The University of Regina Rams open up the 2011 season on Saturday afternoon with a non-conference game against the Manitoba Bisons. Game time is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. MDT at Mosaic Stadium.
The Rams lose just four starters from last year’s squad that finished in third place in Canada West with a 5-3 conference record. Headlining the returners are first-team All-Canadians Adrian Charles and Jamir Walker, second-team All-Canadian Brenden Owens, and conference all-stars Chris Bodnar and Akiem Hicks. Also back is fifth-year quarterback Marc Mueller, who has led the conference in passing yards in each of the past two seasons.
Manitoba, a team which finished in fifth place in the Canada West standings in 2010 with a 2-6 mark, will be led by fifth-year defensive halfback Pete Adams. Adams, a conference all-star in both 2009 and 2010, broke up eight passes last season and was third on the Bisons with 37½ tackles. Also back for Manitoba is fourth-year quarterback Khaleal Williams and his three leading receivers from last year, including Stu Schollaardt, Quincy Hurst, and former Ram Jared Ralko.
Regina and Manitoba met twice in 2010 with the Rams emerging victorious in both contests. Regina took a 45-11 win over the Bisons in Regina on Sept. 3 and also took a 41-19 road win on Oct. 16 in a game that saw Charles scamper for 222 rushing yards, the third highest single-game rushing total in University of Regina history. The teams will also play each other two times during this year’s conference schedule, meeting on Sept. 30 at Mosaic Stadium and again on Oct. 29 in Winnipeg.
The Rams kick off the Canada West schedule at home next Friday against UBC, while Manitoba opens up at home against Calgary on Sept. 3.
Live statistics for the game will be available at the brand-new http://www.canadawest.tv/.
Saturday’s game will mark the first non-conference affair for the Rams since Aug. 23, 2008, when they squared off with the Calgary Dinos in Medicine Hat, Alta.