Prime rusher Isaiah Knight hopes to assist key a protracted playoff run for UBC Thunderbirds

The UBC Thunderbirds, who’ve their greatest staff because the 2015 squad that received the Vanier Cup, host Manitoba on Saturday to open the post-season, and the bottom recreation led by Isaiah Knight shall be key to their success

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Isaiah Knight’s profession path might finally result in in depth journey. For now, his vacation spot of alternative is the Manitoba Bisons’ finish zone.

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The fourth-place Bisons (3-5) go to the first-place UBC Thunderbirds (6-2) Saturday at Thunderbird Stadium (1 p.m.) in a Canada West Hardy Cup semifinal, and UBC is anticipated to lean closely on Knight, a third-year operating again who’s finding out worldwide relations.

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The 6-foot-2, 213 pound Knight rushed for 787 yards and 5 touchdowns this season for the College of B.C. He was second in speeding yards within the convention, tied for second in TDs. He additionally had 19 catches for 206 yards with one landing.

Saturday’s matchup is UBC’s first dwelling playoff recreation since 2018, they usually completed atop the Canada West regular-season standings for the primary time since 1999. 

That is one of the best T-Birds’ staff because the 2015 squad that received the Vanier Cup. Offensive linemen Theo Benedet and Giovanni Manu, defensive lineman Kyle Samson and linebacker Ryan Baker all had alternatives to go professional, however they every determined as a substitute to return to high school for an additional season, believing this system had an opportunity to be a contender.

“I wouldn’t say that ‘stress,’ can be the appropriate phrase,” Knight defined when requested in regards to the expectations the UBC gamers have for this 12 months. “We all know how onerous all of us work by way of the off-seasons. And we all know how we’ve grown nearer as a staff and higher as a staff. We knew what this season meant, and particularly having these guys come again. These guys made an effort to come back again to assist us do nice issues this 12 months and that’s what we wish to do.

“I wouldn’t say it’s stress. However we all know what now we have to do and we all know what’s at stake.”

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UBC, which is No. 7 on this week’s U Sports activities nationwide rankings and was No. 5 as not too long ago as Sept. 26, are third within the nation in offence (483.9 yards per recreation). Quarterback Garrett Rooker is third in passing yards (283.3 per recreation).

Head coach Blake Nill does say that he at all times tries to construct his groups to be “prepared for the massive video games, the video games in November,” which is shorthand for video games late within the common season and into the playoffs when the climate may make issues messy and troublesome to cross that ball. 

That brings us again to Knight.

“Garrett has completed an awesome job all 12 months, however coach Nill has made it some extent of emphasis that we’re going to wish to lean on our O-line and our operating recreation because the season goes on,” Knight reiterated. “It signifies that positively through the week ensuring that my physique is in the appropriate situation in order that I can play at 100 per cent and in addition stepping into the conferences with the O-line and ensuring that we’re on the identical web page.”

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As for the return this season of Benedet and Manu, who had been in line to be picked within the high two rounds of this 12 months’s CFL Draft earlier than coming again to UBC, Knight mentioned: “I really feel like they’re the 2 greatest linemen within the nation. With them enjoying proper and left sort out, I really feel that rather more comfy operating the ball to both aspect.” 

Knight grew up in Ottawa and believes that listening to about authorities points ceaselessly sparked his curiosity in Worldwide relations. He’s significantly eager proper now on commerce offers.

“I discover that stuff fascinating, and particularly with what we’ve realized about it during the last year-and-a-half,” he mentioned. “And it wouldn’t be unhealthy to return to Ottawa (to work) as nicely.”

UBC beat Manitoba 56-10 at Thunderbird Stadium on Sept. 16 within the groups’ solely assembly this 12 months. Rooker was 13-of-17 for 284 yards, with three touchdowns. Knight ran 12 occasions for 135 yards with two TDs.

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The second-place Alberta Golden Bears (6-2) are internet hosting the third-place Saskatchewan Huskies (5-3) within the different semifinal on Saturday.

The Hardy Cup ultimate is Nov. 11, and the winner hosts the Atlantic College Sport convention champions within the Mitchell Bowl on Nov. 18. The winner of that recreation goes to the Vanier Cup, which is Nov. 25 in Kingston, Ont., and is hosted by Queen’s College. 

UBC clinched first in Canada West final week with a 23-10 highway win over Alberta. They misplaced 34-31 to host Saskatchewan on Sept. 29 and in addition fell 20-6 to the host Calgary Dinos on Oct 14.

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