Football on Friday: Sasky expats humble Huskies; GGs lose Wilson-Ross to shoulder injury

No one anticipated it was possible for Canada West to become more of a clusterfudge, but there it is:
Alberta 27, Saskatchewan 7.
The one kicker for the Green Dogs is that a pair of Saskatchewanians, Mike Wasylyniuk (89 yards receiving, including a TD and a catch down to the 1-yard line) and Jason Hetherington (three interceptions), helped administer a outright spanking. The Huskies fans on the dot-org are apoplectic in light of the fact Saskatchewan was coming off a bye week. The Golden Bears might have really embarrassed them, if not for what one sportscaster called "musical interceptions," since it threw three INTs.

It's the first win coach Jerry Friesen's Golden Bears have had over Saskatchewan since Oct. 23, 2004 — before the Boston Red Sox reversed the Curse! — and it throws Canada West into an uproar. Alberta flat-out beat Saskatchewan. They also paid No. 4 Calgary a huge favour, since the team which dealt the Dinos a loss has now lost itself.

Here are records and the remaining schedules for anyone who wants to take an educated guess at how this conference shakes out:
  • Calgary (2-1): Simon Fraser, at UBC, Manitoba, Regina, at Alberta
  • U of S (2-1): at Simon Fraser, UBC, at Manitoba, Alberta, at Regina
  • Simon Fraser (2-1): at Calgary, Saskatchewan,at Regina, UBC, at Manitoba
  • Alberta (2-2): At Manitoba, Regina, at Saskatchewan, Calgary
  • Regina (1-2): At UBC, Simon Fraser, at Alberta, at Calgary, Saskatchewan
  • Manitoba (1-2): Alberta, at Calgary, Saskatchewan, at UBC, Simon Fraser
  • UBC (1-2): Regina, Calgary, at Saskatchewan, at Simon Fraser, Manitoba
Manitoba, which is on its bye week, would seem to have the toughest schedule over the weeks of Oct. 3-17.

Canada West

Alberta 27, No. 3 Saskatchewan 7 —
Final stats are unavailable, but Tendayi Jozzy (23 rushes for 119 yards and a pair of scores) churned up yardage vs. an overworked Huskies defence. Alberta seems a bit like the team it just beat, Simon Fraser, maybe not too high-octane on offence, but it can run the ball, pass when needed (Quade Armstrong passed 23 times for 182 yards, a decent 7.9 average, notwithstanding those three picks) and solid special teams led by Hugh O'Neill, who made a 44-yard field goal and had a 51-yard punt with no return in this game.

Anyway, it should be more about Alberta delivering a serious beatdown, but, yeah, when one of the country's traditional powers gets thumped, all the questions will be about them. Saskatchewan, which will probably still get benefit of the doubt from Top Ten voters (hard to see how No. 5 Queen's is put ahead of them, given the general impression of their respective conferences), seems to have gone away from what it's done in the past. Thirty-three yards rushing is not exactly exerting their will on opponents like the Brian Towriss-coached teams we knew and loved. They've scored two offensive touchdowns in three games if you take away the overtime series vs. Calgary in the opener.

Huskies Football Outsider will have much more to say about this in the morning, although it might be rated NC-17.


Ottawa 35, U of T 15 —
The big takeaway is the Gee-Gees' lack of polish might have contributed to feature tailback Jordan Wilson-Ross being knocked out of the game with a shoulder injury.

Ottawa had a fumbled snap on a third-and-short gamble in the first quarter. Wilson-Ross (seven rushes, 41 yards) scooped up the ball and attempted to make chicken salad out of chicken feed, only to get stacked up by the Varsity Blues defence. He came right off the field, apparently heaved his helmet in frustration and was on the sidelines with his arm in a sling.

Beyond that, this bore a faint resemblance to a Queen's-Ottawa game from the O-QIFC days at the end of the last century. The Golden Gaels would keep it close for three quarters before the Gee-Gees started to get some big plays by dint of having superior athletes. It was still a two-score game early in the fourth quarter when Cyril Adjeity (five catches, 162 yards) turned a short pass into a 71-yard touchdown pass, then got behind Toronto for a 66-yard score. Brad Sinopoli (12-of-21 for 215 yards, seven rushes for another 66) showed flashes of his usual strong, moving well in the pocket against a decent pass rush. Ottawa's passing numbers were goosed by those two long scoring plays; otherwise it was below five yards per attempt.

U of T (0-4) competed well. The big head-scratcher remains which QB should play. Jansen Shrubb mopped up and finished with a better yards-per-attempt (9.4, passing 17 times for 159) than Andrew Gillis (5.5 on 22 for 122). However, U of T's best running play is Gillis sprinting out of the shotgun, almost like a single-wing tailback.

Renfrew native Ben Sharpe (three catches, 101 yards) scored his first CIS touchdown on an 83-yard pass in window-dressing time, stretching over two Gee-Gees and outracing them to the end zone. His brother, Willie Sharpe, the defensive back who also punts, presumably is replaying a near-interception he had in the end zone. He also broke off a 27-yard run on a fake field goal. U of T also pulled off a successful onside kick. The Varsity Blues like their bag of tricks. They will get a win yet.
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  1. Many comments have been made about Saint Mary's first loss to X and dropping from #4 to #10 in the CIS Rankings (harsh to say the least). So with Sasktachewan loosing to Alberta I wonder how much Saskatchewan will drop (I bet it will not be 6 spots)

    Another point has anyone had a easier schedule to date then Queens? Today another toughy against York. It is hard to get a true gauge of how good this team really is. I don't believe they can beat any of the four teams I have mentioned above yet Alerta is not in the Top 10 and X and SMU are rated behind them?

  2. This mornig they are saying that Wilson-Ross injury is to his wrist, not his shoulder.

  3. It's hard to justify ranking a 1-2 team which missed the playoffs last season, since the first criteria is performance. Tell you what, I'll vote for Alberta if there's an opening. I have Sherbrooke in the 10-spot.

    As for the Queen's-bashing, please. You would have to at least consider the possibility they could compete with X and SMU, seeing as the Golden Gaels beat Western by 27 last season and Western went on beat Saint Mary's by 14.

  4. I agree with Sager when it comes to Sherbrooke I think they are a top 10 team also but I don't agree with Queens beating StoX or SMU. It should be an interesting game with SMU and Sherby today.

    I went to the game between Western and SMU last season in London and I think SMU won ever aspect of the game except where it counted on the score board (and they had a couple of questionable calls against them) the difference was they had a 1st year QB who did not have many games under his belt but all indications are this kid is great just needs more experience. I guess as the season goes forward the picture will become clearer!

  5. For probably not the last time, you might "think" SMU won every aspect of the game but the Mitchell Bowl stats would say otherwise.

    Western had an five-yard edge on net punting, including a punt-return TD, so it won the special teams battle. It also passed and defended the pass more effectively. Lastly, Western had only two accepted penalties and Saint Mary's had nine.

    Saint Mary's was superb in the running game and put a good pass rush on Michael Faulds, but that's thin gruel when you're trailing in the game. It's very hard to come from behind being a run-first team.

    The Huskies are going to be heard from in November, there is every confidence, but the revisionism is a little much.

  6. The one thing I like about St Marys is THEY BRING IT EVERY GAME and are usually very physical. Sager I hear their "D" is loaded with talent, any idea if that is true?

  7. They are always loaded on D. They added DeVon Hicks who had a tryout 2-3 years ago with the Green Bay Packers out of a junior college. Saint Mary's should be OK on D. They had some losses in the back-eight, but Zelinski and Borhot are still there.

  8. Sounds good, thanks sager and keep up the good work!

  9. This game could and should have been an even bigger win for the Bears if it weren`t for several missed opportunities in the second quarter. Saskatchewan didn`t try and establish the run early on, slinging the ball around with some success. I was surprised that the Dogs weren`t commited to the run against an Alberta team that has been eaten alive on the ground. Props to the Alberta defence who made plays when they had the opportunity though forcing Laurence Nixon into making some very bad decisions. This shakes up not only the Canada West but the top 10 as well. I will be the first to say I thought Saskatchewan was a top 5 team nationally before this weekend, but they were overrated as evident by the way they lost this game more than anything else. Alberta has to be in the top 10 next week. The offence has been horrendous for the Huskies all season (2 offensive TDs three games in). Despite some obvious holes, the Bears are arguably the best team in the conference. They have gotten better week to week, beat two top 10 teams and their two losses were by a combined 4 points. The Bears are in unfamiliar territory, being in the thick of things in the Canada West - should be interesting to see if they can carry the momentum into a game against a team not near the level of SFU or Sask.

  10. Sorry Evan but Calgary is the best team in the CW by a wide margain.
    Granted the Bears should be 3-1 (as they blew a 24-3 home field lead to a suspect UBC team); but the Calgary score flattered Alberta.
    The Bears have always had troubles at Manitoba; and Friesen's passive pass defence has struggled the last few seasons against Regina.
    They could easily be 2-4 in a couple of weeks before re-matches with Saskatchewan and Calgary.

    Bob Stauffer

  11. Calgary looks pretty good ... 26-point win, 27-point win, were up 17 over the Golden Bears, coulda-shoulda won at Griffiths Stadium if not for a missed field goal returned all the way.

    Just wait until Glavic's knee is fully healed.

  12. Arguably was the key in my point. The Bears have a lot of holes, but it's been made evident over the past few weeks so does every other team in the CW.

  13. Trying to make sense of Canada West...

    Here's how my computer (which, by the way, said "Western by 4" instead of the consensus "Western by a lot" and of course Western won by 2) ranks out the West results so far.

    The number is points above average, i.e., Calgary is about 10 points better than Alberta this year:

    +15.7 Calgary (3rd nationwide behind Laval/Montreal)
    +6.0 Alberta
    +3.2 Saskatchewan
    +0.4 SFU
    -1.8 Regina
    -12.4 Manitoba
    -15.7 UBC