U Sports weekend watch (10): Regular season comes to an end, playoffs get underway in OUA

Week 10 of the U SPORTS football season marks the start of the OUA playoffs and the end of league play in the three other conferences.

The OUA post-season kicks off Saturday at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT with a pair of quarter-final matchups streamed live on OUA.TV, including Waterloo (4-4) at nationally eighth-ranked Guelph (5-3) and McMaster (5-3) at No. 9 Carleton (5-3).

Despite a wild 47-44 overtime loss at Guelph last Saturday, Waterloo grabbed the sixth and final playoff berth in Ontario to extend its season for the first time since 2003.

In the RSEQ, Laval (8-0) and Montreal (5-2) have already secured the top two spots but McGill, Concordia and Sherbrooke are still jockeying for position.

The stakes are even higher in Canada West, where UBC (4-3) and Saskatchewan (4-3) are still hoping to finish second behind top-seed Calgary (7-0).

Of the three conferences wrapping up league play this weekend, the AUS is the only one where the playoff picture is crystal clear. Saint Mary’s (7-0) will advance directly to the Loney Bowl final set for Nov. 10, while StFX will host Acadia in the semifinal round on Nov. 3.

Here is a game-by-game look at all Week 10 matchups as well as a detailed schedule, including all television broadcast and webcast info.

OFF THIS WEEK

  • Bye Week: No. 2 Laval (8-0), Bishop’s (0-8).
  • Out of OUA playoffs: No. 9 Laurier (4-4), Queen’s (3-5), York (3-5), Windsor (1-7), Toronto (0-8).

FRIDAY (regular season)

Saskatchewan (4-3) at Regina (1-6)

  • 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT
  • SaskTel maxTV, TELUS Optik TV, Bell MTS &CanadaWest.TV

Last week (Saskatchewan): 27-4 home win vs. Manitoba… Last week (Regina): 58-6 road loss vs. Calgary… Last head-to-head matchup (Sept. 21, 2018 – regular season at Saskatchewan): Saskatchewan 33, Regina 20… In a nutshell: Saskatchewan, which can finish no lower than third, would clinch second place in the Canada West standings – and home-field advantage for the conference semifinal round – with a win combined to a UBC loss against Manitoba… Regina will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2015… The Rams (320.9 yards per game) and Huskies (305.9) rank fourth and sixth in the country in passing, respectively… Keep an eye on (Saskatchewan): Going into his final regular-season game, fifth-year quarterback Kyle Siemens needs five TD passes to tie the school career record of 56 currently shared by Brent Schneider (1992-1996) and Steve Bilan (2001-2005)… Keep an eye on (Regina): Ryan Schienbein needs six catches on Friday to break the Rams single-season mark of 58 receptions set in 2016 by Mitchell Picton.

SATURDAY (OUA quarter-finals)

Waterloo (4-4) at No. 8 Guelph (5-3)

  • 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT
  • Rogers TV (tape delay) & OUA.TV

Last week (Waterloo): 47-44 road loss in OT vs. Guelph… Last week (Guelph): 47-44 home win in OT vs. Waterloo… Last head-to-head matchup (Oct. 20, 2018 – regular season at Guelph): Guelph 47, Waterloo 44 (OT)… In a nutshell: Guelph is in the running for the Yates Cup for the seventh straight season, including an OUA semifinal appearance a year ago, when the Gryphons downed Ottawa 30-8 in the first round before falling 66-12 to Western… Waterloo extends its season for the first time since 2003, when the Warriors fell to undefeated McMaster 70-7 in quarter-final action… In last Saturday’s wild regular-season finale at Alumni Stadium, Waterloo had a 606-399 advantage in total yards and a 36-21 edge in first downs but were hurt by four lost fumbles, the last of which ended the game in the second OT session… Keep an eye on (Waterloo): Tre Ford, the 2017 U SPORTS rookie of the year, set a single-season OUA record with his 74.1 completion percentage and finished conference play with a spectacular 27 TD passes – a school record – against only two interceptions… Keep an eye on (Guelph): Fifth-year kicker Gabriel Ferraro, who sent last week’s game to overtime with a 32-yard field goal on the last play of regulation and won it in extra time with a 42-yarder, went a perfect 10-for-10 in the Gryphons’ last two regular-season contests to tie the U SPORTS career record of 91 field goals set by Calgary’s Johnny Mark (2011-2015).

McMaster (5-3) at No. 9 Carleton (5-3)

Last week (McMaster): 17-5 road win vs. Windsor… Last week (Carleton): Bye… Last head-to-head matchup (Sept. 3, 2017 – regular season at Carleton): McMaster 23, Carleton 9… In a nutshell: Carleton missed the playoffs a year ago following back-to-back OUA semifinal appearances in 2015 and 2016… McMaster, which extends its remarkable post-season streak to 21 straight years, is probably glad Laurier is out of the playoff picture as the Marauders were eliminated by the Golden Hawks each of the past three seasons… Two of the OUA’s top defences go head-to-head on Saturday as Carleton ranks first in the country in sacks (24), while McMaster was second in the conference in points allowed in league play (20.4 per game)… Keep an eye on (McMaster): Jordan Lyons, who finished fourth in Ontario with 759 rushing yards in eight league games, hopes to recreate some of the magic from last year’s OUA quarter-finals when he exploded for 319 yards on a whopping 39 carries, the second-best playoff performance in U SPORTS (and OUA) history… Keep an eye on (Carleton): In his second season leading the Ravens’ offence, sophomore quarterback Michael Arruda set single-season school records for passing yards (2,263) and TD passes (17).

SATURDAY (regular season)

No. 3 Calgary (7-0) at Alberta (2-5)

Last week (Calgary): 58-6 home win vs. Regina… Last week (Alberta): 30-11 road loss vs. UBC… Last head-to-head matchup (Nov. 4, 2017 – Canada West semifinal at Calgary): Calgary 39, Alberta 22… In a nutshell: Calgary has already secured first place in the Canada West standings for the seventh time in eight years and is now looking for its first unblemished regular season since 2015… Alberta is out of the playoff picture, a year after making its first post-season appearance since 2010… Last fall, the Golden Bears spoiled the Dinos’ big for an 8-0 record with a stunning 53-3 win at McMahon Stadium on the final weekend of league play, but Calgary avenged that loss a week later with a 39-22 Canada West semifinal victory over its provincial rivals… Keep an eye on (Calgary): With a jaw-dropping 2,878 passing yards in seven league games, quarterback Adam Sinagra needs 309 more on Saturday to break the single-season U SPORTS mark of 3,186 set two years ago by Regina’s Noah Picton… Keep an eye on (Alberta): With one conference game remaining, linebacker Zach Mann leads Canada West in solo (43) and total tackles (48.5).

No. 4 Montreal (5-2) at McGill (2-5)

Last week (Montreal): Bye… Last week (McGill): 31-19 road win vs. Concordia… Last head-to-head matchup (Aug. 24, 2018 – regular season at Montreal): Montreal 33, McGill 0… In a nutshell: Montreal, which has secured second place in the RSEQ standings, has made the playoffs every year since going 0-8 in its return to university football in 2002… McGill, which has clinched a playoff spot after missing out on the post-season a year ago, would finish third in the league standings with a win over Montreal or a Concordia loss against Sherbrooke but would fall to fourth with a loss combined to a Concordia victory… The Carabins are riding a 23-game overall winning streak against the Redmen dating back to a pair of shutout losses in 2002… Keep an eye on (Montreal): Heading into his final regular-season game, fifth-year receiver Régis Cibasu ranks fifth in conference history with 177 career catches, eight shy of fourth spot (Chris Evraire, Ottawa, 1994-1998)… Keep an eye on (McGill): Third-year halfback Benjamin Carré tops the RSEQ with five interceptions in seven games, one shy of the nation’s lead.

No. 6 Saint Mary’s (7-0) at Acadia (4-3)

  • 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT
  • Bell Aliant Fibe TV1 & AUStv.ca

Last week (Saint Mary’s): Bye… Last week (Acadia): 27-11 road win vs. Mount Allison… Last head-to-head matchup (Sept. 21, 2018 – regular season at Saint Mary’s): Saint Mary’s 26, Acadia 16… In a nutshell: Having already clinched first place in the AUS standings for the first time since 2013, Saint Mary’s is now looking for its first unblemished regular campaign since 2001… Reigning conference champion Acadia will finish third for the fifth time in six years after taking first place last season with a 6-2 mark… Saturday’s regular-season finale is a rematch of last year’s memorable Loney Bowl final, which the Axemen won 45-38 in double overtime… Keep an eye on (Saint Mary’s): With one conference game left, linebacker Brad Herbst leads the AUS in solo (39) and total tackles (56.5) and ranks second in the country in tackles per contest (8.1)… Keep an eye on (Acadia): In his first season at the helm of the Axemen’s offence, Hunter Guenard leads the AUS in passing yards (1,700), TD passes (12) and completion percentage (66.8).

No. 10 UBC (4-3) at Manitoba (3-4)

Last week (UBC): 30-11 home win vs. Alberta… Last week (Manitoba): 27-4 road loss vs. Saskatchewan… Last head-to-head matchup (Sept. 1, 2018 – regular season at UBC): UBC 30, Manitoba 20… In a nutshell: Both teams have clinched playoff berths… UBC, which has advanced to the Hardy Cup final each of the past three years, can secure second place – and home-field advantage for the Canada West semifinals – with a win or a Saskatchewan loss to Regina but could also drop all the way to fourth with a loss by 10 points or more combined to a Saskatchewan win… Returning to the post-season after a two-year hiatus, the Bisons will finish fourth unless they beat the T-Birds by 10 or more AND Saskatchewan defeats Regina… UBC is riding a seven-game winning streak against Manitoba dating back to a 20-10 loss on Sept. 20, 2014… Keep an eye on (UBC): Thanks to his 11 receptions last weekend, fourth-year senior Trivel Pinto set a school mark for career catches (164) and, despite missing one game earlier this fall, he needs only two receptions on Saturday to break the single-season T-Birds record of 56 established by Andrew English back in 1994… Keep an eye on (Manitoba): Dylan Schrot needs eight catches on Saturday to become the third player in Bisons history – and the first in 16 years – to reach the 50-reception plateau in a single season, after Andrew Sharp (53 in 2002) and Cory Larsen (52 in 1998).

Mount Allison (2-5) at StFX (5-2)

Last week (Mount Allison): 27-11 home loss vs. Acadia… Last week (StFX): 12-11 road win vs. Bishop’s… Last head-to-head matchup (Sept. 22, 2018 – regular season at Mount Allison): StFX 35, Mount Allison 27… In a nutshell: StFX has clinched second place in the AUS standings and will host Acadia in semifinal action on Nov. 3… Mount Allison will miss the playoffs for the second year in a row following four straight appearances in the Loney Bowl final from 2013 to 2016… In the first meeting of the season on Sept 22, the X-Men scored 25 unanswered points in the final 10 minutes of the fourth quarter to steal a 35-27 win in Sackville… Keep an eye on (Mount Allison): Heading into the final regular-season game of his career, running back Chris Reid ranks eighth in AUS history with 21 rushing touchdowns, one shy of seventh place (Angelo Santucci, Saint Mary’s, 1971-1974) and two short of sixth position (Dean Jones, Saint Mary’s, 1998-2002)… Keep an eye on (StFX): With one league game remaining, fifth-year running back Jordan Socholotiuk, who leads U SPORTS with 126.0 rushing yards per contest (882 in total), still has an outside shot at the school’s single-season record of 1,103 set by Paul Brule way back in 1966.

Concordia (2-5) at Sherbrooke (1-6)

  • 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT
  • TVA Sports

Last week (Concordia): 31-19 home loss vs. McGill… Last week (Sherbrooke): 53-0 road loss vs. Laval… Last head-to-head matchup (Sept. 8, 2018 – regular season at Concordia): Concordia 22, Sherbrooke 20… In a nutshell: Concordia holds a slim two-point head-to-head cushion going into this crucial regular-season finale thanks to a 22-20 home win in Week 3, when the Stingers stunned the Vert & Or with 17 unanswered points in the final 4 minutes 11 seconds of regulation to overcome a 20-5 deficit… Heading into Saturday’s contest, Concordia can still finish third (win combined to McGill loss to Montreal), fourth (win combined to McGill win over Montreal OR loss by 1 point to Sherbrooke) or fifth (loss by 2 points or more to Sherbrooke)… Sherbrooke can finish no higher than fourth and needs to win by two points or more to extend its season… Keep an eye on (Concordia): Despite missing one game earlier this fall, defensive tackle Michael Sanelli ranks second in the RSEQ with 5.5 quarterback sacks in six contests… Keep an eye on (Sherbrooke): Gabriel Polan is the most utilized running back in the RSEQ with 97 carries in seven games and ranks second in the conference with 453 rushing yards.

 

Source: usports.ca

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