U Sports Weekend Watch (6): 50th Panda Game, record-setting QB and coach highlight week 6

The 50th Panda Game in the nation’s capital, quarterback Noah Picton’s record chase and head coach Glen Constantin’s rise on the all-time list highlight the sixth weekend of the U SPORTS football regular season.

This year’s Carleton-Ottawa showdown, set for Saturday at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT (CHCH & OUA.TV), also happens to be a top-10 battle as the Ravens (4-1) are currently fifth in the national rankings, while the Gee-Gees (3-1) sit in ninth place.

The last three installments of the cross-town rivalry drew a combined 65,345 fans at TD Place Stadium, including 24,420 last fall, the largest crowd in over two decades for a U SPORTS league game. Carleton has come out on top each of the past four years, including a 33-30 overtime thriller in 2017.

Meanwhile in Winnipeg, all eyes will be on Picton as the 2016 Hec Crighton trophy winner from the Regina Rams needs 277 passing yards to become the all-time leader in Canadian university football history. Kickoff on Saturday at Investors Group Field is 3 p.m. ET/noon PT (SaskTel maxTV & CanadaWest.TV).

Also on Saturday afternoon, in Montreal, Constantin will be looking for career win No. 170 when his Laval Rouge et Or visit Concordia (2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, TVA Sports & StretchTV). A triumph would give him sole possession of second place in U SPORTS annals, ahead of former Western mentor Larry Haylor and trailing only legendary Saskatchewan bench boss Brian Towriss (196 wins).

Here is a game-by-game look at all Week 6 matchups as well as a detailed schedule, including all television broadcast and webcast info.

OFF THIS WEEK

McMaster (3-2), Acadia (2-2), McGill (1-3).

FRIDAY

Sherbrooke (0-4) at No. 4 Montreal (3-1)

  • 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT

Last week (Sherbrooke): Bye… Last week (Montreal): 74-3 road win vs. Concordia… Last head-to-head matchup (Sept. 15, 2018 – regular season at Sherbrooke): Montreal 43, Sherbrooke 11… In a nutshell: With their convincing victory over the Vert & Or two weeks ago, the Carabins extended their head-to-head winning streak to six games dating back to a 17-12 road loss on Oct. 3, 2015… Montreal’s defence ranks first in the country in total yards (195.8), passing yards (127.8) and rushing yards (68.0) allowed per game, while Sherbrooke’s offence is last in the nation in points scored (10.0 per contest)… Keep an eye on (Sherbrooke): Fifth-year linebacker Charles Brousseau leads the RSEQ with 23.5 tackles in four games… Keep an eye on (Montreal): Fourth-year running back Asnnel Robo leads the country in yards per carry (10.7) and tops the RSEQ with 375 rushing yards in four contests.

UBC (1-3) at Alberta (0-4)

  • 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT
  • SaskTel maxTV, TELUS Optik TV, Bell MTS &CanadaWest.TV

Last week (UBC): 32-28 home loss vs. Calgary… Last week (Alberta): 37-27 home loss vs. Manitoba… Last head-to-head matchup (Sept. 23, 2017 – regular season at Alberta): UBC 41, Alberta 21… In a nutshell: UBC has won nine straight against Alberta since 2012, all in conference play… It’s been a difficult first half of the season for both programs as the Thunderbirds rank fifth in the six-team Canada West conference in both points scored (20.5 per game) and points allowed (32.0), while the Golden Bears rank last in both categories (15.3 / 41.8)… Keep an eye on (UBC): After missing UBC’s second game of the season, fourth-year receiver Trivel Pinto has 23 catches for 294 yards and two touchdowns over the past two weeks… Keep an eye on (Alberta): Second-year linebacker Zach Mann leads Canada West in solo tackles (27) and total tackles (27.5).

SATURDAY

No. 1 Western (4-0) at Queen’s (3-2)

  • 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT
  • YourTV & OUA.TV

Last week (Western): 67-7 road win vs. Waterloo… Last week (Queen’s): 33-32 road win vs. Guelph… Last head-to-head matchup (Sept. 23, 2017 – regular season at Western): Western 48, Queen’s 10… In a nutshell: Western leads the storied rivalry 46-45-2 since the first confrontation back in 1929, including a six-game overall winning streak dating back to an 18-11 loss in Kingston on Sept. 15, 2012… The Mustangs lead the country in scoring (53.3 points per game) and have the stingiest defence in the OUA (9.8), while the Gaels’ passing offence ranks second in Ontario and fifth in the nation (317.8 yards per game)… Keep an eye on (Western): Reigning Vanier Cup MVP Chris Merchant, who was named the U SPORTS player of the week on offence after throwing six TD passes against Waterloo, leads the country with a remarkable 78.9 completion percentage (71 of 90)… Keep an eye on (Queen’s): Fifth-year senior Matteo Del Brocco is tied for second in the nation with six TD catches in five contests.

No. 2 Laval (4-0) at Concordia (2-2)

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

Last week (Laval): 53-7 home win vs. McGill… Last week (Concordia): 74-3 home loss vs. Montreal… Last head-to-head matchup (Sept. 1, 2018 – regular season at Laval): Laval 47, Concordia 9… In a nutshell: With their Week 2 victory over the Stingers, the Rouge et Or extended their head-to-head overall winning streak to 30 games dating back to a 38-30 road loss on Oct. 4, 2003… Laval head coach Glen Constantin (169-31 in his 18th season) is currently tied with former Western bench boss Larry Haylor (169-46-3 in 22 seasons) on the all-time list with 169 overall wins, trailing only former Saskatchewan great Brian Towriss (196-118-1 in 33 seasons)… Laval’s defence leads the country in fewest points allowed per game (6.0), while Concordia boasts the top passing offence in the RSEQ (294.0 yards per game)… Keep an eye on (Laval): Fourth-year defensive end Mathieu Betts is tied for the U SPORTS lead with five quarterback sacks in four games and is also tied for first on the RSEQ career list with 31.5… Keep an eye on (Concordia): Fourth-year defensive tackle Michael Sanelli is tied with Betts for the U SPORTS lead with five sacks.

No. 6 Saskatchewan (3-1) at No. 3 Calgary (4-0)

Last week (Saskatchewan): 33-20 home win vs. Regina… Last week (Calgary): 32-28 road win vs. UBC… Last head-to-head matchup (Sept. 14, 2018 – regular season at Saskatchewan): Calgary 37, Saskatchewan 28… In a nutshell: The Dinos have won 13 out of 14 overall against the Huskies since the start of the 2011 season, their lone head-to-head loss over that period being a 38-35 setback on home turf on Oct. 22, 2016… Calgary has the best passing offence in the country (427.3 yards per game) and leads Canada West in scoring (43.8), while Saskatchewan’s defence ranks first in the nation with 10 interceptions and tops Canada West with nine sacks… Keep an eye on (Saskatchewan): Fifth-year senior Kyle Siemens needs 69 passing yards to become the fifth Huskies’ quarterback to reach the 7,000-yard plateau for his career… Keep an eye on (Calgary): With 383 yards on 13 catches, freshman Tyson Philpot leads the country with a stunning average of 29.5 yards per reception.

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No. 9 Ottawa (3-1) at No. 5 Carleton (4-1)

  • 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT
  • CHCH & OUA.TV

Last week (Ottawa): 42-16 home win vs. York… Last week (Carleton): 38-26 road win vs. Toronto… Last head-to-head matchup (Sept. 30, 2017 – regular season at Ottawa): Carleton 33, Ottawa 30 (OT)… In a nutshell: Ottawa is 32-17 all-time in the Panda Game but the Ravens have won the last four editions, including a pair in overtime (2017, 2015) and another on a Hail Mary pass on the final play of regulation (2014)… Carleton running back Nathan Carter racked up 256 yards on 34 carries in last year’s affair… Ottawa’s defence ranks second in Ontario and third in the country in both sacks (14) and interceptions (8)… Keep an eye on (Ottawa): Fourth-year wide receiver Kalem Beaver leads OUA and ranks second in the country with 259 punt return yards… Keep an eye on (Carleton): Fifth-year kicker Michael Domagala leads the country with 14 field goals in five games, including a 5-for-5 performance last Saturday against Toronto that moved him into a tie for eighth place on the U SPORTS career list (71).

No. 7 Saint Mary’s (4-0) at StFX (3-1)

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

Last week (Saint Mary’s): 26-16 home win vs. Acadia… Last week (StFX): 35-27 road win vs. Mount Allison… Last head-to-head matchup (Aug. 24, 2018 – regular season at Saint Mary’s): Saint Mary’s 20, StFX 13… In a nutshell: Saint Mary’s has won the last three head-to-head contests following eight straight StFX victories from 2014 to last season’s conference opener… The Huskies boast the stingiest defence in the AUS (15.3 points per game), while the X-Men lead the conference in scoring (30.0)… Keep an eye on (Saint Mary’s): Fifth-year linebacker Brad Herbst leads the AUS in total tackles (32) and tackles per game (8.0)… Keep an eye on (StFX): Fifth-year senior Jordan Socholotiuk is the national leader in rushing yards per contest (109.3) among players who have suited up for at least three games.

Guelph (2-3) at No. 8 Laurier (2-2)

Last week (Guelph): 33-32 home loss vs. Queen’s… Last week (Laurier): 21-20 road loss vs. McMaster… Last head-to-head matchup (Oct. 14, 2017 – regular season at Guelph): Guelph 24, Laurier 14… In a nutshell: The Gryphons’ defence leads the country in total sacks (17) and tackles per game (55.4)… The Golden Hawks’ offence ranks third in the OUA in points scored (33.8) and total yards (493.5) per game… Keep an eye on (Guelph): Fifth-year linebacker Luke Korol leads the nation in solo (37), assisted (26) and total tackles (50), as well as tackles per game (10.0)… Keep an eye on (Laurier): The leader among active U SPORTS players in career receptions, reigning OUA MVP Kurleigh Gittens Jr. needs 10 catches on Saturday to tie Stefan Ptaszek’s school record of 186, good for 10th place in U SPORTS history.

No. 10 Regina (2-2) at Manitoba (2-2)

Last week (Regina): 33-20 road loss vs. Saskatchewan… Last week (Manitoba): 37-27 road win vs. Alberta… Last head-to-head matchup (Sept. 23, 2017 – regular season at Regina): Manitoba 18, Regina 16… In a nutshell: The passing game should be in full display at Investors Group Field as the Rams (356.8 yards per game) and Bisons (353.3) rank second and third in the country, respectively, in that category… Manitoba’s pass defence (277.5 yards per game) is tops in the high-flying Canada West conference and picked off Noah Picton three times in last year’s low-scoring affair… Keep an eye on (Regina): Fifth-year quarterback Noah Picton could shatter one of the most prestigious records in U SPORTS football on Saturday as he goes into the game with 11,201 career passing yards and needs only 277 to break the all-time mark of 11,477 held by former Sherbrooke standout Jérémi Rock (2011-2015)… Keep an eye on (Manitoba): In his first full season as the Bisons’ starting quarterback, third-year pivot Des Catellier leads Canada West in completion percentage (70.6) and ranks second in the country in both passing yards per game (352.0) and TD passes (13).

Waterloo (3-2) at York (1-4)

Last week (Waterloo): 67-7 home loss vs. Western… Last week (York): 42-16 road loss vs. Ottawa… Last head-to-head matchup (Sept. 4, 2017 – regular season at Waterloo): Waterloo 52, York 8… In a nutshell: Fireworks are expected at Alumni Field as the visiting Warriors rank fourth in the country in both total yards (509.6 per game) and passing yards (348.0) but are also ranked 26th and 27th in the nation in those same categories on defence (504.6 / 386.0)… For its part, the Lions’ defence is last in U SPORTS in both points allowed (43.0) and against the run (210.0)… Keep an eye on (Waterloo): With 786 receiving yards and nine TD catches in five games, third-year junior Tyler Ternowski could challenge the single-season U SPORTS records in both categories (1,300 / 15)… Keep an eye on (York): Fourth-year veteran Colton Hunchack leads all U SPORTS receivers with 40 catches in four contests.

Mount Allison (1-3) at Bishop’s (0-4)

Last week (Mount Allison): 35-27 home loss vs. StFX… Last week (Bishop’s): Bye… Last head-to-head matchup (Aug. 25, 2018 – regular season at Mount Allison): Mount Allison 36, Bishop’s 22… In a nutshell: In the league opener for both teams, on Aug. 25, the Mounties prevailed by two touchdowns despite the Gaiters having the advantage in first downs, total offence, passing yards and time of possession… Bishop’s has lost nine straight since a 32-31 OT win at Mount Allison in Week 3 of last year, which remains the Gaiters’ only victory in 12 games since joining the AUS conference… Keep an eye on (Mount Allison): After missing two of the Mounties’ first three games, fifth-year running back Kiel Ambursley racked up 285 all-purpose yards in his return to the lineup last Saturday… Keep an eye on (Bishop’s): In his first start of the season two weeks ago against StFX, sophomore quarterback Stephen Casey went 15-of-28 for 133 yards and no interceptions.

Toronto (0-4) at Windsor (0-4)

  • 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT
  • YourTV & OUA.TV

Last week (Toronto): 38-26 home loss vs. Carleton… Last week (Windsor): Bye… Last head-to-head matchup (Sept. 4, 2017 – regular season at Toronto): Toronto 19, Windsor 12… In a nutshell: The Varsity Blues have lost 10 straight since their only success of the 2017 campaign, against Windsor, 12 months ago… The Lancers also went 1-7 last fall, with their lone win, a 43-27 success against York, coming in their conference finale… Keep an eye on (Toronto): Third-year defensive lineman Malcolm Campbell is tied for the U SPORTS lead with eight tackles for a loss in four games… Keep an eye on (Windsor): After leading the country last season with 8.9 tackles per game, third-year linebacker Daniel Metcalfe has a team-leading 26 in four games so far this fall.

 

Source: usports.ca

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