The season turned quickly on the University of Saskatchewan Huskies football team.
A 4-1 start disintegrated with back-to-back Canada West losses, and now they’re off to Regina for their season finale (1 p.m., Mosaic Stadium), trying to keep their record above .500.
Here’s some things to know as the Huskies and Rams prepare for a Saturday clash.
Saskatchewan’s losses over the past two weeks — 23-20 to the Alberta Golden Bears and 13-12 to the Calgary Dinos — had an impact on the standings, but not on their playoff plans. Alberta (6-1), British Columbia (5-2) and Saskatchewan (4-3) have clinched post-season berths.
Of particular interest this weekend is the clash in Calgary between 3-4 Manitoba and the 2-5 Dinos. Both teams can still move into the No. 4 playoff spot. Manitoba beat Calgary 34-21 earlier this season, so the Dinos would need to win by 14 to advance.
The Rams are the only team without a playoff shot — they’re 1-6.
The Huskies still have a chance to place second and gain a home playoff game, if they beat Regina Saturday and UBC loses to Alberta. Saskatchewan holds the tie-breaker over UBC, thanks to a 34-31 victory earlier in the season.
Also of note, Alberta is guaranteed its first home playoff game since 2005.
AN UP AND DOWN SEASON
The Huskies — who are seeking their third consecutive Canada West title — won four of their first five games this season, before dropping close ones back to back. Two of their losses have come to front-running Alberta.
In the close-shave category, four of their last five games have been decided by four points or less.
They’ve managed just 32 points in their last two contests, including 12 during Saturday’s upset loss to Calgary. That setback included three missed field goals from David Solie, the last from 47 yards out with 20 seconds left in the game. Their only touchdown was a Branson Pipko punt return.
“The first half, the defence was so good,” Huskies’ head coach Scott Flory told reporters after the game. “We were going downhill with field position and everything. And then we just stalled and missed kicks. That is not good enough on offence. No way is that even remotely close to the standards we have in this program.”
PLAYING THE RAMS
The Huskies and Rams met once earlier this season, with Saskatchewan claiming a 40-6 victory at home in Week 2. Huskies quarterback Anton Amundrud threw for 391 yards that game, and receiver Rhett Vavra scored three touchdowns.
It’s been a tough season for the Rams, whose only win was a 23-15 win over Calgary on Sept. 16.
HUSKIES ON THE CHARTS
Saskatchewan lineback Nick Wiebe leads Canada West with 53 tackles through seven games, 11 ahead of runner-up Chase Tataryn of Alberta. The conference sacks race is led by a pair of Huskies — Nathan Jule (four) and Reece McCormick (3.5).
Saskatchewan’s Daniel Perry is second in conference receiving yards with 511, nine behind Calgary’s Gob Deng.
This weekend’s results will determine whether the Huskies host a playoff game next Saturday — they need a top-two placing to earn it — or head on the road. We do know that there will be a playoff game, somewhere.