Football: Hardy Cup Preview: Golden Bears/Dinos

Last in a series, it's the Hardy Cup preview, with Evan Daum, Rob Pettapiece, and Andrew Bucholtz.

Alberta Golden Bears at Calgary Dinos
3:00pm MT / 5:00pm ET

RPI (rank)156
Evan: The Bears are making their first Hardy Cup appearance since 2005, and will come into Saturday's tilt as heavy underdogs once again - and for good reason. It looks like this should be a one-sided affair, with the defending conference champion Dinos easily handling their northern rivals.

Rob: Regarding Alberta's QB consistency, Julian Marchand finished only 20th in our rankings, the lowest of any Canada West QB outside of UBC.

Evan: The Bears have been inconsistent at best this season, but did put together the best
quarter of their season at the right time to get to where they are.

Andrew: In a year of strong performances from Western Canadian kickers, Alberta has to be a little disappointed with the performance from highly-touted CFL prospect Hugh O'Neill, who only hit 13 of 18 field goals (72 per cent) this season. Matthew Jarvis filled the Tendayi Jozzy void reasonably well, though, picking up 704 yards on 115 carries (an average of 6.1 yards per carry). Alberta did improve on their discipline substantially, going from the most-penalized Canada West team to the third-least (with 87.6 penalty yards per game).

Rob: As for Calgary, something did stop the Dinos' high-powered offence: Eric Glavic's left knee, when it required surgery in September.

Evan: Both Glavic and outstanding wideout Anthony Parker missed significant time this season with injuries and with them and others back in the fold and looking good, Calgary has hit their stride at just the right time.

Andrew: I was impressed at how well Calgary persevered through those injuries. They generally found ways to get it done even without Parker and Glavic. With them back, the Dinos are a frightening team.

Pass Yards/Game210.8199.6
(CIS rank)1521
Surplus Passing-314
(CIS rank)2111
Rush Yards/Game169.1248.2
(CIS rank)102
Surplus Rushing-936
(CIS rank)153

Pass Yards/Game256.9267.1
(CIS rank)1822
Surplus Passing13-27
(CIS rank)193
Rush Yards/Game198.1156.5
(CIS rank)2215
Surplus Rushing49
(CIS rank)1316

Rob: I don't think Alberta can stop that offence.

Evan: Alberta is in unchartered waters with this group of players. All the pundits - including myself - had already penciled Saskatchewan into this game prior to last week's stunning 28 point comeback win.

Andrew: The Golden Bears should be able to throw on the Dinos a bit, but their key offensive question is how well their running game will do. If Calgary can contain Jarvis, that could force Marchand into making some mistakes. On the other side of the ball, I think the Dinos should be able to roll unless they shoot themselves in the foot. There's a lot of talent on that offence, so if they avoid turnovers, they should be able to put up some points.

Calgary won both games, with an aggregate score of 60-19.

Sep. 18: CGY 23-14 ALB and Oct. 30: ALB 5-37 CGY.
Rob: Is it too simplistic to say Calgary won by 9 without Glavic, and by 32 with him?

Andrew: No, it isn't, but I think that illustrates that Calgary's good even without Glavic under centre. His presence takes them to a new level, and one that's going to be tough for Alberta to stop.

Rob: Calgary 34, Alberta 17. I just don't see it happening again for Alberta.

Evan: You should never write a team off - as Saskatchewan discovered last week - but it's hard to see the Bears pulling off a second straight upset in as many weeks against a veteran Dinos team. Calgary has regained the swagger that saw them reach the Vanier Cup a season ago, and the Bears will need an even bigger effort this time around to secure their first Hardy Cup in nearly three decades. Calgary 30, Alberta 17.

Andrew: The Bears had their moment in the sun last week. Now, it's time for them to go back into hibernation. Calgary 35, Alberta 21.
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