing that it would be awfully hard to impress anyone against a winless team. Yet, the (potentially Golden again?) Gaels managed to find a way to look impressive, putting up a school-record 80 points against the hapless Lions while holding York off the board entirely.
According to Queen's Sport Information Officer Mike Grobe's release, the 80-0 win was also the biggest margin of victory ever recorded by a Gaels' football squad (the previous record was a 72-0 win over U of T in 2003) and the biggest margin of defeat ever experienced by a York football team (their previous low was a 90-15 loss to Wilfrid Laurier on October 19, 1974).
Most of the individual offensive statistics [OUA box score] are impressive on their own, despite head coach Pat Sheahan yanking the majority of his starters early in the third quarter. However, they look even better when you factor the number of attempts in. Dan Brannagan was 14 for 18 passing for 169 yards, with four touchdowns and no interceptions: that should boost his ranking in Rob's model a bit. Mike Giffin had his third game of the season with 200-plus rushing yards (204 on 19 carries) and chipped in three rushing touchdowns, while Scott Valberg caught seven passes for 168 yards and four touchdowns.
The defensive performance was also pretty impressive: the team yardage numbers aren't up yet [CIS box score], but the passing numbers on the OUA site have York's quarterbacks combining to go five-for-25 for 42 yards and their running backs rushing for a combined 27 yards on 14 carries. Those are some pretty incredible stats.
It's certainly important to keep the euphoria in check. After all, York was 0-5 going into this one, and they've looked like the worst team in the country for most of the year. An impressive performance like this isn't entirely meaningless either, though, and it's probably good for the Queen's offence to put up some big numbers after they were largely shut down last week against Western.
The No. 7 Ottawa Gee-Gees will pose a bigger challenge next week, but they're enduring some hard times at the moment: their 22-21 loss [OUA box score] to Laurier today demonstrated the inconsistency they've shown for most of the season, and might just knock them out of the top-10 entirely.
If Ottawa rolls over against Queen's again next week, the Gaels' closing game against Waterloo means they won't face a stiff challenge until the playoffs, which could be dangerous and produce some overconfidence. Sheahan's kept his team focused and motivated so far: we'll see if he can do it down the stretch.