• Saturday’s game – the first to be played at the new Mosaic Stadium – will set a Canada West attendance record with 16,500 tickets sold.
• Now in first place in the Canada West standings after last week’s thrilling victory over Calgary, the Rams vaulted up five spots in this week’s CIS Top Ten to No. 4. It’s the highest they’ve been in the poll since being ranked No. 3 in the nation at one point during the 2010 season.
• Riding a three-game winning streak, the Rams are looking to avenge their only loss of the conference schedule. The teams met in Week 1, with Saskatchewan taking a 41-39 overtime win in Saskatoon.
RAMS JUMP UP TO NO. 4 IN CIS TOP TEN: The UBC win moved the Rams into the CIS Top Ten for the first time since 2012, and last week’s win over Calgary vaulted Regina way up to No. 4 in the country. It’s the highest the Rams have been ranked since the 2010 season, when a 5-1 start earned them the No. 3 spot in the poll. Other Canada West teams in the CIS Top Ten this week include Calgary (No. 5) and Manitoba (No. 9).
DWYER, PICTON EARN PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARDS: Both Joey Dwyer and Mitchell Picton were honoured following the U of R’s 32-27 win over Calgary. Dwyer was named the Canada West Defensive Player of the Week after collecting 9½ tackles and forcing a game-winning turnover in the final seconds of the game, while Picton caught 13 passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns and was named both the CIS and the Canada West Offensive Player of the Week.
PICTON CONTINUES TORRID START: QB Noah Picton had another solid game for the Rams in the Calgary win, completing 23 of 35 passes for 452 yards and four touchdowns. He now leads the nation with 1714 passing yards and is tied for the CIS lead with 14 touchdown passes, and also leads Canada West in completions (117), attempts (170), and completion rate (68.8%). At the halfway mark of the season, Picton is on pace to break national records in both completions and passing yards, both of which were set last year – Ottawa’s Derek Wendel has the CIS single-season record with 216 completions, while Calgary’s Andrew Buckley had a record 3162 passing yards in 2015.
THE OTHER PICTON: SB Mitchell Picton had a monster game in Friday’s win, with his total of 13 catches tying him for second in school single-game history behind only Chad Goldie’s mark of 15. His 215 receiving yards stand as the fourth highest total by a Rams player in a CIS game, while his three touchdown catches are tied for the third most in school history. With 45 catches for 485 yards and seven touchdowns and four games still remaining on the conference schedule, Picton is on pace to threaten Canada West’s single-season receptions record that was set last year by Saskatchewan’s Mitch Hillis (66). At his current pace, Picton could also have a shot at the school record in receiving yards (923 by Chris Bauman in 2006) and touchdown catches (11 by Jason Clermont in 2001).
DHEILLY NEWS: Rookie DL Nicholas Dheilly got his first CIS start last game against Calgary, and did he ever make an impact. He finished with three sacks, one off the school record of four held by Stan Van Sichem. One of his three sacks came on Calgary’s final drive of the game, forcing the Dinos into a third-and-long situation with 30 seconds to play. Dheilly is now tied with Manitoba’s Evan Foster for the Canada West lead in sacks.
MORE DHEILLY NEWS: SB Noah Dheilly – the younger brother of the aforementioned Nicholas – became the ninth member of Coach Bryce’s 2017 recruiting class after signing a CIS Letter of Intent earlier this week. Dheilly, who plays for undefeated LeBoldus, leads the Schwann Conference with four touchdown catches and ranks second in the league with 249 receiving yards.
IN THE FAMILY: Three players on the offensive side of the ball for the Rams are first cousins – RB Blake Anaka, SB Mitchell Picton, and QB Noah Picton - while K/WR Daniel Scraper and WR Michael Scraper are brothers. LB Danny Nesbitt is the son of defensive line coach Greg Nesbitt.
HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: 620 CKRM will have the call with Michael Ball and Marco Ricci. Those in Saskatoon can listen in on 600 CJWW with Dave Thomas and Barclay Schlosser. The game will also be shown across Western Canada on SHAW/Access with Jim Mullin calling the play-by-play alongside Wray Morrison. Rod Pedersen will host the contest with Mitchell Blair and Darren Dupont on the sidelines.
(Braden Konschuh/U of R Athletics)