Friday Night football: Nixon back in a big way for Huskies

Canada West

Saskatchewan 35 Alberta 12: From the looks of it, the Huskies have got some swagger back, with Laurence Nixon throwing 32 times for 425 yards and three TDs in his first start since being injured early in the season. Travis Gorski had a big night (10 catches, 212 yards, and two TDs from two different passers).

Saskatchewan had 14 penalties for 150 yards (Alberta was also flagged 14 times, for 123), which probably held the score down. Please, don't by stingy with the comments: Was that the officiating, or a symptom of a larger problem for the Green Dogs?

Nixon did have two interceptions in the first half, including a pick in the red zone on the game's first drive. He should get a mulligan for that, since it was his first start in a while. All four of Saskatchewan's touchdown drives covered at least 80 yards and none lasted longer than five plays. That's impressive.

The Huskies have two games vs. UBC left, plus a return date with Simon Fraser and a trip to Manitoba (which might have run up the white flag if it falls to 2-3 with a loss on Saturday). The bottom line is that they control their own destiny in Canada West, more than anyone else, between having that Oct. 18 game with Simon Fraser at home and having Nixon back.

The Golden Bears had only one first down in the second half before putting together a window-dressing TD drive in the late going. There's no question about the effort. It just seems like they're at that stage where they can't avoid mistakes, and can't avoid paying dearly.


McMaster 53 York 0:
A converted kicker -- can you even convert from something that's not a position? -- delivering a pick-six kind of sums up the state of each program.

This game might only be mentionable for the fact that Mac's Pauolo Faiazza, made two interceptions and returned one for a touchdown. Faiazza, like a few of his booting brethren, is a fine all-around athlete -- he was known to pull the ball down and pick up first-down yardage. Once a upon a time, though, Mac would not be moving players around like that. They didn't have to, except when they had a talent like Jon Behie who had to be on the field somewhere.

Mac is making strides. They can't be considered an OUA playoff team until after Friday's home game vs. Toronto. When how a team plays U of T is a condition of how you look at them ... well, let's stop right there.

One would hope the freshmen York has pressed into service -- here one thinks of the QB, Nick Coutu, running back Ryan Rowe and linebacker Rob Thomas (the latter starred at Huron Heights in Newmarket, north of Toronto), are keeping their chins up. This cannot be easy. York has now gone scoreless for 168 minutes 55 seconds.

Back in 2004, Toronto allowed 450 points -- 56 a game. York is giving up almost 59 per outing.

(No blunders, no conference records .... it was hard to match last Friday.)
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1 comment:

  1. The Dogs do need to cut down on the number of penalties that they take, but past history would suggest that this won't be a chronic problem. I also wonder of the OLine were a little more willing to hold in an effort to keep the Bears' potent pass rush away from Nixon since he just returned from injury.