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BLACKOUT Preview: Huskies vs. UBC

Saturday, October 4, 7:00 p.m.
Griffiths Stadium

Broadcasts available: Radio – www.ck750.com (pregame show at 6:30 p.m.)

Records heading in: Saskatchewan – 3-1, second in the Canada West, won 21-16 over Regina last week. UBC – 1-3, sixth in Canada West, won 49-13 over Alberta last week.

Head to head history: Saskatchewan has 12 regular season wins to UBC’s one since 2004.

Quarterback Drew Burko (Liam Richards/Electric Umbrella)

What’s on the line: For the Huskies, staying in the hunt for first place and ahead of Manitoba for second heading into the Thanksgiving bye-week.

For the Thunderbirds, a win would help them keep pace with the Bears and Rams for the fourth playoff spot. However, a loss will make it difficult to move back into the final playoff spot with a 1-4 record and three games remaining.

Key players:

Saskatchewan

  • Quarterback Drew Burko – Burko sits second in the Canada West with 1232 yards passing and is tied for first with 13 touchdowns. Although he didn’t have his best game last week, he typically plays better at home and should bounce back with a good performance tonight.
  • Defensive Back Andrew Abbs – Coming back from an injury that kept him out for one game, Abbs bounced back in a big way in Regina with a breakup in the endzone on the Ram’s final drive to seal the victory for the Huskies. The veteran from Humboldt has been playing very well off the bench and gives the Huskies experienced depth on defence and special teams.

UBC

  • Running Back Terrell Davis – Davis had his coming out party against the Golden Bears last weekend, with 85 yards on only six carries. This 6 foot, 230 lb. bruiser from Victoria will back up starter Brandon Deschamps and has the ability to break a long run, as he did last week when he rattled off a 56-yard gain.
  • Defensive Back Chris Adams – This third-year halfback currently leads the Thunderbirds with 22 tackles and has also contributed a forced fumble and an interception. He is part of a veteran defence that is better than the statistics indicate and the Huskie receivers will have to be sharp to beat Adams and the UBC secondary.

What they’re saying:

“They rely on the run for sure. Lots of teams in this conference are more passing teams, so it will be kind of a different game we are playing.” – Huskies rover Dylan Kemp on the UBC offence in an interview with Global News.

“We’re going to focus on Saskatchewan — they’re a tough competition. By no stretch of the imagination does this win change our mindset because our backs are against the wall and we need to go to work tomorrow and get a little better than we were today, and take it one day at a time.” – UBC head coach Shawn Olson following the victory over Alberta last week.

Roster moves: The Huskies may return centre Brad Nehring to the offensive line, but he may also sit out until the post-Thanksgiving stretch run. Offensive lineman Mat Leung is out, as is defensive back Spencer Krieger. Defensive lineman Evan Machibroda may return to the line up this week, while cornerback Taylor Rehn is close to returning, as well.

What to expect: BLACKOUT!

That, and a Huskie win. The Huskies struggled to make plays last week, but the opportunities were there on almost every play. They beat themselves – the final result had nothing to do with the Rams.

Expect to see a much sharper team. This won’t be a blowout, and the Thunderbirds will keep things close for the first half. However, the Huskies are the better team and should pull away as this game grinds on.

Go, Dogs, go!

Before you head to the game, check check out this week’s Huskies All Access with Darren, Tom and myself:

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