What to know for a weekend of Canadian playoff football


This is an excerpt from The Buzzer, which is CBC Sports’ every day electronic mail publication. Stay up to pace on what’s occurring in sports activities by subscribing right here.

The CFL post-season kicks off this weekend, whereas the Canadian college playoffs proceed. Here’s what to know concerning the street to the Grey and Vanier Cups:


Six groups stay in competition for the 109th Grey Cup sport on Nov. 20 in Regina. Winnipeg is favoured to win its third consecutive championship after going a CFL-best 15-3 to earn the highest seed within the West Division and a first-round bye.

The Blue Bombers will host the West closing subsequent week towards the winner of the semifinal between the B.C. Lions and Calgary Stampeders (each 12-6) on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET in Vancouver. The large x-factor on this matchup — and possibly the whole playoffs — is Lions quarterback Nathan Rourke. The 24-year-old Canadian was having fun with a sensational first season as a professional starter, main the CFL in each main passing class and pushing B.C. to an 8-1 document, earlier than struggling a critical foot damage in August. The Lions went 4-4 with out Rourke earlier than he returned for a one-quarter cameo in final week’s loss at Winnipeg. He’s anticipated to begin Sunday’s playoff sport.

Depending on whether or not Rourke can recapture his Most Outstanding Player-calibre kind, the Lions might be both Grey Cup contenders or headed for a fast exit. Hoping to facilitate the latter final result is a Calgary staff that changed its all-time main passer, two-time Grey Cup MVP Bo Levi Mitchell, with second-year man Jake Maier across the time Rourke was injured. The Stamps additionally lean on CFL dashing champ Ka’Deem Carey and a defence that led the league in sacks.

In the East, Toronto (11-7) is having fun with a bye earlier than internet hosting the winner of the semifinal between Montreal (9-9) and Hamilton (8-10) on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. The Alouettes rebounded from a brutal 2-6 begin, throughout which quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. was benched in favour of Trevor Harris and head coach Khari Jones was changed by Danny Maciocia, to shut the common season on a 7-3 run and earn a residence playoff sport of their weak division. The star of Montreal’s offence is receiver Eugene Lewis, who piled up 1,303 receiving yards (third within the league) and caught 10 touchdowns (tied for third) to earn the East’s nomination for Most Outstanding Player.

Hamilton made a powerful turnaround too. After a Labour Day loss to Toronto dropped them to 3-9, the return of quarterback Dane Evans from a shoulder damage sparked the Tiger-Cats to 5 wins of their closing six video games to declare the final playoff spot within the East. Hamilton goes for its third consecutive Grey Cup look, however the CFL’s longest championship drought has reached 23 years after the Ticats misplaced the final two title video games to Winnipeg.

U Sports

The Canadian college playoffs opened final weekend with Ottawa clipping Windsor and Laurier, and Queen’s dominating Carleton and Toronto, respectively, within the Ontario quarter-finals.

Conference semifinals are on faucet Saturday throughout the nation. In Ontario, Laurier will strive to knock off undefeated powerhouse Western whereas Queen’s takes on Ottawa. In Quebec, first-place Laval faces overmatched-looking Concordia whereas Montreal is favoured to beat Sherbrooke. In the West, it is first-place Saskatchewan (a Vanier Cup finalist final yr) vs. Manitoba and second-place Regina vs. UBC. In the Atlantic, unbeaten St. FX awaits the winner of Mount Allison vs. Bishop’s.

Right now, every little thing is pointing to Western repeating as nationwide champions. The No. 1-ranked Mustangs outscored their eight opponents this season by a median of greater than 30 factors, and the Vanier Cup sport can be performed at their stadium for the primary time on Nov. 26.


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