University Football Gears up for Weekend Action

Football

TORONTO (U SPORTS) – Eight teams reached the midway point of the U SPORTS football regular season last week, and the rest of the pack is set to follow suit this weekend.
Only six undefeated squads remain heading into Week 5, including top-ranked Montreal (3-0), No. 3 Calgary (3-0), No. 4 Western (4-0), No. 5 Laurier (3-0), No. 9 Waterloo (4-0), as well as AUS-leading Saint Mary’s (3-0).
Here’s a game-by-game look at the Week 5 matchups, highlighted by Laurier at Waterloo on Saturday afternoon (1 p.m. ET, Rogers TV & OUA.TV).
BYE WEEK
Acadia (2-2), Carleton (1-3), Sherbrooke (0-4).
FRIDAY
No. 1 Montreal (3-0) at McGill (1-2)
The skinny: The Redmen have scored a grand total of two points in their last three meetings with top-ranked Montreal going back to 2015, including a pair of shutout losses last season (42-0 playoffs / 13-0 conference play). Not exactly encouraging news considering the Carabins currently lead the country in points allowed (12.0 per game) and rank second in overall defence (300.0 yards per game)… Keep an eye on (Montreal): Rookie defensive lineman Philippe Lemieux-Cardinal leads the RSEQ with three sacks in his first three university games… Keep an eye on (McGill): Sophomore Jeremy Sauvageau tops the RSEQ and ranks third in the country with 112.0 receiving yards per game.
SATURDAY
No. 10 Saskatchewan (2-1) at No. 3 Calgary (3-0)
The skinny: The Huskies suffered their first loss of the Scott Flory era last Saturday at UBC (31-10) and things won’t get any easier this week against undefeated Calgary. The high-flying Dinos, who lead the nation in scoring (59.0 points per game) and passing (390.3 yards per game), go up against a Saskatchewan squad that ranks 26th out of 27 in overall defence (506.7 ypg)… Keep an eye on (Calgary): Despite being taken out early last week in a blowout win over Manitoba, sophomore Adam Sinagra still leads Canada West with 347.7 passing yards per game and tops U SPORTS with 10 TD passes to only one interception… Keep an eye on (Saskatchewan): With 2,260 career receiving yards, fifth-year senior Mitch Hillis needs 36 on Saturday to break the team record of 2,295 that has belonged to Kevin Sawatzky (1978 / 1982-85) for over 30 years.
Queen’s (0-3) at No. 4 Western (4-0)
The skinny: To say 0-3 Queen’s has had a challenging schedule so far this fall would be an understatement as the Gaels opened league play against 2016 OUA semifinalist Carleton before facing nationally-ranked Ottawa and Laurier. They face yet another tough test on Saturday when they visit the undefeated Mustangs, who lead U SPORTS in overall offence (588.8 yards per game) and are the top-scoring team in Ontario (48.8 points per game)… Keep an eye on (Western): Fifth-year running back Yannick Harou, who is back in the lineup this fall after missing the 2016 season with an injury, is the career leader among active U SPORTS players in all-purpose touchdowns (30) and rushing majors (26)… Keep an eye on (Queen’s): Linebacker Nelkas Kwemo ranks third in the country with 7.8 tackles per game.
No. 5 Laurier (3-0) at No. 9 Waterloo (4-0)
The skinny: It had been a long time since the Battle of Waterloo had fans excited. Laurier is riding a 15-year winning streak over its cross-town rival, having defeated Waterloo 13 straight times since an 18-16 setback in Week 1 of the 2002 campaign. While their first three victories of the 2017 season came against teams with a combined 1-10 record, the now nationally-ranked Warriors proved many skeptics wrong last week with a road win over Carleton and are 4-0 for the first time since 1998… Keep an eye on (Laurier): Thanks to a 421-yard performance last week against Queen’s, Michael Knevel is the new U SPORTS leader with 378.3 passing yards per game… Keep an eye on (Waterloo): Wide receiver Richmond Kketiah is tied for the U SPORTS lead with four TD catches.
Manitoba (0-3) at No. 6 Regina (2-1)
The skinny: Hec Crighton-winning quarterback Noah Picton goes up against a Manitoba defence that ranks 26th in the country in both points (50.7) and passing yards (328.7) allowed per game. In 2016, Picton threw for 499 and 459 yards in a pair of wins over the Bisons, who hope to avoid falling to 0-4 for the first time since 2009… Keep an eye on (Regina): Picton became the 25th quarterback in U SPORTS history to reach the 8,000-yard plateau last week thanks to a 336-yard performance against Alberta… Keep an eye on (Manitoba): Despite his team’s struggles, running back Jamel Lyles averages a whopping 207.3 all-purpose yards per contest.
No. 7 UBC (2-1) at Alberta (0-3)
The skinny: The Thunderbirds are coming off their best performance of the young campaign, a convincing 31-10 win over Saskatchewan in which they outgained the Huskies by 686 yards to 284. The same could be said about the Golden Bears who, despite suffering their third straight loss, kept things close for 60 minutes against Regina before falling 28-18. UBC took both head-to-head confrontations a year ago, including a one-sided 62-0 decision in the second contest… Keep an eye on (UBC): Running back Ben Cummings leads Canada West and ranks second in the nation with 131.7 rushing yards per outing… Keep an eye on (Alberta): Fifth-year senior Tylor Henry ranks 10th on the U SPORTS all-time list with 182 career receptions and is also the leader among active players in receiving yards (2,506).
No. 8 McMaster (2-1) at Guelph (2-2)
The skinny: McMaster and Guelph could be considered the two wildcards going into the second half of the OUA season. The Marauders have played superb defence in their first three games, allowing only 15 points and 312.7 yards per outing, but have yet to really get going on offence. For their part, the Gryphons could very well be 4-0, their two losses coming in overtime against nationally-ranked Ottawa and Western… Keep an eye on (McMaster): Defensive end Mark Mackie has six tackles for losses in three games, including two sacks… Keep an eye on (Guelph): Despite ranking only 25th in rushing yards per game (57.0), senior Johnny Augustine is tied for the U SPORTS lead with five touchdown runs.
Saint Mary’s (3-0) at Mount Allison (1-2)
The skinny: The Huskies have a chance to move to 4-0 for the first time since 2008, when they won their first five league games en route to a 7-1 record. A year ago, Saint Mary’s notched its only two wins of the season against Mount Allison – 32-27 and 29-21 – but the Mounties got the last laugh with a 39-9 victory in the third duel… Keep an eye on (Saint Mary’s): Freshman Archelaus Jack is tied for the U SPORTS lead with four touchdown receptions in three games… Keep an eye on (Mount Allison): Former all-star Chris Reid is coming off his best game of the season with 210 rushing yards against Bishop’s.
Windsor (0-4) at Ottawa (3-1)
The skinny: Coming off their first loss of the season – 24-7 at McMaster – the Gee-Gees have a golden opportunity to rebound against a team that has allowed a U SPORTS-high 53.3 points per game and ranks 24th in points scored (15.5). In 2016, Ottawa beat the Lancers 41-18 in Windsor… Keep an eye on (Ottawa): With 367 career points, fifth-year kicker Lewis Ward is one point away from tying former Gee-Gee Matthew Falvo for eighth place on the all-time U SPORTS list, while his 78 career field goals rank fourth all-time… Keep an eye on (Windsor): Defensive back Matt Gayer ranks third in the country in tackles (31) and tackles per game (7.8).
StFX (1-2) at Bishop’s (1-2)
The skinny: The Gaiters made sure their first win as AUS members was a memorable one. Trailing 24-10 late in the fourth quarter last Friday, they stormed back to edge Mount Allison 32-31 in double overtime. Next up for Bishop’s are the well-rested X-Men, who are coming off a bye week and whose lone win so far in 2017 also came against Mount Allison, 37-0. StFX and Bishop’s last squared off in 2009 in Antigonish, when the Gaiters prevailed 33-12 in interlock action… Keep an eye on (StFX): Jordan Socholotiuk tops AUS and ranks third in the nation with 128.7 rushing yards per contest… Keep an eye on (Bishop’s): Sophomore running back Trey Millings averages 181.3 all-purpose yards per outing.
Toronto (1-3) at York (0-3)
The skinny: Toronto and York have both been struggling this fall but the Red & Blue Bowl is always a season highlight for the cross-town rivals. The Varsity Blues have won eight of the last nine battles for the Argo Cup, including a 45-18 home victory a year ago, and lead the all-time head-to-head series 30-17… Keep an eye on (Toronto): Nick Hallett’s team-leading 29 tackles rank sixth in the country… Keep an eye on (York): Freshman wide receiver Kadeem Hemmings has been a bright spot for the winless Lions with 155.3 all-purpose yards per contest.
SUNDAY
Concordia (2-1) at No. 2 Laval (2-1)
The skinny: The Rouge et Or have had two weeks to digest a 21-16 loss at Montreal and now face a Stingers’ squad that is coming off an impressive 68-16 win over McGill. While the reigning Vanier Cup champions are riding a 27-game overall winning streak against Concordia since 2003 – including 17-0 in conference play – the Stingers and Trenton Miller (472 yards and 6 TD passes vs. McGill) will look to exploit a Laval defence that allowed 377 passing yards versus Montreal… Keep an eye on (Laval): Reigning Vanier Cup MVP Hugo Richard, now in his fourth season, is 98 passing yards shy of 7,000 for his career and needs three TD passes to hit the 50 mark… Keep an eye on (Concordia): Miller, the 2015 RSEQ MVP, set a single-game school record last week with six TD passes against McGill.
WEEK 5 SCHEDULE
NOTE: Click HERE for the complete 2017 regular season schedule & results
September 22
No. 1 Montreal (3-0) at McGill (1-2), 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT (StretchTV)
September 23
No. 5 Laurier (3-0) at No. 9 Waterloo (4-0), 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT (Rogers TV & OUA.TV)
No. 8 McMaster (2-1) at Guelph (2-2), 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT (Rogers TV & OUA.TV)
Windsor (0-4) at Ottawa (3-1), 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT (OUA.TV)
Toronto (1-3) at York (0-3), 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT (OUA.TV)
Saint Mary’s (3-0) at Mount Allison (1-2), 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT (Bell Aliant Fibe TV1 & AUStv.ca)
StFX (1-2) at Bishop’s (1-2), 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT (AUStv.ca & GaitersTV)
No. 7 UBC (2-1) at Alberta (0-3), 3 p.m. ET/noon PT (CanadaWest.TV)
Manitoba (0-3) at No. 6 Regina (2-1), 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT (Sasktel maxTV, TELUS Optik TV, Bell MTS & CanadaWest.TV)
No. 10 Saskatchewan (2-1) at No. 3 Calgary (3-0), 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT (CanadaWest.TV)
Queen’s (0-3) at No. 4 Western (4-0), 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT (Rogers Sports Preview & OUA.TV)
September 24
Concordia (2-1) at No. 2 Laval (2-1), 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT (TVA Sports)
NOTES: Sportsnet and TVA Sports are once again the official broadcasters of the U SPORTS football semifinals and final in 2017… The Mitchell Bowl (RSEQ at Canada West) and Uteck Bowl (OUA at AUS) are set for Saturday, Nov. 18, while the ArcelorMittal Dofasco Vanier Cup follows on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 1 p.m. ET at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton… For all the information on the 53rd Vanier Cup (including tickets) visit vaniercup.com.

About U SPORTS
U SPORTS is the national brand for university sports in Canada. Every year, over 12,000 student-athletes and 500 coaches from 56 universities vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. U SPORTS also provides higher performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships.