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

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

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.