North Carolina's Myles Dorn (1) celebrates a big stop with teammate Patrice Rene (5) during the first quarter of the team's NCAA college football game against Miami in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. Canadian Rene appears set to return to North Carolina's lineup in time for the No. 15 Tarheels' rivalry game against Virginia and a potential all-Canadian showdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Chris Seward

Canadian Patrice Rene appears set to return to North Carolina’s lineup after injury

Canadian Patrice Rene appears set to return to North Carolina’s lineup after injury

Canadian Patrice Rene appears set to return to North Carolina’s lineup in time for the No. 15 Tarheels’ rivalry game against Virginia and a potential all-Canadian showdown.

The redshirt senior defensive back didn’t play in North Carolina’s 41-23 win over then No. 13 North Carolina State last weekend due to an unspecified injury. But head coach Mack Brown said earlier this week he expects both Rene and safety Cam Kelly to play Saturday when North Carolina (4-1) faces Virginia (1-4).

“Their rehab was delayed because of COVID because they couldn’t be at the office and couldn’t work with our training staff,” Brown told reporters his week. “They’re better now, I do think they’ll both play this weekend, really for the first time.

“Usually, it takes about nine months for a knee and with theirs, it took more like a year just because of the lack of being able to work out with our training staff and our strength staff like they wanted to.”

The six-foot-three, 205-pound Rene, of Ottawa, played in two games last year, starting one, before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Rene made his first start for North Carolina in 2017 and started all of the team’s contests in 2018, recording his two career interceptions that season.

The return of Rene and Stewart is certainly timely for North Carolina as sophomore cornerback Storm Duck will miss a fourth straight game with an undisclosed injury.

On Saturday, Rene could find himself having to defend against Virginia senior receiver Terrell Jana, a Vancouver native.

The six-foot, 195-pound Jana is Virginia’s second-leading receiver with 25 catches for 303 yards and a touchdown. Jana, a Cavaliers team captain, had three catches for a team-high 60 yards in last weekend’s 19-14 loss to No. 11 Miami.

Since starting the season with 39-20 win over Duke on Sept. 26, the Cavaliers have dropped four straight. A 41-23 decision to top-ranked Clemson on Oct. 3 started the team’s losing streak as Virginia’s defeats have come against teams with a combined 18-5 overall record.

Both Jana and Rene appeared on the CFL Scouting Bureau’s fall top-20 list for next year’s draft. Terrell was ranked third overall while Rene appeared at No. 8.

—-

ROLLING ALONG: Upstart Coastal Carolina and Canadian linebacker Enock Makonzo look to keep their breakout season going.

The No. 20 Chanticleers (5-0) are in The Associated Press Top-25 rankings for the first time. They’ll chase a sixth straight victory Saturday when they face Georgia State (2-2).

The five-foot-11, 195-pound Makonzo is third on the team in tackles with 29 (20 solo), five tackles for a loss , two sacks, a forced fumble and fumble recovery. The redshirt junior from Lachine, Que., started the team’s first two games in 2019 before suffering a season-ending injury.

—-

DIFFICULT PROPOSITION: A tough bounce-back proposition for No. 18 Penn State and Canadian linebacker Jesse Luketa.

The Nittany Lions were upset 36-35 in overtime by Indiana in the season opener for both teams last weekend. On Saturday, Penn State takes on No. 3 Ohio State, which is coming off a lopsided 52-17 victory over Nebraska.

Luketa, a six-foot-three, 242-pound junior from Ottawa, had three tackles against Indiana. The criminology major made his first career starts for the Nittany Lions last year after seeing action as a true freshman in 2018.

Safety Jonathan Sutherland, a five-foot-11, 202-pound redshirt freshman also from Ottawa, had a solo tackle against Indiana.

Luketa and Sutherland comprise half the Canadian content on Penn State’s roster. Tight end Theo Johnson, of Windsor, Ont., and receiver Malick Meiga, a freshman from St. Jerome, Que., are also with the Nittany Lions.

And in April, quarterback Christian Veilleux, another Ottawa native, committed to Penn State in April.

—-

UNBEATEN COWBOYS: Don’t look now but the sixth-ranked Oklahoma Cowboys are the Big 12’s only unbeaten team.

Albertans Chuba Hubbard and Amen Ogbongbemiga have helped stake the Cowboys to a 4-0 record heading into their game Saturday versus Texas (3-2).

Hubbard, a six-foot-one, 208-pound running back from Sherwood Park, Alta., has run for 478 yards on 94 carries (5.1-yard average) and five TDs this season. The redshirt junior has run for at least 100 yards in 18 of his past 21 games, including his last three straight.

Hubbard rushed for over 2,000 yards last season. Not surprisingly, the Cowboys are the Big 12’s top-rushing team, averaging 216.3 yards per game.

But the defence has also been solid, allowing just 12 points per game, tops in the conference and eighth nationally. Oklahoma State has also held opponents to a combined total of 11-for-57 on third-down conversions (193 conversion rate, third in FBS).

Ogbongbemiga is third on the team in tackles with 25 with 1.5 sacks. The six-foot-one, 235-pound senior from Calgary was named Oklahoma State’s top defensive player last year after registering 100 tackles.

He’s also the second-ranked prospect on the CFL Scouting Bureau’s top-20 list for next year’s draft behind Iowa offensive lineman Alaric Jackson.

—-

NEXT MAN UP: Canadian John Metchie III showed last weekend he’s capable of picking up the slack created by the loss of Jaylen Waddle.

Waddle, regarded as one of the most explosive players in U.S. college football, suffered a broken ankle in No. 2 Alabama’s 48–17 rout of Tennessee last weekend. Metchie, a six-foot, 195-pound sophomore from Brampton, Ont., was the Tide’s leading receiver in the game with seven catches for 151 yards.

The loss of Waddle is a huge blow to Alabama’s championship aspirations. The five-foot-10, 182-pound junior remains the Tide’s leading receiver with 25 catches for 557 yards (22.3-yard average) and four TDs.

But Metchie is third on the team in receiving with 21 receptions for 499 yards and three TDs. His 23.8-yard average per reception is tops with the Tide and he’s averaging a stellar 99.8-yards receiving per game.

As a freshman, Metchie had four catches for 23 yards while appearing in all 13 of Alabama’s games.

Alabama (5-0) faces Mississippi State (1-3) on Saturday.

EXTRA POINTS: This week, Pro Football Focus College listed Alonzo Addae of Pickering, Ont., a senior at West Virginia, second in its highest-graded power five safeties. The five-foot-11, 189-pound Canadian was 10th on the CFL Scouting Bureau’s fall Top-20 prospects for the league’s ‘21 draft. PFF also listed Metchie second among in its highest passer rating when targeted… Montreal’s Bruno Labelle, a tight end with the No. 7 Cincinnati Bearcats (4-0), needs just one reception Saturday against Memphis to establish a career high. The six-foot-four, 248-pound senior has seven catches for 47 yards and a TD this season, matching the career best he first established at the school in 2018. Labelle comes in having registered 17 career catches for 116 yards and two touchdowns. He earned his bachelor’s degree in communication last year and was named to the 2019 AAC All-Academic team. Earlier this year, he was ranked No. 17 on the fall CFL Scouting Bureau of the top-20 prospects for next year’s CFL draft … The 13th-ranked Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans renew their long-standing rivalry Saturday. Luiji Vilain, a six-foot-four, 253-pound senior defensive end from Ottawa, will suit up for Michigan. Vilain was ranked No. 15 on the CFL Scouting Bureau’s top-20 fall list for next year’s college draft.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 30, 2020

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press

Football

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Marcus Golczyk, with Taco Monster, hands food to a customer during Food Truck Drive and Dash in the Westerner Park parking lot in Red Deer Friday afternoon. The drive-thru event will run every Thursday from 4-7 p.m. and Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through June. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff
Food Truck Fridays, Food Truck Drive and Dash return in Red Deer

Red Deerians are able to take in a drive-thru food truck experience… Continue reading

Don and Gloria Moore, of Red Deer, are set to celebrate their 70th anniversary later this month. (Contributed photo)
Red Deer couple to celebrate 70th anniversary

Red Deer couple Don and Gloria Moore are set to celebrate their… Continue reading

Chris Scott, owner of The Whistle Stop Cafe, was put in handcuffs after an anti-restriction protest Saturday in the parking lot of the business. (Screenshot via The Whistle Stop Facebook page)
UPDATE: Central Alberta cafe owner arrested after anti-restriction protest

The owner of a central Alberta cafe, which was the site of… Continue reading

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer now has 911 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone has 2,917 active cases

FILE - A firefighter wears a mask as he drives his truck. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward, File
VIDEO: Flames rip through Edmonton-area seniors complex, but no fatalities

ST. ALBERT, Alta. — Fire has destroyed part of a retirement complex… Continue reading

Quebec Premier Francois Legault chairs a premiers virtual news conference as premiers John Horgan, B.C., Jason Kenney, Alberta, and Scott Moe, Saskatchewan, are seen onscreen, Thursday, March 4, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Several provinces bring in new restrictions as high COVID-19 case numbers persist

Several provinces are gearing up to tighten public health measures once again… Continue reading

Members of the RCAF take part in a Royal Canadian Air Force change of command ceremony in Ottawa on Friday, May 4, 2018. The Royal Canadian Air Force is hoping Canada will open its doors to military pilots from other countries as it seeks to address a longstanding shortage of experienced aviators. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
RCAF turns to foreign pilots to help with shortage as commercial aviators stay away

OTTAWA — The Royal Canadian Air Force is hoping Canada will open… Continue reading

An arrivals and departures information screen is seen at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport in Halifax on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The chief executive of Atlantic Canada's largest airport is hoping for COVID-19 testing for arriving passengers "sooner rather than later," as an added measure to combat the province's third wave of the virus. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Halifax airport CEO hopes for more on-site COVID testing ‘sooner rather than later’

HALIFAX — The chief executive of Atlantic Canada’s largest airport is hoping… Continue reading

Shoppers wear mask as they shop at a nursery & garden shop on Mother's Day weekend during COVID-19 pandemic in Wilmette, Ill., Saturday, May 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Tearful reunions mark second Mother’s Day under pandemic

Last Mother’s Day, they celebrated with bacon and eggs over FaceTime. This… Continue reading

Arizona Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet, standing, watches the game during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, April 14, 2021, in St. Paul, Minn. The Wild won 5-2. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)
Tocchet won’t return as coach of Coyotes after 4 seasons

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona Coyotes and coach Rick Tocchet have mutually… Continue reading

Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella shouts at an official after a fight between Columbus Blue Jackets' s Gavin Bayreuther and Florida Panthers' Sam Bennett during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, April 19, 2021, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Tortorella out after 6 years as Columbus Blue Jackets coach

COLUMBUS, Ohio — John Tortorella is out as coach of the Columbus… Continue reading

A caribou grazes on Baffin Island in a 2008 file photo. A last-ditch attempt to save some of Canada's vanishing caribou herds is a step closer after a scientific review panel's approval of a plan to permanently pen some animals and breed them to repopulate other herds. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kike Calvo via AP Images
Parks Canada captive caribou breeding proposal gets OK from scientific review panel

JASPER, Alta. — A last-ditch attempt to save some of Canada’s vanishing… Continue reading

The smouldering remains of houses in Slave Lake, Alta., are seen in a May 16, 2011, file photo. The wildfire that is devastating large swaths of the northern Alberta city of Fort McMurray comes just five years after another blaze destroyed 400 buildings and left 2,000 people homeless in Slave Lake, Alberta. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ian Jackson
Ten years later: Five things to know about the Slave Lake wildfire

A wildfire burned about one-third of Slave Lake in northern Alberta in… Continue reading

Most Read