Friday, September 13, 2019

Rams/Huskies Preview

KICKOFF: Friday, Sept. 13 (7:00 PM)
SITE: Mosaic Stadium (Regina, Sask.)
CAPACITY: 33,350
RANKINGS: Saskatchewan #9, Regina NR
TELEVISION: SaskTel maxTV 48/348, TELUS 997 (Wray Morrison, Justin Dunk, Darren Dupont)
REGINA RADIO: 620 CKRM (Michael Ball, Pete Paczko)

• Both teams enter the third week of the Canada West schedule at 1-1 and as part of a four-way tie for second in the conference standings.

• After breaking into the U SPORTS Top Ten poll at No. 7 last week, the Rams dropped out this week following last Friday’s loss to Alberta. Saskatchewan’s blowout home win over UBC last weekend moved the Huskies back into the poll at No. 9.

• Friday night’s game will be the lone meeting of the regular season between the two teams. This year marks the first time since 2014 the Rams won’t make the trip to Saskatoon.

DEFENCE REIGNS: Though the Rams eventually lost 18-17 last week to Alberta, the U of R defence was again stellar. The Rams surrendered only 337 yards of total offence, held Alberta to 53% completion percentage, forced two turnovers, and only surrendered one touchdown – and that was after the Golden Bears took over the ball in the red zone following a mishandled snap on a punt.

FORCING TURNOVERS: The two turnovers forced by the Rams in the Alberta game came in the span of three possessions in the third quarter. First LB Robbie Lowes stuffed Alberta's running back for no gain on a third-down gamble, and just over four minutes later DB Cord Delinte came up with an interception. The Rams defence has forced a total of five turnovers so far this season including two interceptions, two turnovers on downs, and a fumble recovery.

SACK COLLECTORS: Lowes and DL Eric Wicijowski both had sacks against the Golden Bears, becoming the sixth and seventh different Rams players to collect at least a share of a sack this year. The Rams have combined for a Canada West-leading seven sacks as a team this season.

DONNELLY AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS: Rams QB Josh Donnelly is off to a solid start under centre for the Rams, as he leads Canada West in passing yards (719) and ranks second in the nation with an average of 359.5 passing yards per game (only Clay Sequeira of Toronto has averaged more, with 419 per game). Donnelly has completed 63.8% of his passes and four different receivers – SB Kyle Moortgat, SB Ryan Schienbein, WR Riley Boersma, and SB Bennett Stusek – all have at least 125 receiving yards through the first two weeks of the conference schedule.

VARAO UPDATE: After rumbling his way to three one-yard touchdowns in the season opener at UBC, RB Sam Varao is still Canada West's leader this year in touchdown runs. He's also tied for second in all of U SPORTS in that category, trailing only Acadia's Dale Wright (4).

SCHIENBEIN REWRITING RECORD BOOK: Schienbein continues his ascent up the school's record book in all major career receiving categories, most notably receptions where he's currently fifth with 167 in his career but within striking range of both fourth-place Mitchell Picton (169) and third-place Chad Goldie (173). He's also all but reeled in Jason Clermont on the receiving yards list, as Schienbein sits fifth with 2162 yards but is just seven back of fourth-place Clermont (2169). Schienbein remains tied with Mike Thomas for fourth in school history with 17 touchdown catches.

RUNNING BACKS: The coaching staff promised a "committee approach" at running back this year, and they've delivered. Varao's only four runs have been in short-yardage situations, while RB Semba Mbasela and RB Trey Campbell have the bulk of the carries otherwise. Mbasela has 16 rushes for 85 yards, while Campbell has 12 runs for a total of 53 yards.

BROOKS BACK: After missing the season opener against UBC due to an injury, DB Brandon Brooks returned and assumed his usual starting position at boundary corner for the Rams. DB Jackson Sombach got the start in Week 1 with Brooks out, but then missed the Alberta game due to injury and is considered probable for this week's game against Saskatchewan.

ON THE LINE: OL Joel Braden got his first Canada West start last week against the Golden Bears, drawing in at right guard with usual starter Andrew Becker out because of an injury. Becker is likely to return on Friday, as he's been listed as probable for the game.

MOSLEY TO START: Utilized mostly as a returner last year and for the first couple games of this season, SB Kyler Mosley could get his first start with the Rams after Moortgat was injured late in the Alberta game. Mosley also made an appearance under centre last game, taking the snap on a late third-and-short situation and getting the first down for the Rams. Mosley also had a 12-yard reception last game and has returned three kickoffs this season.

(U of R Athletics/Braden Konschuh)  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Let's go Rams, beat the rival huskies by 40 tonight