2008 CIS FOOTBALL TEAM PREVIEW:
2007 regular season record: 5-3
2007 regular season standings: 3rd Place, Canada West
2007 playoff record: 0-1
2007 playoff finish: Lost to University of Regina Rams 19-13
New faces with good attitudes, enthusiasm and excitement for Huskie football will hit the
field in 2008 for the University of Saskatchewan.
The Huskies started the 2007-08 season 3-0 with convincing wins over the University of
Alberta Golden Bears (45-14), the University of Calgary Dinos (27-13) and the Simon
Fraser University Clan (34-6), the Huskies looked to be a favourite to return to the Vanier
Cup for the fourth season in a row. But a roadblock came against the eventual Cup
champions in a 15-10 loss to the University of Manitoba Bisons. The Huskies then
finished out the season with a 2-2 record including a tough 34-31 loss to the University
of Regina Rams in a battle for second place and home field advantage in the semifinal
playoff game. The Huskies were sent packing in the semifinal with a 19-13 loss.
With the 5-3 finish in the Canada West standings, the Huskies finished first in six
statistical categories. The Huskies had the top passing offence, pass efficiency and the
most first downs of any team thanks impart to quarterback Laurence Nixon, who will
make his debut as the Huskies official starting quarterback this season. They were also
tough to score against with the top pass defence and pass defence efficiency. The
Huskies were a disciplined team taking the least amount of penalties and took control of
the game leading in possession time among Canada West teams.
The 2008 version of the Huskies look to return to the strong defensive play left behind by
now CFL players Paul Woldu, Dylan Barker and Jordan Rempel and exploding passing
offence available from receivers Karl Phillips, Scott McHenry and Cory Jones. In front of
Nixon will be a still young offensive line that will be led by veteran and CFL draft pick
Hubert Buydens. Key recruits from the junior ranks Bryce McCall and Mike Fuller will
step in to replace some of the large holes left vacant.
One year older and one more year experienced, the Huskies look to minimize mistakes
seen by younger players last season and capitalize on every opportunity. As always, the
Huskies will look to be a favourite to win the Vanier Cup.
Quote from head coach:
“The Huskies will once again be a force in the Canada West and the CIS,” said head
coach Brian Towriss. “The combined experience of the veterans on offence and defence
with the enthusiasm of the new recruits will make for an exciting and winning season.
We have guys with good attitudes and work ethics. Four out of our five home games will
be under the lights of Griffiths Stadium and it creates an amazing atmosphere for our
payers and fans.”
Head Coach: Brian Towriss
- Number of seasons as head coach with team (including 2008): 25
- Number of seasons as head coach in CIS (including 2008): 25
- Career regular season record with team: 119-72-1
- Career regular season record in CIS: 119-72-1
- Career overall record with team (reg. season & playoffs only): 149-84-1
- Career overall record in CIS (reg. season & playoffs only): 149-84-1
Key returning players:
Quarterback Laurence Nixon (Vancouver, B.C.) returns to the Huskies as the starter
after taking over from Bret Thompson in the third game of the season last year. Nixon
completed 104 of 150 pass attempts for 1,457 yards on the season. He averaged 208
yards a game and threw seven touchdown passes. A leader on and off the field, Nixon
finished fourth in the Canada West in passing average and total offence. He finished first
in pass efficiency (158.3).
Tyler O’Gorman (Edmonton, Alta.) will make his full season debut after a knee injury
kept the running back out of the Huskies lineup for all but three games last season. The
2006 Hardy Cup MVP and 2006 Mitchell Bowl MVP — he scored five touchdowns in the
two games — looks to return to his 2006 form when he averaged more than 100 rushing
yards a game, scoring six touchdowns.
Scott McHenry (Saskatoon, Sask.) will enter his fourth season with the Huskies as the
main receiving target for quarterback Laurence Nixon. Averaging 63.5 yards per game,
McHenry made his mark in the Canada West once again, finishing seventh among
receivers in receptions per game with 4.38 and total receptions with 35.
Hubert Buydens (Saskatoon, Sask.) is fresh off training camp with the B.C. Lions after
being drafted 48th overall in the 2008 CFL Draft. The six-foot-three, 285-pound offensive
lineman is entering his fourth year with the Huskies and will provide needed leadership
on the line.
Running back Jamal Allen (Vancouver, B.C.) joins the Huskies straight from Vancouver
College High School. The 5-11, 215 pound running back was highly sought after by
many CIS schools who watched him tally 1,047 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns
scored in seven games this season. Allen also set a Vancouver College record rushing
for 273 yards, scoring four touchdowns in one game.
Mike Fuller (Saskatoon, Sask.) will make the jump to the CIS after playing two seasons
in junior football with the Saskatoon Hilltops and won the CJFA championship with the
Hilltops in 2007. He was an all-star offensive lineman in the championship season.
Ben Heenan (Regina, Sask.), a 6-4, 295-pound offensive lineman will have the
opportunity to contribute quickly. The Sheldon Williams Collegiate graduate was a
Regina Intercollegiate Football League All-Star in 2006 and 2007.
At six-feet, 180-pounds, slotback Jeff Moore (Saskatoon, Sask.) has similar skills to
former Huskie and Saskatchewan Roughrider Dan Farthing did when he entered the CIS
from high school. Moore joins the Huskies straight from the high school provincial
champion the Aden Bowman Bears.
Voted the team’s MVP and Most Inspirational Player for the 2007 season, losing wide
receiver Leighton Heron (Moose Jaw, Sask.) to graduation was a blow to the Huskies
offence and leadership. In his fifth-year with the team, Heron had a team and Canada
West high 705 receiving yards in seven games.
One of three players from the 2007 Huskie squad playing in the CFL in 2008, offensive
lineman Jordan Rempel (Caronport, Sask.) is making his debut with the Hamilton Tiger-
Cats. Rempel, 6-6, 325-pounds, played three seasons with the Huskies and became one
of five that have represented Canada in the American East West Shrine Bowl.
Kicker/punter Braden Suchan (Humboldt, Sask.) leaves the team after playing four
seasons. Suchan was a CIS Second Team All-Canadian in 2006.
Key returning players:
Jordy Burrows (Edmonton, Alta.) quickly continued as one of the smartest and quickest
defensive backs in the Canada West last season being named the Canada West and
CIS Defensive Player of the Week in the first game of the season. The 6-2, 193-pound
2006 Canada West All-Star finished 2007 with 24 tackles, one sack, two interceptions,
four breakups and one fumble recovery.
In his CIS rookie season, Jonathon Krahenbil (Regina, Sask.) made people stop to
look. The 6-0, 187-pound defensive back had 20 tackles, four interceptions and six
breakups in his rookie campaign. Three interceptions came in a 28-13 win over the
University of Alberta, earning him Canada West Defensive Player of the Week honours.
Linebacker Taylor Wallace (Unity, Sask) has come a long way since starting in six-man
football in high school. The 5-10, 216-pound linebacker finished 2007 with 28 tackles
and two sacks.
With big shoes to fill before he even starts, Bryce McCall (Regina, Sask) will step in at
safety after the loss of Dylan Barker. Someone Towriss has had his eye on for a few
seasons, McCall played last season in the Prairie Junior Football League with the
Regina Thunder. In 2006, he was the PJFL’s rookie-of-the-year with 41 tackles and two
interceptions. He was named an all-star in 2007.
Linebacker Kyle Kuzek (Okanogan, B.C.) will make his debut with the Huskies. Kuzek,
6-2, 250-pounds, joins the team as the 2007 British Columbia Junior Football League
Defensive Player of the Year with the Okanogan Sun.
Keenan McDougall (Saskatoon, SK) picked up key experience at the defensive back
position helping the Aden Bowman Collegiate Bears to a Saskatchewan provincial
championship in 2007. Towriss considered Keenan a top high school prospect.
Safety Dylan Barker (Moose Jaw, Sask.) leaves the team as the best safety to ever play
in a Huskie uniform. The 6-4, 200-pound No. 1 overall 2008 CFL draft pick was slated to
make his debut in the CFL with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats but was stopped by a broken leg
in a preseason tilt. Barker was a Canada West All-Star and CIS First Team All-Canadian
in 2007. He also represented the CIS in the American East West Shrine Bowl. He
finished the season with a team high 53 tackles, three interceptions and four breakups.
Paul Woldu (Regina, Sask) leaves the team after two seasons, playing in the CFL with
the Montreal Allouettes. Woldu, a 6-0, 165-pound defensive back, was selected in
Round 6, 38th overall in the 2008 CFL Draft. Woldu earned Canada West All-Star and
CIS First Team All-Canadian status in 2007 with his 18 tackles, one interception and five