Only eight games are on the U SPORTS football schedule this week as a number of teams enjoy a well-deserved Thanksgiving break.
The Canada West conference heads into its annual league-wide pause, in addition to regular bye weeks in the OUA, RSEQ and AUS.
The Week 7 action starts early with a pair of Thursday night contests, including nationally top-ranked Western (5-0) hosting Windsor at TD Stadium in London, Ont. (7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT, Rogers TV - tape delay - & OUA.TV). Head coach Greg Marshall, who last season led his Mustangs to their first Vanier Cup triumph since 1994, is looking for his 100th overall victory at the helm of the program.
Two top-10 confrontations are also on the Thanksgiving weekend schedule.
Eighth-ranked Laurier visits No. 9 Carleton on Friday afternoon in the nation’s capital (1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT, OUA.TV), while No. 4 Montreal travels to Quebec City on Sunday to face No. 2 Laval in a much-anticipated duel that could determine first place in the RSEQ standings (1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT, TVA Sports).
Here is a game-by-game look at all Week 7 matchups as well as a detailed schedule, including all television broadcast and webcast info.
OFF THIS WEEK
No. 3 Calgary (5-0), No. 7 Saskatchewan (3-2), No. 10 Guelph (3-3), Regina (0-5), Waterloo (3-3), Manitoba (3-2), Mount Allison (2-3), Concordia (2-3), York (2-4), Alberta (2-3), UBC (2-3).
Windsor (1-4) at No. 1 Western (5-0)
- 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT
- Rogers TV (tape delay) & OUA.TV
Last week (Windsor): 26-24 home win vs. Toronto... Last week (Western): 26-23 road win vs. Queen’s... Last head-to-head matchup (Sept. 16, 2017 – regular season at Windsor): Western 59, Windsor 7… In a nutshell: Western is riding a 14-game winning streak against Windsor dating back to 2003, when the Lancers beat the Mustangs twice, in the regular season and in the OUA quarter-final round... Greg Marshall enters the game with a 99-25 overall record since his Western head coaching debut in 2007... Western and Windsor have both scored 11 touchdowns through the air so far this season but the Mustangs have a 14-1 advantage in rushing majors... Keep an eye on (Windsor): After missing one game with an injury, number-one quarterback Sam Girard returned to the lineup last weekend and completed 15 of 27 passes for 203 yards and one touchdown to lead the Lancers to their first win of the season... Keep an eye on (Western): Third-year kicker Marc Liegghio, who led U SPORTS in scoring in each of his first two seasons, is once again atop the national leaderboard this fall with 69 points in five games.
No. 5 Ottawa (4-1) at Toronto (0-5)
- 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT
Last week (Ottawa): 38-27 road win vs. Carleton... Last week (Toronto): 26-24 road loss vs. Windsor... Last head-to-head matchup (Oct. 24, 2015 – regular season at Ottawa): Ottawa 45, Toronto 9… In a nutshell: The Gee-Gees and Varsity Blues haven’t met since 2015 and Ottawa is riding a five-game head-to-head winning streak since a 40-35 loss at Toronto on Oct. 2, 2010... The Gee-Gees’ ball-hawking defence, which leads the country with 12 interceptions and ranks fourth in sacks (14), goes up against the OUA’s lowest scoring offence (15.6 points per game)... Keep an eye on (Ottawa): In only his third career start, quarterback Sawyer Buettner threw five touchdown passes last Saturday to help the Gee-Gees snap a four-year Panda Game losing streak against Carleton... Keep an eye on (Toronto): Will Corby, who a year ago was the Blues’ top pass catcher as a freshman with 412 yards on 27 receptions, had a career-high 172 receiving yards on seven catches last Saturday.
No. 8 Laurier (2-3) at No. 9 Carleton (4-2)
- 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT
Last week (Laurier): 27-24 home loss vs. Guelph... Last week (Carleton): 38-27 home loss vs. Ottawa... Last head-to-head matchup (Sept. 9, 2017 – regular season at Laurier): Laurier 38, Carleton 35… In a nutshell: Laurier and Carleton have only met three times since the Ravens returned to university football in 2013, with the Golden Hawks prevailing each time... The Hawks are 7-2-1 all-time in head-to-head competition, the two Ravens wins dating back to 1964 and 1965... Friday’s matchup pits Laurier’s nationally fifth-ranked rushing attack (180.0 yards per game) against a Carleton defence which is tied for the U SPORTS lead with 17 sacks... Keep an eye on (Laurier): With 10 catches last Saturday, reigning OUA MVP Kurleigh Gittens Jr. tied Stefan Ptaszek’s school record of 186 career receptions and moved into 10th place on the all-time U SPORTS list... Keep an eye on (Carleton): Coming off a 126-yard, two-TD performance in the 50th Panda Game, third-year running back Nathan Carter leads the OUA and ranks second in the nation in both rushing yards (571) and carries (111).
Queen’s (3-3) at McMaster (3-2)
- 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT
- Cable 14, YourTV & OUA.TV
Last week (Queen’s): 26-23 home loss vs. Western... Last week (McMaster): Bye... Last head-to-head matchup (Oct. 28, 2017 – OUA quarter-final at McMaster): McMaster 12, Queen’s 9… In a nutshell: McMaster has won three straight against Queen’s since a 31-24 loss in Kingston on Sept. 2, 2013... The Gaels’ offence ranks second in Ontario and fifth in the country with 325.0 passing yards per game, while the Marauders boast the best pass defence in the OUA, allowing only 207.4 yards through the air per contest... Keep an eye on (Queen’s): Thanks to a 361-yard effort against top-ranked Western, fifth-year quarterback Nate Hobbs cracked the top 10 on the OUA career list – in ninth place – with 8,578 passing yards... Keep an eye on (McMaster): Jordan Lyons, who leads the Marauders with 467 rushing yards in five contests, had a monster game in last year’s OUA quarter-final win over Queen’s with 319 yards on the ground, good for 11th place on the single-game U SPORTS list.
StFX (3-2) at Acadia (2-2)
- 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT
Last week (StFX): 27-24 home loss vs. Saint Mary’s... Last week (Acadia): Bye... Last head-to-head matchup (Aug. 31, 2018 – regular season at StFX): StFX 30, Acadia 24 (OT)… In a nutshell: In the first meeting of the season in Week 2, the X-Men tied the game with 40 seconds left in regulation on a touchdown by U SPORTS rushing leader Jordan Socholotiuk, before prevailing in overtime thanks to quarterback Bailey Wasdal’s one-yard TD run... StFX ranks fourth in the country in rushing with 180.6 yards per game, while Acadia’s defence is tops in the AUS against the run (117.8 yards per game)... Keep an eye on (StFX): Fifth-year running back Jordan Socholotiuk leads the country in rushing yards (611), rushing yards per game (122.2) and carries (117)... Keep an eye on (Acadia): At the midway point of the Axemen’s regular schedule, first-year starter Hunter Guenard leads the AUS and ranks third in the country in completion percentage (71.0) and is on pace to break the single-season conference record of 69.3 set two years ago by former StFX standout Tivon Cook.
McGill (1-3) at Sherbrooke (0-5)
- 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT
Last week (McGill): Bye... Last week (Sherbrooke): 43-2 road loss vs. Montreal... Last head-to-head matchup (Sept. 1, 2018 – regular season at McGill): McGill 19, Sherbrooke 8… In a nutshell: Another low-scoring affair is expected on Friday night as the Redmen rank 25th in the country in scoring (13.0 points per game) and 27th in total yards gained per contest (169.3), while the Vert & Or rank 26th and 27th, respectively, in those categories (8.4 / 170.0)... McGill’s defence leads the nation in sacks per game (3.75) and ranks third against the run, allowing only 89.0 yards on the ground per outing... Keep an eye on (McGill): Third-year halfback Benjamin Carré tops the RSEQ conference and ranks second in the country with four interceptions in four games... Keep an eye on (Sherbrooke): Fifth-year linebacker Charles Brousseau ranks second in Quebec with 24.5 tackles in five contests.
Bishop’s (0-5) at No. 6 Saint Mary’s (5-0)
- 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT
- Bell Aliant Fibe TV1 & AUStv.ca
Last week (Bishop’s): 18-10 home loss vs. Mount Allison... Last week (Saint Mary’s): 27-24 road win vs. StFX... Last head-to-head matchup (Sept. 1, 2018 – regular season at Bishop’s): Saint Mary’s 42, Bishop’s 19… In a nutshell: The Huskies are 3-0 against Bishop’s since the Gaiters joined the AUS as they had also prevailed 40-21 in Lennoxville and 55-11 in Halifax last season... Ranked last in the AUS and 26th in the country with 12.4 points scored per game, Bishop’s will be challenged once again on Saturday as Saint Mary’s leads the Atlantic conference and ranks fourth in the nation in both points (17.0) and total yards (322.6) allowed per contest... Keep an eye on (Bishop’s): Fifth-year defensive lineman Adam Plamondon leads the AUS with 3.5 sacks in five games... Keep an eye on (Saint Mary’s): Coming off a 10.5-tackle performance against StFX, fifth-year linebacker Brad Herbst tops the conference in solo (28) and total tackles (42.5) after five contests.
No. 4 Montreal (4-1) at No. 2 Laval (5-0)
- 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT
- TVA Sports
Last week (Montreal): 43-2 home win vs. Sherbrooke... Last week (Laval): 53-2 road win vs. Concordia... Last head-to-head matchup (Sept. 8, 2018 – regular season at Montreal): Laval 12, Montreal 7… In a nutshell: 11 of the past 12 duels between the archrivals, who have met in each of the past five RSEQ finals, have been decided by six points or less... The Rouge et Or (5.2) and Carabins (5.6) rank 1-2 in the country in points allowed per game... Montreal’s defence is also tops in the nation in total yards (176.2), passing yards (104.0) and rushing yards (72.2) allowed per contest, with Laval sitting second in all three categories (203.4 / 117.6 / 85.8)... Keep an eye on (Montreal): Fourth-year running back Asnnel Robo leads the country in yards per carry (9.6) and tops the RSEQ with 453 rushing yards in five contests... Keep an eye on (Laval): Fifth-year quarterback Hugo Richard, who currently has 61 touchdown passes and 29 rushing majors in his career, is looking to become the first player in U SPORTS history to make the 60/30 club.