The Canada West football season kicks off Friday night as the University of Saskatchewan Huskies host the University of Manitoba Bisons.
It was the Bisons that knocked the Huskies out of the Canada West playoffs in the league semi-finals last season.
Quarterback Drew Burko said there are benefits of opening the season with a win.
“Yeah, it sucks how we lost last year and the last two years I guess but I mean you don’t need that much extra motivation for the first week of the season. You want to start the season out well and you just want to take it one week at a time. Everybody is really excited for this one,” Burko said.
The Huskies are happy to have former all-Canadian tackle Donovan Dale on the defensive line. He spent two seasons at the University of British Columbia after leaving the Saskatoon Hilltops.
“He’s certainly short up the middle of our run defense. He is also, if practice is an indication, is going to allow us to get some pressure on a quarterback from the interior to the D-line,” coach Brian Towriss said.
Canada West President Ian Reade was in Saskatoon on Thursday to announce a new television agreement with Shaw and Global TV, including a national broadcast of the 79th Hardy Cup on Nov. 14.
“I didn’t think that a national network would take on a regional game like that. Of course, why wouldn’t they? It’s a great product. It’s going to be very high quality. It will be great games,” Reade explained.
“We’re hoping that the numbers will be good and Global will continue to do this.”
Shaw TV will air conference regular-season games with Krown Produce Canada West Football on the station broadcasting 12 games this season, including four in collaboration with Regina’s Access Communications.
The expanded television presence was made possible thanks to the N8 Group, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of Canadian collegiate sport.
The live, regular season broadcast can be seen on local Shaw TV, Shaw HD, Shaw Direct 299 and on Access Communications channel 7/70.
The homecoming game starts at 7 p.m. at Griffiths Stadium.