Saskatoon StarPhoenix

After a year off, football is back on the schedule

After a year without games, Huskies football coach excited to have schedule


The schedule's not perfect, but it's real, and that's enough for Scott Flory.

“We're just exited to be playing football again. That's what it comes down to,” the University of Saskatchew­an Huskies' head football coach said after Canada West revealed its 2021 schedule on Monday.

The six-game schedule — down from the usual eight — is a cold-weather concoction, with a late start and a late finish. It comes after the complete cancellati­on of the 2020 campaign because of COVID -19.

The Huskies open Sept. 25 in Calgary — they play the defending Vanier Cup champs twice in those six games — followed by a road contest at UBC. They then get a bye, before staging their home opener Oct. 16 against Alberta.

“You can look at the schedule, and there's a lot of different perspectiv­es — we're starting on the road, all that kind of stuff — but that's stuff we don't control,” Flory said. “We're just happy to be back on the field, playing football.”

The Huskies' Canada West schedule looks like this:

■ Saturday, Sept. 25 at Calgary, 4 p.m.

■ Friday, Oct. 1 at UBC, 8 p.m.

■ Saturday, Oct. 16 vs. Alberta, 2 p.m.

■ Saturday, Oct. 23 vs. Regina, 2 p.m.

■ Saturday, Oct. 30 at Manitoba, 2 p.m.

■ Saturday, Nov. 6 vs. Calgary, 2 p.m.

■ Nov. 12-14 (to be determined): Hardy Cup semifinals

■ Nov. 19-21 (to be determined): Hardy Cup final

■ The Vanier Cup is slated for Dec. 4 at Laval.

“I'm not going to lie,” Flory said. “Part of me is just waiting for the rug to get ripped out from underneath our feet. (With COVID) there's always that caveat, or that asterisk at the end of the sentence. But I hope, and I think, we're past it. I just do. Maybe that's the optimistic part of me, but I'm just really glad there's actual ink on the page. That's going to bring something concrete; some tangiblene­ss. It's beyond just talk. I know for us, we're just excited to get back on the field, and we're more than ready to play the game we love again.”

The Huskies currently have a 94man roster, and they signed a new linebacker Monday: Calgary's Nick Wiebe, who spent the last few seasons at the University of Oregon, will join the U of S this season.

U Sports is permitting teams to practise over the summer, so the Huskies will stage regular workouts over the next few months, including this Saturday and Sunday morning at Griffiths Stadium.

The 2019 Huskies went 5-3 during the regular season, beat Alberta 28-23 in the conference semifinal, then lost 29-4 to eventual Vanier Cup-champion Calgary in the conference title match.

“You've seen a lot of positive momentum happening in the sports community,” Flory said. “The CFL and their announceme­nt (about a 2021 return), our schedule coming out, and there's a lot of momentum building in the province. I don't see the train slowing down.”

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