Back on Oct. 1 at Thunderbird Stadium, running back Adam Machart and the Saskatchewan Huskies topped the UBC Thunderbirds by a decisive 43-15 score. On Saturday, linebacker Ryan Baker (14) and the rest of the UBC defence travel to Saskatoon for another chance at the Huskies in the Hardy Cup semifinals. (Photo by Richard Lam property of UBC athletics 2021. All Rights Reserved)
Feature University Football

UBC and the Hardy Cup playoffs: Despite its role as big road underdogs vs. No. 4 Saskatchewan Huskies, opportunity knocks Saturday for these young, untethered Thunderbirds!

VANCOUVER — With the ink still just five days dry on a what has been for them a revelatory regular season, the UBC Thunderbirds are being talked about in Canada West football circles as a team of tomorrow.Yet for a 3-3 team which was a fourth-quarter away from opening its six-game conference slate at 0-3, […]

UBC rookie quarterback Garrett Rooker knows his team has to get off to quicker starts on offence as the Thunderbirds' Canada West season is set to hit its midway mark in its next game, Oct. 16 on the road against the Regina Rams (Photo by Richard Lam property of UBC athletics 2021. All Rights Reserved)
Feature University Football

After red-zone & special teams struggles add up to home-opening loss to Huskies, UBC coach Nill resolute: “I am not ready to give up on the season, it’s a baptism by fire!”

VANCOUVER — On Friday, the calendar turned to October as the UBC Thunderbirds kicked off one of their latest home-openers on record.Yet in the aftermath of a 43-15 loss to the visiting, No. 9-ranked Saskatchewan Huskies before a sell-out crowd of 2,500 at the stadium, just the team’s second game of a shortened six-game Canada […]

UBC's Texas Tornado, freshman quarterback Garrett Rooker, gets his first home start under true Friday Night Lights conditions when the Blue and Gold pay host to the Saskatchewan Huskies. (Photo by Don Voklander property of U of Alberta athletics 2021. All Rights Reserved)
Feature University Football

Ahead of Friday’s UBC home opener, Saskatchewan head coach Scott Flory tips his cap to a gutsy debut by ‘Birds rookie QB Garrett Rooker!

VANCOUVER — Last Saturday, there was a moment when UBC rookie Garrett Rooker showed us all both the kind of quarterback he already is and the kind of leader he is surely set to become.Rooker, in what may well be one of the best-ever statistical debuts by a ‘Birds freshman quarterback, went 32-of-45 for 372 […]

UBC Thunderbirds head coach Blake Nill knows that the Saskatchewan Huskies will bring an old-school mentality to the 'Birds home opener on Friday. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2021. All Rights Reserved)
Feature University Football

UBC football home-opener 2021: Young ‘Birds to get physical test from Sask. Huskies, says coach Nill: “They’re a tough, old-school program that plays the game like it’s the 50s, 60s and 70’s”

VANCOUVER — The more you play the Saskatchewan Huskies, the more things stay the same.That tweak on a classic cliche was so apropos this week, because when Varsity Letters chatted mid-week with UBC Thunderbirds’ veteran head coach Blake Nill, you could almost feel the need to check your figurative chin strap.Looking ahead to the ‘Birds […]

Saskatchewan Huskies' Nelson Lokombo (left), the former W.J. Mouat Hawk, and U SPORTS' 2019 Defensive Player of the Year, is being touted among the top players in the upcoming CFL draft. (Photo property of Saskatchewan Huskies athletics 2021. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Football University Football

W.J. Mouat’s Nelson Lokombo: Why a position switch “switched” his perspective and elevated Saskatchewan Huskies’ star DB in eyes of CFL scouts!

He’d enjoyed a Canadian Football Hall of Fame career along the offensive line of the Montreal Alouettes, and now, a few years after returning to his alma mater to begin a new one along the sidelines, he was being elevated to the role of head coach of the Saskatchewan Huskies.Yet as Scott Flory is the […]

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)
Feature University Football

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's All-Canadian safety Stavros Katsantonis played his usual hard-hitting game, here tackling Saskatchewan's Tyler Chow. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca)
Feature University Football

Football ‘Birds unravel late in Hardy Cup semi final loss, coach Nill knows UBC “…is going to be a totally different team next year”

VANCOUVER — When it comes to advancing to the Canada West’s Hardy Cup conference championship, it’s almost felt like the UBC Thunderbirds have been protected by some sort of invisible force field since head coach Blake Nill rolled into town back in 2015.And with just over a minute left in the conference semifinal Saturday, with […]

UBC's second-year forward Madison Legault and the rest of the improving Thunderbirds open the 2018-19 Canada West regular season Friday at home to the Saskatchewan Huskies. (Photo by Richard Lam property of UBC athletics)
Feature University Women's Basketball

UBC women’s basketball: On eve of 2018-19 season-opener, ‘Birds head coach Huband see a talented core set for “a coming of age”

VANCOUVER — The best way to describe just how close last season’s youthful UBC Thunderbirds’ women’s basketball team came to achieving a breakthrough campaign would be to imagine longtime head coach Deb Huband holding up a hand with her thumb and index finger about an inch apart.

As part of a night in which he pieced together 267 all-purpose yards, UBC's Trivel Pinto vaults over Saskatchewan kicker Sean Stenger. (Photo by Richard Lam property of UBC athletics)
Feature University Football

UBC football’s amazing rise: Win over Huskies sees ‘Birds vault from last place to second place in just one game

VANCOUVER — Excuse the UBC Thunderbirds for feeling a little on the light-headed side as they get out of bed Saturday morning and ponder their place in the Canada West football world.

UFV Cascades' Gurmaan Jhaj attempts to split through the UBC defence during Canada West action earlier this season. With Jhaj igniting the offence, UFV is the only team in Canada West to take point from the Thunderbirds this season. (Photo by Dan Kinvig property of UFV Cascades' athletics)
Feature University Men's Soccer

UFV’s Gurmaan Jhaj: Whether in sport, the classroom or in business, Cascades’ striker is all about his goals

ABBOTSFORD — Gurmaan Jhaj may have just turned 22, but he’s already an expert in sharpening the saw and building success brick by brick.