UBC's second-year defensive back Jaxon Ciraolo-Brown is living up to his potential as a future star. The Hamilton native came up with three interceptions Saturday against the Calgary Dinos. (Photo by David Moll property of Calgary Dinos athletics 2019. All Rights Reserved)
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Thunderbird Stadium was a ‘Land of Opportunity’ for youthful UBC football in 2019, Saturday loss in Calgary turns page on next chapter

In his 20-plus seasons as a U Sports head football coach, Blake Nill has made a habit of his coaching his teams into national-title contention.When exactly the opposite happens to the degree with which it did this season, it’s no wonder that the UBC Thunderbirds’ veteran football boss was having a tough time coming to […]

Is he set to become the new face of UBC football in 2020? 'Birds quarterback Gabe Olivares engineered his team's 38-37 win over No. 3 Saskatchewan on Saturday at T-Bird Stadium. (Photo by Darryl Dyck property of UBC athletics 2019. All Rights Reserved)
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A SUNDAY READ: Why UBC football’s upset stunner over No. 3 Saskatchewan has ‘Birds coach Nill convinced it’s deja vu, all over again

VANCOUVER — Blake Nill didn’t hesitate for a second. When placekicker Garrin McDonnell booted his fifth field goal of the day, an 11-yarder with just 31 seconds to play to lift the underdog UBC to a most improbable 38-37 win over a Saskatchewan Huskies’ team ranked No. 3 in the nation, the grizzled Thunderbirds’ head coach […]

UBC quarterback Gabe Olivares passed for 300-plus yards in leading the Thunderbirds to the first win of their 2019 Canada West season Friday in Regina. (Photo by Trevor LaFramboise property of Regina athletics 2019. All rights reserved)
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UBC football impresses with season’s first victory, yet despite win in Regina, Thunderbirds eliminated from Canada West playoffs

Its Canada West football playoff hopes may have evaporated with just two more conference games remaining, yet the UBC Thunderbirds discovered they still had enough heroic karma left in the tank of a frustrating season to pick up their first victory of 2019.“We tried our best to give it to them,” ‘Birds head coach Blake Nill […]

UBC quarterback Gabe Olivares and the rest of the Thunderbirds endured a tough fourth quarter Saturday in a loss to the visiting Alberta Golden Bears. (Photo by Bob Frid property of UBC athletics 2019. All rights reserved)
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UBC football: After late collapse to Alberta, what’s most key for 0-5 ‘Birds over final three games? Forging a team identity for 2020

VANCOUVER — Over the window of their academic careers on the Point Grey campus, forestry students at UBC can put in the long hours required towards earning a Masters degree in the sustainable management of one of our province’s great natural resources.Over at Thunderbird Stadium, however, a whole other group of UBC students are attempting […]

UBC running back Sharique Khan gets a test of his equilibrium courtesy of the Calgary defence on Saturday at Thunderbird Stadium. (Photo by Chuck Russell property of UBC athletics 2019. All Rights Reserved)
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Football gods frown on UBC: Dinos drub winless ‘Birds as 2019 Homecoming game goes awry in second half

VANCOUVER — In the Canada West football world, there is only one magic pill… one way to turn a down-trodden season around in one afternoon.Beat the Calgary Dinos.For most of the first half Saturday, the UBC Thunderbirds (0-3) looked like they had Houdini on their side.A blocked punt and ensuing touchdown by the UBC special […]

UBC's second-year receiver Jacob Patten has been one of the bright spots over an 0-2 start to the Thunderbirds' 2019 Canada West season. (Photo by Richard Lam property of UBC athletics 2019. All Rights Reserved)
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Patten pending: ‘The Catch’ might be his trademark, but there’s so much more to UBC wide receiver Jacob Patten

VANCOUVER — Precious little has gone right for the struggling and winless UBC Thunderbirds over the first two games of the Canada West season.Yet in a figurative sense, as UBC (0-2) gets set to welcome its undefeated, conference-leading nemesis, the Calgary Dinos (2-0), for Saturday’s crucial Homecoming Game (3 p.m., Canada West TV) at Thunderbird […]

UBC head coach Blake Nill takes his team into a pivotal week of practice as the 'Birds attempt to rebound from an 0-2 start to the Canada West season. (File photo by Bob Frid property of UBC athletics)
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Saskatchewan 40 UBC 7: Thunderbirds’ first 0-2 start in the Blake Nill-era leaves plenty of questions with Dinos up next

Sometimes clichés are unavoidable, and in the case of the UBC Thunderbirds football team, there is no better way to paint their predicament than to say they are caught between a rock and a hard place.Friday’s 40-7 drubbing in Saskatoon at the hands of the defending Hardy Cup champion Saskatchewan Huskies not only leaves the […]

UBC rookie quarterback Tommy Yanchuk scrambles from the pressure on Saturday at Thunderbird Stadium. (Photo by Richard Lam property of UBC athletics 2019. All Rights Reserved)
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Nightmare at Thunderbird Stadium: Regina’s Magic Man QB Donnelly holds UBC under his spell in Rams’ 46-16 win

VANCOUVER — Two young teams came into Saturday’s Canada West opener at Thunderbird Stadium looking to discover new identities, but only one was able to leave with the answer and it likely enjoyed a raucous flight back to the prairies.The Regina Rams looked like anything but the team picked to finish last in the preseason […]

Tommy Yanchuk, the former Edmonton Huskies pivot, has been named UBC's starting quarterback ahead of the Thunderbirds' season-opening conference clash Saturday night at home against the Regina Rams. (Photo by Gord Mellor property of Gord Mellor Photography 2019. All Rights Reserved)
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UBC names its new starting quarterback: Big-armed Tommy Yanchuk gets the nod as ‘Birds open season Saturday at home to Regina

VANCOUVER — The UBC Thunderbirds have settled their training camp battle at quarterback.Tommy Yanchuk, a 20-year-old who last season played with the Canadian Junior Football League’s Edmonton Huskies, will command the offence Saturday (7 p.m., Canada West TV) when the ‘Birds open the post-Michael O’Connor era by hosting the Regina Rams at Thunderbird Stadium in […]

Gabe Olivares is back with the UBC Thunderbirds after taking a season away. The former G.W. Graham Grizzlies star is part of a five-man battle to win the team's starting quarterback job this fall. (Photo by Richard Lam property of UBC athletics 2019. All Rights Reserved)
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Who is UBC’s next starting quarterback? Five pivots form preliminary pecking order as the Michael O’Connor era comes to an end

LANGLEY — UBC football fans knew the Michael O’Connor era was officially over early last month when the Toronto Argonauts made him the second-highest selected Canadian quarterback in draft history.