Craig Dickenson rooting for Saskatchewan Huskies to beat Manitoba Bisons in Hardy Cup

Saskatchewan Roughriders’ head coach Craig Dickenson wants to see the University of Saskatchewan Huskies win this week’s Hardy Cup against the University of Manitoba Bisons.

“They’ve got a good bunch of guys, a good coaching staff. I know their strength and conditioning coach, Joe Lipinski, pretty well. I know they’ve been working really hard to try to get it back in Saskatoon. I hope they get a lot of folks at the game and I hope they play well this weekend and move on to the Vanier,” said Dickenson via videoconference.

Coming off a year in which the province of Saskatchewan was robbed of CFL, U Sports, CJFL, and high school football due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dickenson is pleased that the Canada West title game is being played within the province’s borders.

“I think it’s a real cause for celebration and I know those guys up there in Saskatoon. (Huskies’ head coach) Scott Flory’s done a nice job and they care about football. It’s a very good program with a lot of tradition and a lot of history and they have a lot of pride. For them to be able to host the Hardy Cup, I think it’s fantastic. I want to wish them all the best. I hope they win it,” said Dickenson.

The Huskies finished atop the Canada West standings for the first time since 2010 with a 5-1 record this season. They defeated the UBC Thunderbirds 39-17 in the semi-final round last weekend and are heavily favoured to advance to play the Université de Montréal Carabins in the Uteck Bowl for a trip to the Vanier Cup.

The University of Saskatchewan hasn’t hosted the Hardy Trophy since 2009 when they lost a heartbreaker to the University of Calgary Dinos by a score of 39-38. They have played in one Hardy Trophy since, defeating the Dinos 43-18 in 2018 before dropping the Mitchell Bowl to the Western University Mustangs.

U Sports broadcaster and 3DownNation contributor Justin Dunk revealed on the latest episode of the 3DownNation Podcast that he believes the Huskies will win the Vanier Cup this year, ending a 23-year national championship drought.

There are a number of former Huskies on the Riders’ roster, including offensive linemen Evan Johnson and Mattland Riley, defensive back Nelson Lokombo, and defensive lineman Nick Dheilly. Other notable U of S alumni around the CFL include Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ offensive lineman Patrick Neufeld and Edmonton Elks’ long-snapper Chad Rempel.

The Hardy Trophy is scheduled for Saturday at 2:00 p.m. ET from Griffiths Stadium in Saskatoon. The game is available on some local television networks and can be streamed here for a small fee.

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