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Canada West: #10 Alberta Golden Bears (3-0) at #8 UBC Thunderbirds (3-0) Preview, Players to Watch, Prediction, U Sports Football Week 5

A match-up between undefeated teams on Friday night as the Golden Bears travel to take on the UBC Thunderbirds in Vancouver. The Thunderbirds are coming off a resounding 56-10 victory over the Bisons. The Golden Bears upset the Saskatchewan Huskies last week on the road. Players who are coming off strong performances last week as well as predicting the outcome of the game.

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@JonathanClink on Twitter

#10 Alberta Golden Bears (3-0) at #8 UBC Thunderbirds (3-0)

Date/Location: Friday, September 16/ Thunderbird Stadium, Vancouver, BC

Kickoff Time: 6 PM PDT (9 PM ET, 8 PM CST)

Ticket Price: Ticket Price: Adult $15 | Youth (13-18) $5 | Alumni, Staff, and Seniors $10 | Students and kids (0-5) Free

Where to Watch: CanadaWest.TV

#10 Alberta Golden Bears (3-0): Are fresh off an upset win over the reigning conference champions the Saskatchewan Huskies. Alberta beat the Huskies in their own building last week 26-22. Matthew Peterson had a monster game rushing 16 times for 191 yards (11.9 average)

#8 UBC Thunderbirds (3-0): The Thunderbirds defeated the Manitoba Bisons who were without their starting quarterback last week. UBC dominated both sides of the ball winning 56-10. UBC leads the conference in points for with 126 points in 3 games and has only allowed 35 points.

Golden Bears to Watch

QB Eli Hetlinger

Last week Hetlinger completed 23 of his 35 passes for 309 yards and a touchdown with 2 interceptions. He threw a 45-yard pass with pressure coming off both edges last week.

RB Matthew Peterson

Peterson was a beast last week rushing 16 times for 191 yards (11.9 average) with his longest being a 104-yard rush. He also caught 5 passes for 104 yards. He had a 52-yard reception that was mostly YAC breaking a tackle on the way.

WR Carter Kettyle

Kettyle caught 5 passes for 75 yards. He made a man miss on a 29-yard gain and had another catch for 19 yards pulling in a ball down over his head in the 4th quarter.

WR Kolby Hurford

Hurford caught 4 passes for 66 yards. He had a good catch for 45 yards in the first quarter last week.

K/S Jonathan Giustini

Giustini made 4 of his 5 field goals last week and both extra points.  Giustini also had a 1 handed interception and a stop against both the run and the pass.

MLB Reiss Flunder

Flunder had a QB hurry, a run stop a shared run stop, and a sack last week.

DT Kwadwo Boahen

Boahen had 3 QB hurries last week as well as a run stop and 2 shared run stops.

NT Ryley Szafranski

Szafranski hurried the quarterback 3 times last week.

Thunderbirds to Watch

QB Garrett Rooker

Rooker completed 13 of his 17 passes last week for 284 yards and 3 touchdowns before leaving the game when a large lead was established. He made a great throw to Davenport in the face of pressure for 34 yards. He fumbled a snap on one play and quickly recovered throwing a good ball for a 13-yard gain near the left sideline.

RB Isaiah Knight

Knight rushed 12 times for 135 yards and 2 touchdowns last week. He had a 75-yard run in the 2nd quarter.

WR Sam Davenport

Last week Davenport caught 3 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown. He had a 54-yard touchdown pulling the ball down in tight man coverage. He spun a corner off him on another reception to get some YAC on a 34-yard gain.

WR Jason Soriano

Soriano caught 3 passes last week for 99 yards and a touchdown last week.

OL Theo Benedet

Benedet is ranked 3rd on the CFL Scouting Bureau’s 2024 draft prospect ranking. Benedet was a Canada West All-Star last year at tackle.

OL Giovanni Manu

Manu is ranked 8th on the CFL Scouting Bureau’s 2024 draft prospect ranking. Manu was a Conference All-Star last year at guard.

DL Clark Leonard

Last week Leonard had 2 QB hurries and shared 2 run stops.

WLB Jaxon Ciraolo-Brown

Ciraolo-Brown may very well have been the most impactful linebacker in Canada West last week as he had 3 run stops and 2 shared run stops. He also had a QB hurry and a QB hit.

HB Ben Sangmuah

Last week Sangmuah had 2 run stops. He had 4 solo tackles and 2 assisted tackles.

HB Max Kennedy

Last week Max Kennedy had 2 interceptions.

S Ryan Baker

Baker had 2 run stops and a shared run stop.


Last week UBC did a really good job limiting Manitoba’s ground game while Alberta’s ground game dominated in Saskatchewan. Based on how well Alberta’s run game has been as of late I think this is going to be a really close game. However, the way Garrett Rooker is playing lately and the rest of UBC’s passing offense I don’t think it’s going to be enough to upset UBC at home. I predict UBC to win by a score of 30-23.

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Jonathan Clink Reporter
Jonathan Clink joined CFL News Hub in early April of 2023. His primary responsibilities are covering the BC Lions and Montreal Alouettes. He self awarded himself the CFL Rookie Journalist of the Year in 2023 following the 2023 CFL season. He also proclaims himself to be a "really cool guy". He was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and lived a large portion of his childhood in Northwest Ontario. He currently lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan and misses being being able to have 4 months of skating every winter. Clink has written over 240 articles for CFL News Hub. He was the publication's boots on the ground at the 2023 Grey Cup in Hamilton. Clink has always had an obsession for sport and has a background in other sports as well having played hockey all his life and soccer, basketball, and lacrosse in high school. As a young child he used to log his hockey statistics after every game which is either an indication that he was destined for the role or perhaps and indication that he is rather strange.
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