With the 2018 Dogs’ Breakfast quickly approaching, football season is within sight. The Huskies spring camp starts on May 3, when the team will officially begin preparations for the upcoming season. Head coach Scott Flory and company now know their official schedule, which was unveiled on April 9.
The off-season provided Flory with the opportunity to make his mark on this program, as it was his first chance at putting together a full recruiting class. The Huskies are set to bring in over 40 fresh faces to the University of Saskatchewan’s football team, which will make the 2018 recruiting class the largest in program history.
The new recruits, along with the rest of the Huskies, won’t have to wait long to get a home game under their belts, as the team kicks off their 2018 campaign in Saskatoon, where they will take on the Alberta Golden Bears. Last season, the Golden Bears emerged as a playoff team for the first time since 2010, so they will be looking to begin the season with a win.
However, the Huskies picked up their first home win of the season in 2017 against the Alberta Golden Bears and will be hoping to continue that trend in week one of the 2018 season.
Week two will provide the Huskies with their first road trip of the season, with the team travelling to Winnipeg to take on the Manitoba Bisons. The Bisons and Huskies met in week one of the 2017 season, where the Huskies picked up an impressive road win.
In week three, the Huskies will play host to the defending Canada West champions, the Calgary Dinos. Calgary will open up the 2018 season as the conference top dog, and taking care of business at home with a statement victory could go a long way toward Saskatchewan’s fate in the playoffs.
The Huskies schedule is front-loaded with home games, as week four will bring in their provincial rivals, the Regina Rams. The Rams will be eyeing their third straight post-season appearance, and taking down the U of S would help in that.
Each time these two programs square up, it has all the makings of a classic, and 2018 should be no exception. Rams quarterback Noah Picton is one of the top players in the country and will be looking to put on a show in what will likely be the 2016 Hec Creighton Trophy winner’s final game at Griffiths Stadium.
Week five will provide a second meeting for the Huskies with the Calgary Dinos — but this game will take place in enemy territory. The trek west to McMahon Stadium is always a tricky trip for the Dogs, as they’ve lost five of their past six regular-season games in Calgary, which includes a 51-28 defeat in 2017.
Following the Thanksgiving bye, the Huskies will head west to take on the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds. Along with Picton, Thunderbirds quarterback Michael O’Connor is one of the best in the country to line up under centre in U Sports, making for a difficult matchup.
A rare afternoon game will be held at Griffiths Stadium in late October, as the Manitoba Bisons will clash with the Huskies for their second meeting of 2018. The Bisons dashed the Dogs’ post-season hopes in the final game of the regular season in 2017, which will undoubtedly be on Saskatchewan minds as the team sets out to make sure they protect home field this time around.
The Huskies will wrap up their regular season at the beautiful Mosaic Stadium in Regina, in what will be their second matchup against the Rams. With both programs expected to be in the thick of things, this game has the potential to contain its fair share of playoff implications.
After a disappointing 2-6 season in 2017, the Huskies will be desperate to turn the page and push for a post-season appearance in 2018.
Graphic: Jaymie Stachyruk / Graphics Editor