UBC offensive tackle Giovanni Manu and his teammates hoist the spoils of victory after the 86th Hardy Cup game won 28-27 by UBC on Saturday afternoon at Thunderbird Stadium. (Photo by Rich Lam property of UBC Athletics 2023. All Rights Reserved)
Feature University Football

A SUNDAY READ: It’s a Hardy Cup instant classic quiz: What’s 95 yards long and 52 seconds long? For UBC Thunderbirds, it’s the measure of a most historic moment! Comeback win over Alberta keeps Vanier Cup dreams alive!

VANCOUVER — It is already being talked about as one of the greatest single minutes in the history of UBC Thunderbirds football.And if you were one of the 1,966 who gathered Saturday at Thunderbird Stadium for the 86th edition of the Hardy Cup championship game, then you can count yourself among the fortunate few able […]

UBC running back Isaiah Knight gave the Thunderbirds' ground game everything it needed Saturday in Edmonton as the visitors topped host Alberta 23-10 to win its first Canada West regular season title since 1999. (Photo by Don Voaklander property of Alberta Golden Bears athletics. All Rights Reserved)
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UBC Football: First Canada West crown of the century comes in gritty defensive win at Alberta as Leonard, Townsend, Soriano help hold Golden Bears out of the end zone! Bisons next as Hardy Cup playoffs open at home!

Even if they had been trying, the football gods could not have placed the UBC Thunderbirds within the margins of a more character-defining script than the one which the Blue-&-Gold found themselves writing Saturday on the road and on the final day of the Canada West regular season.It was one of those regular-season ending, winner-take-all […]

Dane Kapler was mobbed by his teammates after he went on a 66-yard TD run Friday against Alberta to give UBC a lead it would not relinquish before a sell-out homecoming crowd at T-Bird Stadium. (Photo by Bob Frid property of UBC athletics 2023. All rights reserved)
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Switch to slotback imbues UBC’s power-train running back Dane Kapler with a double-dose of on-field danger! McCaffrey-like moments vindicate coaching staff’s gutsy off-season switch!

VANCOUVER — If you spent any amount of time sniffing around UBC’s fall camp in August, it didn’t take any time at all to realize just how deep and talented the 2023 ‘Birds looked on paper.That, of course, is the net effect of ringing the bell from top to bottom for what looks like four […]

UBC Thunderbirds' quarterback Garrett Rooker faced the Alberta Golden Bears during Canada West football action Friday, Sept. 22 at Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver. (Photo by Bob Frid property of UBC athletics 2023. All rights reserved)
Feature University Football

A Sunday Read: Like Miami Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa before him, UBC quarterback Garrett Rooker puts gruesome hip injury behind him and lifts Thunderbirds to national title relevancy!

VANCOUVER — All similarities are of course unintentional, yet it seemed there were so many times this past Friday night at a sold-out Thunderbird Stadium that the cocked arm of UBC quarterback Garrett Rooker had an overflow crowd of 7,100 in the same state of rapt anticipation normally associated with a maestro’s baton at the […]

The UBC Thunderbirds excelled on both sides of the ball, opening the new Canada West season with a 25-10 win over host Regina on Friday. (Photo by Piper Sports Photography 2023. All Rights Reserved)
Feature University Football

UBC football 2023: As Rooker’s return & Sudden Sam’s arrival spark impressive 25-10 road win over Rams, Thunderbirds’ young linebacking core takes giant step forward in Regina!

On a night when lofty preseason prognostication had put them in a place to answer the most elemental question of all, the UBC Thunderbirds provided a resounding response.So, was the latest edition of Point Grey’s gridiron Blue-and-Gold worthy of their co-No. 1 ranking to begin the Canada West football wars this season, right alongside the […]

UBC offensive lineman Giovanni Manu has proven himself to be a plug-and-play standout at both tackle and now guard this season. (Photo by Bob Frid property of UBC athletics 2021. All Rights Reserved)
Feature University Football

UBC Football Notebook 10.19.22 edition: An O-line overhaul sparks ‘Birds run game ahead of Huskies’ Saturday visit, plus more football Thunder Bolts!

VANCOUVER — A UBC football team able to define its identity through the ground game.As easy as it is to over-complicate the modus operandi, it’s always been that simple when it comes to predicting success or a lack thereof for the 2022 edition of the gridiron Thunderbirds.Today, as we open up the notebook from the […]

Prized UBC quarterback recruit Garrett Rooker eyes the scene downfield during throwing drills at UBC's 2021 fall training camp at Thunderbird Stadium. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of Varsity Letters 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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UBC Football 2021: Postmarked ‘Texas’, Garrett Rooker emerges from ‘Birds deep talent pool to be named starting quarterback ahead of Saturday’s opener at Alberta!

VANCOUVER — Sometimes, stuff happens that makes you want to thank your lucky stars.For UBC Thunderbirds head football coach Blake Nill, one of those days was May 8 of 2020.“Some days are better than others,” wrote Nill that day on his official Twitter account in announcing that quarterback Garrett Rooker, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound quarterback out […]

Seeing the forest through the football trees of the UBC offensive line, freshman running back Dane Kapler celebrates a big-picture focus which has brought him to Vancouver to both carry the pigskin and major in forestry. Oh yeah, he's also keeping an eye on dad Gabe's San Francisco Giants. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of Varsity Letters 2021. All Rights Reserved)
Feature University Football

UBC’s Dane Kapler: How the ‘Birds freshman running back and son of San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler found the vision to blaze a football path to Vancouver!

VANCOUVER — Dane Kapler has always been able to see the forest for the trees.In an allegorical sense, there he was Tuesday, the UBC freshman running back and forestry major taking a hand-off at the team’s fall camp and bursting through a seam from behind the Thunderbirds’ thick-stumped offensive line.And, of course, in a twist […]

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)
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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 Thunderbirds head coach Blake Nill feels so much of the team's 2021 identity will stem from the team's play along its trenches. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2020. All Rights Reserved)
Feature Podcast

VL podast 01.27.21: UBC head football coach Blake Nill on celebrating the tradition of Blue & Gold and the promise of a 2021 fall kick-off!

The UBC football nation, just like all of the other tight-knit, tradition-laden programs across Canada, mourned the loss of 2020 university football season. Thunderbirds’ head coach Blake Nill, however, is excited and hopeful for the prospects of a 2021 campaign… that much is obvious as the three-time Vanier Cup national championship-winning coach joins host Howard […]