The University of Saskatchewan Huskies announced their 2012 schedule yesterday. The Huskies play all of their home games on Friday nights. They have another national non-conference game, this year against the Guelph Gryphons. The Huskies play the Dinos and the Rams only one time each, as the CanadaWest rotating schedule dictates.
The Huskies kick off the CanadaWest schedule at home for the fifth season in a row. This year, they host the Alberta Golden Bears. Huskies Head Coach Brian Towriss likes the idea of opening the season at home.
“It’s kind of nice to open the season at home,” said Towriss. “Especially if you can open it with a win,” he added with a grin. “Sometimes it is hard to draw a big crowd, with it being a long weekend and people wanting to get back the lake one more time, but most of the fans stick around for the game now as it has become a bit of a tradition.”
The Huskies have averaged over 4,000 fans a game to their home opener, but with the new stadium seats added late last season a crowd of close to 6,000 is expected for their CanadaWest opener.
The Huskies play Alberta, UBC and Manitoba twice, while traveling to Calgary and hosting Regina to complete their eight-game CanadaWest schedule.
“The single games against two quality opponents are big games for us,” Towriss said. “The games are in the middle of the schedule but they often determine playoff positioning. If you win them, you have a tie-breaker advantage.”
“Regina here and Calgary on the road are two games that will be tough, but we are looking forward to them,” Towriss said. “The Rams should have Marc Mueller back at quarterback, so that should be a huge test for us.”
The Huskies could go down in history in week 2, if construction of the new football stadium in Winnipeg is complete by the fall as they travel to Manitoba to play the Bisons. The Bisons are on the road in week one, so the two teams could be the first two college teams to play in the new stadium.
“We are excited about the possibility of being involved in the first game in the new stadium,” said Towriss. “That stadium will be a big boost to their program, and they will have some big things planned for that game. We are happy to play on the turf there as opposed to the grass in their old stadium. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Coach Towriss didn’t want to speculate on what the most important games are as the team likes to take the games one at a time.
“When all the dust settles, and we play UBC here at the end of the season, we expect that game to have playoff implications,” he offered.
“We look at it this way,” he said. “We have to win all of our home games. If we do that and pick up at least one win on the road, we should make the playoffs. But the coaches, players and fans expect more than that. We want to win a few more road games, host the playoff games and, reach our ultimate goal of winning the Vanier Cup.”
Huskies season ticket renewals continue until next week. Season tickets and voucher pack details will be announced soon.