Friday, September 24, 2010

Huskies search for win on gridiron


After two straight losses and dropping out of the CIS football top 10 for the first time since 2007, the University of Saskatchewan Huskies look to turn things around in the 2010 Canada West football season.

The Huskies will faceoff against the University of Alberta Golden Bears in Edmonton Friday – the site of their only 2009 regular season loss.

Both Alberta and Saskatchewan enter Week 4 of Canada West action after a loss – the Huskies losing 37-26 to the University of Regina Rams and the Golden Bears 23-14 to the University of Calgary Dinos. The Huskies have won 12 of their last 16 games against Alberta, dating back to 1999. Last year, the Golden Bears handed the Huskies their only loss of 2009 with a 27-7 upset. Later in the year, Saskatchewan won 39-3 over Alberta in Saskatoon.

The conference standings certainly are an interesting mix, as road teams have won six of the nine games so far, and unpredictable results have Alberta, Calgary, and Regina all tied at 2-1, with Saskatchewan, UBC, and Manitoba tied at 1-2.

Alberta quarterback Julian Marchand is third in the Canada West, averaging 224 passing yards with six touchdown passes and five interceptions. Out of the backfield Matt Jarvis has run into fourth place in the conference averaging 100 yards per game with one touchdown on 51 carries. Marchand’s main targets have been Jess Valleau, Laine Rogers and Ryan Meraw. Valleau has two touchdowns and averages 18.6 yards per catch, while Rogers adds 13.2 yards per catch and Meraw has found the end zone three times.

On defence freshman Golden Bear linebacker Tyler Greenslade has led his team and sits second in conference tackles with 21.5. Safety and Saskatoon native Jason Hetherington had three picks against the Huskies in one game last season and now has five total in three games against the U of S. He has two interceptions and 11.5 tackles.

Huskie veteran quarterback Laurence Nixon averages 220 passing yards per game and has thrown three touchdown passes but in each of the last two losses has been replaced in favour of rookie Trent Peterson late in the game. Ben Coakwell has led on the ground averaging 7.3 yards per rush and more than 100 yards in a game. Receiver Jade Etienne has become a deep ball threat having caught eight passes for 235 yards including an 82-yard play and a 76-yard play.

Defensively, the Huskies have three players in the top 10 for tackles in the conference, led by third-year safety Bryce McCall with 18. Defensive back Keenan MacDougall follows with 17 and linebacker Tony Michalchuk with 16.

Kick off is set for 7 p.m. Friday. The game can be heard live on CK750 or

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