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Canada West: Manitoba Bisons (0-1) at Alberta Golden Bears (1-0) Preview, Players to Watch, Prediction, U Sports Football

Two high-octane offenses are slated to clash Friday night as the Manitoba Bisons travel to Edmonton for the Edmonton Golden Bears’ home opener. The Golden Bears are fresh off a 33-9 victory over Calgary while Manitoba is searching for their first win after a lead slipped away last week against Saskatchewan.

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Manitoba Bisons (0-1) @ Alberta Golden Bears (1-0) 7 PM MDT

Date/Location: Friday, September 8/ Foote Field, Edmonton, AB

Kickoff Time: 7 MDT C (9 PM ET, 6 PM PT)

Ticket Price: General Admission: Youth (6 to 17 years) $13, Senior $17, Adult $20, Kids (0-5) free

U of A Student Tickets available via the Student Account Manager

Alberta Season Tickets: Standard $67, Youth $46

Where to Watch: CanadaWest.TV

Manitoba Bisons (0-1): The Manitoba Bisons are coming off of a game in which they showed they can compete with anyone losing to the 2022 Hardy Trophy winners in the Saskatchewan Huskies. Manitoba’s offense looked pretty good as it entered the era of Jackson Tachinski at quarterback generating 426 yards of offense. The defense generated 3 turnovers off of interceptions.

Alberta Golden Bears (1-0): Alberta is coming off of a huge win over the Calgary Dinos in which they won by a score of 33-9. Alberta generated 528 yards of offense while limiting Calgary to 179 yards. Eli Hetlinger dominated the stats sheet at quarterback and was named the U Sports offensive player of the week.

Bisons to Watch

QB Jackson Tachinski

Tachinski completed 13 of his 24 passes for 208 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also rushed 10 times for 89 yards. Tachinski did have a couple of plays in which he made a turnover-worthy throw but was fortunate to not have an interception. Regardless he showed a lot to like making plays both with his arms and his legs.  He threw a really nice ball down the middle for 40 yards to Brendt Adams in the face of pressure. Tashinski had multiple runs greater than 10 yards and his longest was 20 yards. He was elusive in the pocket such as on a 4-yard run in which he ducked under a would-be tackler in the backfield before escaping.

RB Vaughan Lloyd

Lloyd rushed 7 times for 52 yards. His longest run was a 25-yarder down the middle hitting the hole with speed.

WR AK Gassama

Gassama had 3 receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown and rushed 2 times for 45 yards. He had a 45-yard run on a sweep breaking 2 tackles on the way and got open down the right side of the field for a 52-yard touchdown.

WR Brendt Adams

Adams led the team in receiving yards and receptions making 4 catches for 75 yards. He reacted quickly on a pass that bounced off a defender’s hands on a 2nd and 7 to make an agile catch for a first down and his longest play was for 40 yards.

DT Collin Kornelson

In my opinion, Kornelson was the most impactful defender in week 1 in all of Canada West. He had 6 quality pressures and on 3 of those pressures, the opposing quarterback threw an interception. He also had 3 solo run stops including on a 3rd and 1 in the third quarter as well as a shared run stop.

DE Tristan Francis

Francis generated 3 QB pressures and knocked down a pass in week 1. He also shared 2 solo run stops and 2 shared run stops.

DE Jack Shaffer

Shaffer had 3 quality pressures, one of which was an interception, and also shared 2 run stops.

HB Nick Conway

Conway had a pass breakup in the first quarter, an interception in the 2nd with a good return, and a run stop in the 3rd quarter. He also made a couple of good tackles against run plays.

CB Sebastien Reid

Reid was a ballhawk in week 1 making 2 interceptions. He did get burned on a 49-yard touchdown in the 4th quarter but showed a lot of promise.

Golden Bears to Watch

QB Eli Hetlinger

Hetlinger completed 21 of his 31 passes for 380 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also rushed 3 times for 16 yards. Hetlinger’s 2 touchdowns were both on 70-yard screen plays to Kettyle wih. Hetlinger made some good throws such as a 19-yard pass down the middle to Chevy Thomas or a 14-yarder to Jonathan Rosery. He did make a turnover-worthy play that resulted in an incompletion throwing into coverage but overall had a very good game.

RB Matthew Peterson

Peterson rushed 15 times for 99 yards and a touchdown. He kept chugging on a 3rd and 2 for a first down. He had a great hole he used to start off a 10-yard play forcing a missed tackle on the way and the next play made a good cut to the right for a 15-yard touchdown.

WR Carter Kettyle

Kettyle had 2 catches for 141 yards and 2 touchdowns. They were both over 70 yards and over 60 yards of YAC on each play catching a short pass and taking it to the house with some help from his teammates with good downfield blocking.

WR Jonathan Rosery

Rosery made 5 catches for 55 yards. He got open over the middle and turned up the left sideline for a 26-yard gain. Rosary caught a short pass early in the 4th and generated more YAC on a 20-yard play.

S Jonathan Giustini

Giustini contributed a rumble recovery, a run stop, and a good tackle against the pass. In the 4th quarter, he added an interception.

DT Kwadwo Boahen

Boahen had a sack, a knockdown, a pressure and helped with 2 run stops. He also added a quarterback pressure.

HB Charlie De Land

De Land provided good coverage on a deep pass on an incompletion as well as an interception. He also made a good tackle against the pass and shared a run stop.

HB Ryshon Blackburn

Blackburn had 2 good tackles against short pass plays and contributed a pass breakup in the third quarter.


Both teams displayed a lot to like in their week 1 matchups. Manitoba was highly impressive to take such a big lead over last year’s conference champions although they did ultimately lose the game. It is hard to gauge how good Alberta’s opponent is in Calgary this early in the season with them having a lot of new players but we know Manitoba’s week 1 was stocked with returning players who went to the Vanier.

I am going to predict Manitoba to win this week by a score of 27-22. The Bisons’ pass rush was very strong in week 1 and some of the deeper plays they allowed against Saskatchewan are correctible. Alberta saw strong play from offensive players such as Eli Hetlinger, Matthew Peterson, and Carter Kettyle last week. I think this is going to be a close and exciting game.

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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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