WEEK 4 CIS Football Previews
Photo credit Laurier Athletics
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Click here for season previews of all CIS football teams.
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19:00 ET No. 5 Sherbrooke (2-1) at Concordia (2-1), SSN webcast
19:00 MT No. 7 Saskatchewan (2-1) at No. 3 Calgary (3-0), CanadaWest.tv webcast
Source: Calgary Sports Info
CALGARY – In the midst of the success the University of Calgary Dinos football team has enjoyed over the past three seasons, the Saskatchewan Huskies have continued to be a thorn in their sides.
Both of Blake Nill’s victories over Saskatchewan have come at Griffiths Stadium in Saskatoon, and both in extremely exciting fashion. The 2007 contest that featured an Aaron Ifield 51-yard game-winning field goal is widely credited as the game that showed the Dinos were truly on the rise in Canada West, while the 2009 Hardy Cup was an instant classic that vaulted the Dinos to a Vanier Cup appearance.
But in the five-plus seasons Nill has been head coach of the Dinos, his team has yet to beat the Huskies on home turf. Indeed, Calgary’s record in the last 10 conference games against Saskatchewan is just 1-9, and the last McMahon Stadium win for the Dinos over the Huskies happened all the way back on Oct. 20, 2000. They’ll get their latest chance Friday night when the Huskies pay a visit to McMahon Stadium (7 p.m.; QR77 radio, CanadaWest.tv webcast).
The Dinos, of course, won’t soon forget their last meeting with the Huskies on home turf. Ranked No. 1 in the nation entering the 2010 season, Calgary fell 34-13 in the pouring rain on a dismal Saturday night at McMahon last September. Saskatchewan went on to sweep the 2010 season series with a 37-16 win at home weeks later.
Their head-to-head record with their biggest rival aside, the No. 3-ranked Dinos have plenty on the line as Friday night’s top-10 tilt approaches. A win would maintain their status as the only undefeated team in Canada West and give them a two-game cushion over Saskatchewan with the Alberta Golden Bears next on the schedule. A win would all but clinch a fifth-straight playoff appearance, a first in the storied history of the University of Calgary program.
It would also keep the Dinos above the fray developing below them – a three-way tie for second place at 2-1 heading into this weekend between the Huskies, Manitoba, and UBC.
The Dinos and Huskies will face off once more this season, Oct. 14 at Griffiths Stadium in Saskatoon.
Here’s a look at the two teams:
No. 3 Calgary Dinos (3-0)
Last week: defeated Regina (51-1)
Next week: host Alberta
After starting the season with a pair of last-minute victories over Manitoba and UBC, the Dinos finally gave fans a chance to exhale early in a dominant 51-1 win over the ailing Regina Rams last week at Mosaic Stadium.
Chris Dobko caught three touchdown passes to earn conference offensive player-of-the-week honours.J Jake Harty, Steven Lumbala, and Denzel Morrison each added a major as the Dinos broke open a tight game late in the second quarter and ran away with it in the second half to hand the Rams their worst loss since joining CIS in 1999.
Eric Dzwilewski had an efficient night, completing 10 passes for just 90 yards but adding three TDs as the Dinos enjoyed fantastic field position, with an average drive start on the Calgary 50-yard line. Calgary racked up 336 yards of total offence, led by 217 along the ground – 110 of those from Steven Lumbala, who surpassed the 1,000-yard threshold for his career.
The Calgary run game again leads the conference with a 270 yards per game average, but they run into the conference’s top run defence this week in the Huskies, who have averaged less than 75 rushing yards against so far this season.
Defensively, the Dinos nearly pitched a shutout and gave up just 177 total yards and eight first downs to the Rams. The Calgary defence picked up its first two interceptions of the season and added three fumble recoveries, including a pair of blocked punts by Drew Redekopp. Through three games, Calgary holds a commanding lead in the giveaway-takeaway category in Canada West, holding a +9 rating.
Friday night against the Huskies Calgary will again try to extend its dominance on home turf as the Dinos look to extend their home winning streak to eight overall games. They have lost just one of their last 21 games at home dating back to 2007 – and that game was the season-opener last year against these very same Saskatchewan Huskies.
The Dinos have one more game before heading into the bye week, hosting the Alberta Golden Bears for a rare Sunday contest on Oct. 2. Kickoff goes at 1 p.m. at McMahon, live on Shaw TV and QR77.
No. 7 Saskatchewan Huskies (2-1)
Last week: lost @ Manitoba (26-16)
Next week: host UBC
The new-look Saskatchewan Huskies started the season with impressive 38-7 and 33-10 home wins over Alberta and Regina, respectively, but fell to No. 7 in the national top 10 this week after a 26-16 setback to the upstart Manitoba Bisons last Saturday in Winnipeg.
Manitoba’s Grayson Wells was the hero, jumping on a loose ball in the end zone after a Bisons punt on the first play of the fourth quarter to score what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown.
The loss meant that Huskies head coach Brian Towriss will have to wait at least one more week to become the all-time winningest coach in CIS history, moving ahead of Western Ontario coaching legend Larry Haylor’s mark of 169. In his 28th season as head coach of the Huskies, Towriss will shoot for No. 170 Friday night – a mark that the Dinos would clearly like to see wait at least one more week.
Jahlani Gilbert-Knorren has emerged as the starting quarterback for the Huskies, with Trent Peterson also getting more than a regular backup’s share of reps. The elusive Gilbert-Knorren is averaging 191 passing yards per game along with 50 along the ground and can cause problems for opposing defences with his athleticism and his feet. Saskatchewan’s rush offence as a whole, however, is near the bottom of the conference, averaging just over 135 yards per game.
The Huskies close out the pre-bye portion of their schedule next week with a home game against UBC that will have significant playoff implications, then prepare for the rematch with the Dinos on Oct. 14.
13:00 AT No. 8 Saint Mary’s (1-1) at Mount Allison (0-2) (in Moncton, N.B.)
13:00 ET Windsor (2-1) at Waterloo (0-3), SSN webcast
13:00 ET Queen’s (1-2) at York (1-2), SSN webcast
Source: York Sports Info
TORONTO - The York University Lions football team will play its annual Homecoming game this Saturday (Sept. 24) against the visiting Queen’s Gaels.
Kick-off is set for 1pm at York Stadium and tickets can be purchased at the gate, with gates and concessions opening at 11:30am. Live streaming is available at http://www.ssncanada.ca/game/2854/.
Both teams own 1-2 records after three weeks of play and are tied with two other teams with four points, just two points behind four teams tied with six.
The Lions come into Saturday’s game flying high after last weekend’s thrilling 20-18 overtime victory over the Waterloo Warriors on the road. The win marked the team’s first since 2007 and gave head coach Warren Craney his first with the program.
After falling behind 17-0 at the half, the Lions came out flying in the second and were off to a quick start with an early touchdown from Dimitar Sevdin (Toronto) to William Austin (St. Catharines, Ont.), which cut the lead to 17-7. Heneri Dervishi (Toronto) added a field goal late in the quarter, and the Lions finally tied the game with 2:44 left on the clock when Sevdin completed a four-yard pass to rookie Skyler Hurst (Guelph, Ont.) on third down.
Dervishi had a chance to win the game with a field goal but it went wide, setting up the extra frame. After a Warriors rouge, the Lions drove the ball down to the Waterloo 11-yard line and Dervishi hit the 18-yard field goal for the win.
The Lions are much improved overall this season and have a core group of rookies to thank for the upward trend, particularly on defence. They held the Golden Hawks to 15 points through three quarters in their first contest and gave up just 10 points to Toronto two weeks ago. The offence is also starting to click, and the 20 points they scored against Waterloo was also a season-high.
Queen’s also brings plenty of momentum into the game after also recording their first win of the season last weekend against Laurier. The Gaels offence finally came to life as the team exploded for 58 points on offence and came away with a 58-35 victory.
Billy McPhee of Burlington, Ont. set career highs with 362 yards passing and four touchdowns. He also rushed for a score of his own on a six yard bootleg play in the first quarter.
Giovanni Aprile of Toronto was the star of the afternoon on offence with 177 yards receiving and three touchdown reception in addition to 191 kick return yards and a 91 yard return touchdown on special teams.
Both teams also have defences capable of making big plays as the squads each forced four interceptions in their respective wins last week. The Lions also had a forced fumble and six sacks of the Warriors.
Tickets for York students are free. Other ticket prices include $8 for adults and $5 for non-York students and seniors, while children 12 and under are free.
After their Homecoming game the Lions will be on the road for three straight weeks, beginning with a trip to London next weekend to face the No. 2 nationally-ranked Western Mustangs. They will return home on Saturday, Oct. 22 for the season finale against the Windsor Lancers.
13:00 ET No. 6 McMaster (2-1) at Guelph (1-2), The Score
Source: Guelph Sports Info
GUELPH, Ont. - This Saturday (Sept. 24) afternoon at 1:00 p.m.,
your Guelph Gryphon’s will be taking on the McMaster
Marauder’s as part of Guelph’s Homecoming weekend at
The Guelph Gryphons football game is officially sold-out, so watch from home as the action unfolds on University Rush, live on The Score, presented by Belair Direct. The game can also be seen live via webcast at www.ssncanada.ca
Guelph, entering the game at 1-2, will be looking to even their record at .500. McMaster, sitting at 2-1 on the season, will be looking for back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
“We’ve got our emotional leaders who have been more outspoken this week,” said University of Guelph head football coach Stu Lang. “We were disappointed with our performance against Toronto and this week gives us an opportunity to prove to our fans and ourselves that we’re a much better football team.”??
In addition to Alumni festivities, Guelph has been on the road two weeks in a row, so it’s a Homecoming in more ways than one. Alumni Stadium has been sold out all week, and the Gryphons will have some spirited fans and alumni on their side.
“This game is important on two levels: we get to
play in front of our fans and we want to do well for them to build
the spirit. It also gives us a chance to eliminate the past. We
have a chance to start fresh this week and we’re looking
forward to it.”
Guelph and McMaster both sport strong defences that should keep this game close. Last season saw the Marauders storm out to a 40-15 lead through three quarters before an impressive Guelph comeback fell just short, with the game ending 43-35 for McMaster. That game saw Jedd Gardner (Niagara Falls, Ont.) almost break an OUA record, returning a missed field goal 130 yards for a touchdown.
What To Look For: Gryphon’s Offense
The Gryphon’s enter Saturday’s game looking to bounce back after a disappointing loss to the Toronto Varsity Blues. The Gryphon’s running game, largely stagnant up until this point, finally broke through with 166 yards on the day. Unfortunately, the throwing game took a step back with the Blue’s primarily focused on stopping the Gryphon receivers. Guelph was unable to muster an offensive touchdown for the first time this season. Expect the Gryphon’s to continue mixing up run and pass plays in hopes of opening up the field for their talented receivers to break the game open.
What To Look For: Gryphon’s Defence
Guelph continues to sport one of the country’s strongest secondary’s, leading the CIS in interceptions with eight in only three games. Mark Durigon (Rockwood, Ont.) and Bryan Dunjko (Aurora, Ont.) currently lead the team with two interceptions each, while linebacker Jake Reinhart (Guelph, Ont.) leads the team with 29 tackles, good for third in the CIS. Expect the Guelph defence to keep the potent McMaster offense in check throughout the game.
What To Look For: Marauder’s Offense
McMaster boasts one of the leading offenses in the country, as their 479 yards per game is currently third
best in the CIS. The Marauders are coming off double wins the
past two weeks, though the team has had some setbacks of their own.
Their star quarterback and Hec Creighton favourite, Kyle Quinlan
was suspended last week for three games stemming from charges
unrelated to the team. Despite the loss, the Marauders proved their
depth as they have in the past when second year and second team
quarterback Marshall Ferguson stepped up with a huge game against
Windsor. Ferguson completed 25 for 33 passes for 284 yards and
three touchdowns, edging the Lancers 21-19.
What To Look For: Marauder’s Defence
This is one of the few defences in the country that measures up to the high standards of the Guelph defence. Linebacker Ryan Chmielewski anchors the defence with his team leading 24 tackles, to go along with three sacks. He is surrounded by a talented secondary with has accumulated six interceptions, good for fourth in the CIS. Expect McMaster to put the pressure on the Gryphon’s offense and force them to make mistakes.
13:00 ET No. 2 Western (3-0) at Laurier (1-2), WLU webcast
Source: Laurier Sports Info
WATERLOO, Ont. - Coming off a tough loss on the road to the Queen's Gaels, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men's football team (1-2) will be hoping that the friendly confines of University Stadium will help them return to the win column this Saturday.
However, the task will be tough as the No. 2 Western Mustangs (3-0) are in town, a team that has won their three games by an average of nearly 40 points.
Despite the lopsided 58-35 scoreline against Queen's last Saturday, the Hawks offence continues to click at one of the highest rates in the country this season. Laurier is currently averaging over 40 points per game, third best in the CIS, and its quarterback Shane Kelly of Basking Ridge, N.J., who is leading the way for the Golden Hawks. Kelly, who had six touchdown passes all of last season, has already thrown for 10 this year, two more than anyone else in the country. He is also averaging over 300 yards per game through the air, which is third best in Canada.
The Hawks receivers have benefited from his improved play from last season as four Hawks have eclipsed the 100 yard receiving mark for the season. Dillon Heap of Waterloo, Ont., leads the way amongst this group with 230 yards through the first three games while Mark Surya of Burlington, Ont., and Anton Bennett of Toronto, each have caught three touchdown passes.
What this means for Saturday's game is that it could turn into an offensive display as Western currently has the top offence in Canada, averaging 58 points per game. They also lead the country in rushing yards per game, averaging over 350 yards on the ground through their first three contests.
Rookie running back Tyler Varga of Kitchener, Ont., has been the main catalyst for the Mustangs offence. Already a heavy favourite for Rookie of the Year honours, Varga has amassed 374 yards and nine touchdowns this season.
Western quarterback Donnie Marshall of London, Ont., has also continued his strong play in 2011, throwing for 760 yards while rushing for 217.
In order for the Golden Hawks to come away with a victory, they will have to find a way to slow down this dynamic duo for the Mustangs. To do that, the Hawks will look to their front seven to shut down the Mustangs run game. One player key in that group is linebacker Mitchell Bosch of Langley, B.C. Bosch has done it all so far for the Hawks on defence, recording 11.5 total tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and an interception. He will need to have another big game for Laurier if they are to contain the Western offence.
Kick-off Saturday is scheduled for 1 p.m. with the first 300 fans receiving a free rivalry t-shirt.
13:00 ET Toronto (2-1) at Ottawa (2-1), SSN webcast
Source: Ottawa Sports Info
OTTAWA - Coming off a disappointing 41-13 road loss to the
Western Mustangs, the Gee-Gees football team will look to rebound
against the Toronto Varsity Blues, this Saturday, September 24 at
1:00 p.m. at Frank Clair Stadium. The game is part of this
year’s homecoming festivities at the University of
Last season, the Varsity Blues shocked the world by pulling off a 40-35 upset against the then-undefeated Gee-Gees. The loss snapped uOttawa’s 11-game winning streak against Toronto and was the only regular season loss for the Gee-Gees in 2010. Toronto is coming off a 21-12 win against the Guelph Gryphons.
“It doesn’t matter whether we are facing Western or Toronto, we need to focus on getting better every week,” said uOttawa head coach Jean-Philippe Asselin.
Against Western, the game was tied at 6-6, five minutes into the third quarter, before the Mustangs pulled away by scoring 28 unanswered points. The Gee-Gees had opportunities to score, but had trouble moving the ball inside the red zone. Ottawa also had a touchdown run called back in the first half, due to a penalty.
“We played with them for two and a half quarters,” said Asselin. “In the first half and in the beginning of the second half, we didn’t capitalize when we had our chances.”
Despite the loss, the Gee-Gees are tied for second place in the OUA with a 2-1 record, along with Windsor, McMaster, and Toronto. Therefore, a win against Toronto is crucial to keep pace with the top-ranked Mustangs, who are still undefeated.
“Out of those [contending] teams, we are one of the youngest. I think that shows a lot of potential. I’m confident that by the end of the season, we’ll have grown into a more mature team that can compete against anybody in the country,” said Asselin.
13:00 ET No. 4 Montreal (2-1) at Bishop’s (1-2), Radio-Canada
Source: Bishop's Sports Info
THIS WEEK: The Bishop’s Gaiters (1-2) host the annual Homecoming Game against the Montreal Carabins.
ON THE AIR: Saturday’s game will be telecast on Radio-Canada, (SRC) the French-language service of the CBC. This is the only scheduled SRC appearance for the Gaiters this season. Jean St-Onge will be on play-by-play; with former Montreal Machine head coach Jacques Dussault providing colour commentary. SRC is available on Cable 12 in Toronto, Cable 5 in Ottawa, Cable 2 or 4 in Montreal and Channel 108 (among others) on Bell TV. Note that in Western Canada, the game is scheduled to air at 1 p.m. local time.
FOLLOW AND CHAT LIVE: Score updates will be available at www.gaiters.ca and at @BishopsGaiters on Twitter. Live stats will be available off the Gaiters’ site. The Gaiters' in-game live chat is at www.gaiters.ca, with live stats are also available at http://livestats.prestosports.com/bishops.
THE RECORDS: The Gaiters head into the contest with a 1-2 record, having picked up their first win of the season last week at Mount Allison. Montreal is listed at 2-1, after having outscored Saint Mary’s 11-10 last week at home.
LAST TIME OUT: Jordan Heather's three-touchdown, 459-yard passing performance led the Bishop's Gaiters to a 36-23 victory over the Mount Allison Mounties at MacAulay Field. The crowd of 2,628 saw the Oromocto, N.B., native finish one yard short of the Silvio Martel's 20-year-old school record. Heather's scoring passes all came as the Gaiters broke the game open in the second half. He connected with Alexander Fox on a pair of touchdowns, an eight-yard toss early in the third and a 53-yard strike at 4:25 of the fourth. The Fox majors sandwiched a 65-yard pass-and-run to Steven Turner. Quincy Van De Cruize had other Gaiter touchdown, as he gave Bishop's a 10-3 halftime lead. A pair of Mathieu Paquette field goals and a safety touch rounded out the Gaiters' scoring. The Gaiters put up 477 yards of net offence, while Mount Allison gained 377.
THE SERIES: The Bishop’s-Montreal series dates back over 80 years, making it the Gaiters’ second-longest-running series, with Bishop’s holding an 18-8 lead. The first meeting was on October 16, 1926, a 35-1 Bishop’s win. After three matchups in the 1920s, the series went on a more than 30-year hiatus, resuming on October 20, 1962 with the Gaiters winning 47-9. After a 70-0 Gaiter win in 1971, the teams would not meet again until 2002. The teams split two meetings last year, with each team winning at home. The Gaiters have won the last two matchups at Coulter Field.
LAST MEETING: A pair of defensive touchdowns in the third quarter keyed then-No. 8 Montreal to a 37-7 victory over the Gaiters on October 30, 2010 in Montreal. The Carabins took a 20-7 halftime lead, and put the game away on returns by David Menard and Gregory Alexandre. The teams combined for 284 yards in penalties, including three ejections, with Bishop’s taking 10 for 99, while Montreal was flagged 17 times for 185 yards. For the Gaiters, Jesse Andrews was 0-for-5 before leaving the game in the first quarter. Alex Rivet finished 8-for-15 for 97 yards. Defensively, the Gaiters were led by Jermaine Gabriel, who made six tackles, while Harrison Maloney made five.
THE HEATHER REPORT: Third-year quarterback Jordan Heather has caught fire in the past two weeks. The defending CIS Offensive Player of the Week has posted career-high numbers in each of the last two games, and set a Gaiters' regular-season record with 459 passing yards last Saturday. The Oromocto, N.B., native leads the CIS with 999 passing yards, is second in completions with 68, tied for fourth in touchdowns (6) and tenth in yards per attempt with 8.9.
THOU SHALL NOT PASS: Conversely, the Gaiters also have the league’s top-rated pass defence. The Gaiters have allowed only 221.7 passing yards per game, and have made six interceptions. Defensive backs Marcus Lam-Peters and Ryland Smith have led the Gaiters' pass defence this year. Lam-Peters has three knockdowns and an interception, while Smith has picked off a pair of passes and knocked down two others.
GOOD RECEPTION: The Gaiters hold down three of the top four spots in the conference's receiving table. Steven Turner is second with 297 receiving yards in three games, while Alexander Fox is third at 296 yards, and David Haddrall is fourth with 241 yards.
FOX ON THE RUN: Second-year receiver Alexander Fox scored a pair of touchdowns last week, becoming the first Gaiter receiver to score twice in the same game since Shawn Gore performed the feat in 2009. Fox made nine catches for 148 yards, both career highs, last weekend against Mount Allison. He currently is second in the province in all-purpose yards, with 458 over three games, trailing only Mikhail Davidson of Montreal. Fox has gone over 100 yards receiving in the last two games.
NO RETURNS, NO EXCHANGES: Last Saturday, the Gaiters had no punt returns despite the fact that the Mounties punted seven times. Mountie punter Kyle McLean sent six punts directly out of bounds, and Mount Allison was called for No Yards on the other attempt. The Mounties only averaged 20 yards per punt, a fact which helped the Gaiters to an average starting field position of their own 50-yard line.
CFL GAITERS UPDATE: Tim Cronk's "scoop and score" on Saturday gave him his first career CFL touchdown. Cronk picked up Paris Jackson's blocked punt, and dashed 31 yards into the end zone, to become the first ex-Gaiter to score a touchdown in the CFL since Gilles Colon in 2006. Cronk is one of nine Gaiters currently active in the CFL. This week, Justin Conn will return to his home province of New Brunswick, as his Calgary Stampeders head to Moncton for Touchdown Atlantic. His teammate, Junior Turner, made his first career sack two weeks ago at Edmonton. Altogether, a record ten Gaiters have played in the CFL this year. Shawn Gore of the B.C. Lions is in second place among Canadian receivers with 42 catches for 571 yards. James Yurichuk (also with B.C.) has 9 Special Teams Tackles and 11 Defensive Tackles. Mathieu Boulay of Magog, Que., made his first career tackle on Aug. 30 against Winnipeg, and is currently on the one-game injured list, as is Kyle Jones, who is now with Hamilton.
UP NEXT: The Gaiters hit the road next week as they visit the McGill Redmen, in the Gaiters' only trip to Montreal this season. Kickoff at Molson Stadium is set for 7 p.m. on Friday, September 30.
13:00 MT Regina (0-3) at Alberta (0-3), CanadaWest.tv webcast
Source: Alberta Sports Info
EDMONTON - Two of the best running backs in Canada West will slug it out this Saturday at Foote Field as Alberta Golden Bear KK Sonuga and Regina Ram Adrian Charles will look to carry their respective programs to a 1-3 record.
Both teams come into the Saturday afternoon contest in Edmonton at 0-3, and with serious ground to catch up in the conference standings.
For Alberta, this Saturday represents an opportunity to finally get traction in 2011 in all three facets of the game at once. In week one, the Bears’ defence recorded three interceptions, three sacks, and scored on a fumble recovery. In week two, special teams were on point as Jess Valleau returned a Manitoba kick-off 100 yards for a major and CIS Special Teams Athlete of the Week honours. Against UBC, the Golden Bears offence put up 30 points, including two TDs by Sonuga, but still lost by 10.
Now, against the Rams, the Evergreen and Gold have the chance to earn their first win of 2011, and Sonuga will be a key part of those plans.
The fourth-year back, who originally hails from Abu Dhabi, UAE, has been patiently waiting in the understudy wings since his arrival from Victoria Composite High School. Biding his time as a back-up linebacker and special teams demon, Sonuga started getting carries in 2010, hauling the mail 25 times for 256 yards and four TDs before an injury shut him down for the season.
After earning the starting gig in training camp this year, the energetic Sonuga has become the fourth-leading rusher in the conference with a conference-high 56 rushes for 237 yards and three majors. He has been the consistent bright spot on an offence that has struggled to find its form.
He’ll face a stiff test against a Regina defence that ranks third in Canada West at stopping the run, yet the Rams have yielded an average of 147 yards per game and four touchdowns to opposing backs in three games this season. Coupled with the suspension of Regina linebacker Austin Bates, Sonuga could be in line for a breakout performance at a time when his team needs it most.
The same opportunity exists for fifth-year Rams’ running back Adrian Charles.
The shifty speedster was a Canada West First Team All-Star and a first team CIS All-Canadian in 2010 after picking up a conference-best and Regina single season record of 972 rushing yards. The former two-time 1,000-yard rusher from the Prairie Football Conference also had nine touchdowns last season and a seven yard-per-carry average, as well as a 121.5 yard-per-game average.
In 2011, Charles is second in Canada West rushing with 54 attempts and 338 yards. Although he has yet to find the endzone, the Toronto native is averaging 6.3 yards per carry and 112 per game.
Given that Regina just announced that 2010 conference passing leader quarterback Marc Mueller is done for the season with a shoulder injury, the Bears defence should expect a steady diet of Charles on Saturday.
The Bears are allowing an average of 228 yards along the ground through three games, but, with Regina likely leaning towards a run-heavy offensive scheme, Alberta might be able to stuff the box and limit Charles’ effectiveness.
Although the running back showdown will have the spotlight, look for the Golden Bears to exploit Regina’s fifth-ranked pass defence. Receivers Ryley Richardson, Porter Brown, and Jess Valleau could all be in store for big games, while starting quarterback Julian Marchand, or back-up Curtis Dell, will look to put the offence on track for good.
Frankie Gray will likely get the starting nod at QB for Regina, and although Alberta ranks sixth against the pass, Gray, the Ram’s third-stringer out of camp, could be in for a long day in his second career CIS start.
14:00 PT No. 10 Manitoba (2-1) at No. 9 UBC (2-1), CanadaWest.tv webcast
Source: UBC Sports Info
VANCOUVER - The no. 9 UBC Thunderbirds football team is looking
to build on the momentum of its home-opening win last weekend, as
it welcomes the no. 10 Manitoba Bisons to town for Homecoming 2011
on Saturday afternoon.
Students, staff, alumni and fans are expected to jam Thunderbird Stadium for the 2:00 p.m. kickoff.
The game will also be broadcast live on CiTR 101.9 FM and will also be streamed live at canadawest.tv
Last week, UBC stormed out of the gates, scoring touchdowns on its first two possessions against the Alberta Golden Bears, en route to a 40-30 victory.
The final score was much closer than the game itself as the Thunderbirds built up a 40-8 lead before both teams unloaded their benches.
Alberta made a valiant comeback attempt but fell short.
UBC quarterback Billy Greene (Surrey, BC) was brilliant. He threw three touchdowns and ran in another while running back Dave Boyd (Duncan, BC) gave the Thunderbirds much needed balance on offence by carrying the ball 21 times for 176 and a touchdown.
Levar Hayden (Calgary, AB) led UBC defensively by recording six tackles. Rookie Adam Konar (North Vancouver, BC) continues to impress, notching 5.5 tackles for the Thunderbirds.
UBC head coach Shawn Olson is hoping his team builds upon last week's performance.
“Whether it's at the end of the half or the fourth quarter, I'd like us to go for the kill a little bit more and when we do have a team down, that we can finish them off maybe a little bit better than we've done this year,” said Olson.
One of the areas where UBC needs to get better is team discipline. Despite its 2-1 record, the Thunderbirds have averaged 15 penalties a game this season.
“A lot of our penalties don't end up being disciplined penalties,” said Olson, who also cited better tackling and more defensive turnovers as things he'd like to see from his players against Manitoba.
The Bisons are coming into this week's game on a high as well. They entered the Football Reporters of Canada-CIS Top Ten this week on the strength of a 26-16 upset victory at home over the Saskatchewan Huskies.
They were led by fifth year defensive back Grayson Wells, who was selected as CIS Special Teams Football Athlete of the Week.
Wells made the play of the game against Saskatchewan as he jumped on a loose ball in the end zone at the start of the fourth quarter for the first lead of the game that Manitoba would not relinquish during the upset win.
It was Manitoba's second straight victory, after a season-opening 35-31 loss to Calgary.
The Top 10 ranking is the team's first, since the second week of the 2008 season.
Manitoba has an experienced and efficient quarterback in Khaleal Williams, who averages 260 yards a game in the air.
Defensively, the Bisons are a strong team, having recorded a Canada West-leading seven interceptions in three games in 2011.
They rank second in the conference in total defence, allowing
just 334 yards a game.
“This game will give us an idea of where we stand in the grand scheme of things,” said Olson. “We'll be half way through the season and this is a team where if we have any aspirations of accomplishing something this year more than just in the regular season, then this is a team I have a feeling we're going to have to beat.”
Last season, Manitoba beat UBC 40-17 in the Thunderbirds' 2010 homecoming game on September 18, 2010. The two teams met again on October 30, 2010 with Manitoba emerging victorious 35-25 in Winnipeg.
19:00 AT StFX (0-2) at Acadia (2-0), EastLink
13:00 ET McGill (0-3) at No. 1 Laval (3-0)