Vanier Cup live chat: can the Marauders retain their title, or will the Rouge et Or prevail?

Once again, we've partnered with The CIS Blog to bring you live coverage of the 2012 Vanier Cup. The game (7:30 p.m. Eastern, TSN) sets up as a fascinating rematch between the Laval Rouge et Or and the McMaster Marauders, which merely produced a thrilling 41-38 McMaster win in double overtime at B.C. Place last year. The CIS title game's again paired with the Grey Cup this year (although it may be the last such pairing for a while given Regina's hotel issues and other CIS-CFL conflicts), and the excitement around the 100th Grey Cup combined with the phenomenal Vanier matchup has combined for record ticket sales above 33,000. That should lead to a tremendous atmosphere Friday night at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

What's remarkable about this matchup is how dominant these teams have been. The top-ranked Marauders went 8-0 this year in the regular season and finished second in CIS in points per game (45.6) and yards per game (582.5), while the second-ranked Rouge et Or were 8-1 in the regular season and put up a fourth-best 38.7 points per game. Mac will likely try to throw the ball early and often, as they put up a second-best 370 passing yards per game this year, but they can also run it; their 212.5 rushing yards per game were fourth-best nationally. Meanwhile, Laval can pass too, but the Rouge et Or really shine on the ground, averaging 202.1 rushing yards per game (sixth-best in the country). Despite the remarkable offences led by quarterbacks Kyle Quinlan (McMaster) and Tristan Grenon (Laval), this may not be a shootout, though; both sides also have dominant defences, with the Rouge et Or allowing a second-best 12.7 points per game during the regular season and McMaster conceding a fourth-best 15.6. Join us below at 7:30 p.m. Eastern to see how it plays out.

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