Huskies face UBC in crucial matchup

Game Date: Saturday, September 28, 2pm
Game Location: Thunderbirds Stadium
Live Radio Broadcast: CK 750,www.ck750.com
Live Television Broadcast: Shaw Cable
Webcast: canadawest.tv
Live Stats: canadawest.tv

THE GAME
Both the University of Saskatchewan Huskies and UBC Thunderbirds are in must win situations in the lone conference meeting between the two teams.

BROADCAST INFO
Kickoff is 2 p.m. local time on Saturday. The game will be available live on CK750 or www.ck750.com. It can also be viewed live on www.canadawest.tv.

THE HEADLINES
• Saskatchewan (No. 7) is one of three Canada West teams to hold a spot in the CIS Top 10. Calgary (No. 5) and Manitoba (No. 10) join the Huskies in the national rankings.
• The Huskies will look for their fifth straight conference win against the T-Birds
• Since 1998, the Huskies are 19-4 against UBC
• The two teams played a non-conference game on August 23 in Saskatoon. The Huskies won 28-5 in the preseason matchup.
• UBC has the best rushing offence in the conference averaging 244.5 yards per game. Brandon Deschamps leads conference with 685 yards and five touchdowns. But on the other side of the ball, the Huskies have the best rush defence holding opponents to just 123.8 yards per game.
• Reigning Canada West Defensive Player of the Week Ben Rush has helped lead the Huskies to a league-best 18 sacks on the season.
• UBC (2-2) has recorded both wins on the road in the 2013 season.

THUNDERBIRDS/HUSKIES SERIES
Since 1998, the Huskies are 19-4 against the Thunderbirds in conference games. Saskatchewan won a non-conference meeting 28-5 in Saskatoon on August 23.

NO. 7 UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES (3-1)
Next Week: vs No. 5 Calgary Dinos
Although the Huskies found a 39-17 win over the Alberta Golden Bears last weekend, the victory was costly.

Already finding solutions of numerous injuries on the defensive side, the Huskies will find many starters on the offensive side of the ball questionable for the matchup in Vancouver. Saskatchewan will need to look to depth and youth to step up in the situation.

Saskatchewan jumped out to an early lead against Alberta scoring 19 points in the first quarter. Quarterback Drew Burko was strong completing 32-of-45 attempts for two touchdowns and 373 yards.
Experience on the defence stepped up once again for the Huskies in the game. Defensive ends Ben Rush and Joel Seutter combined for 4.5 sacks in the game. Saskatchewan’s defence leads the Canada West with 18 sacks.

UBC THUNDERBIRDS
Next Week: at Manitoba Bisons
Using their go-to rush offence landed the UBC Thunderbirds a 37-27 win over the Regina Rams last week.

The Rams had a four-point lead to start the final frame but UBC outscored Regina 21-7 in the fourth to clinch the victory. Canada West leading rusher Brandon Deschamps tallied 230 yards on 35 carries with a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns. As a team the T-Birds have tallied 978 yards on the ground to the 779 in the air.

Last week’s also showed the second half nature of the T-Birds. In the four games in 2013, UBC has recorded 99 of the 139 total points scored in the third (42) and fourth (57) quarters.

Photo credit:  Calvin So for Josh Schaefer Photography

Source:  Saskatchewan Huskies Sports Information

UBC vs Saskatchewan

Vancouver, BC – In search of their first home win of the season, the UBC Thunderbirds (2-2) play host #7 Saskatchewan Huskies (3-1) Saturday afternoon at David Sidoo Field at Thunderbird Stadium. Kickoff is set for 2:00 pm as the second half of the season officially gets under way.

The ‘Birds are coming off their second win of the year, defeating the Regina Rams 37-27 in the Saskatchewan capital. UBC is a perfect 2-0 on the road, but has yet to put up a ‘W’ on home field despite having fourth quarter leads in both their home losses to Calgary and Manitoba.

Saskatchewan, a perennial powerhouse under head coach Brian Towriss, now in his 30th season at the helm, is ranked seventh in the nation and the only blemish on their schedule so far this season is a 36-24 loss to Calgary.

“The Huskies are fundamentally sound, well coached, and limit their mistakes,” said UBC head coach Shawn Olson. “Regardless of their record, you know they will be a tough team to play and we are looking forward to the match up, especially our running game going against their strong defensive front.”

UBC continues to lead the conference in rushing yards per game (244.5 yards/game) thanks to the play of the offensive line up front and the ability of running back Brandon Deschamps. The third year back leads the entire country in rushing yards (685) and is only 100 yards off his season total last year. However, he will have his hands full with the top run defence in the country. A team that very well could boast the best defensive line in the Canada West. The Huskies have allowed just 123.8 yards per game on the ground this season.

“The key for Brandon is to not get taken down by low tackles as he did a couple of weeks ago against Manitoba,” said Olson. “Because he is so tough to bring down, teams have resorted to diving at his feet, so if he can keep his feet up and get past the first wave he will be tough to stop.”

Saskatchewan also boasts a league high 18 sacks on the season, that is nine more then the second place team. Joel Seutter leads the way with 4.5 sacks.

Defensively, the ‘Birds will be looking for a little retribution against Saskatchewan quarterback Drew Burko who torched UBC last year for 649 yards passing and eight touchdowns while completing 75% of his passes in two wins. Look for Miguel Barker to be matched up against First Team All-Canadian receiver Kit Hillis. Despite having a quiet year so far (19 receptions, 177 yards), Hillis has the ability to be a game changer. Last September he made 14 receptions for 224 yards and three touchdowns in the Huskies 39-34 win over UBC.

Saturday officially marks the half way point of the 2013 season and the Thunderbirds find themselves in fourth place (the final playoff spot) behind Manitoba (2-2), Saskatchewan (3-1), and Calgary (4-0). However, if this year has proven anything it’s that there is much more parity in the conference and anything could happen in the final four games of the year.

“We haven’t been perfect this season, but we have shown a lot of resolve and effort,” said Olson. “This group has the ability to bounce back, to not be phased by an early deficit, and know every game isn’t over until the final whistle blows.”

The game will be shown live on Shaw TV and will be webcasted at canadawest.tv.

Photo credit:  Rich Lam

Source: UBC Thunderbirds Sports Information

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