The visiting Calgary Dinos (9-1) and top-ranked Marauders (10-0) will meet for the first time in history to decide the Mitchell Bowl and a trip to the Vanier Cup.
You can see the game on TSN and TSN Mobile TV beginning at 4pm et/1pm pt.
Both squads repeated as conference champions in record-setting fashion last weekend. Calgary became the first team to claim five consecutive Canada West banners thanks to 38-14 Hardy Cup win over Regina, while McMaster's 30-13 defeat of Guelph in the Yates Cup championship game marked the 20th win in a row overall for the reigning Vanier Cup champion Marauders dating back to last year, a new CIS standard.
Fireworks are expected at Ron Joyce Stadium as the contest will feature the top two offences in the country. The Dinos ranked first in points (47.5), total yards (592.1) and passing yards (374.6) per outing during the regular season, while the Marauders finished second in all three categories averaging 45.6 points, 582.5 yards and 370.0 passing yards.
"When you get two programs like this, it is a showcase of CIS football to the fullest," said Calgary head coach Blake Nill, who has the luxury of an offensive line that includes three CFL draft picks in Kirby Fabien, Carson Rockhill and Reed Alexander. "I've told my team we will have to play our best game on Saturday. We're looking forward to it and we will be ready to play."
"We're used to playing in the cold, so weather won't be an issue," said third-year quarterback and Hec Crighton Trophy nominee Eric Dzwilewski, who led the nation this fall with a Canada West record completion percentage of 70.6. "I'm pretty excited to be in this game and we'll be ready."
Added linebacker Mike Edem, the Canada West defensive player of the year: "Coach has had us watching a lot of film. We've been watching most of the McMaster games to see if we can pick up tendencies. Coach will have us prepared."
The Marauders, who claimed their first Vanier Cup a year ago thanks to a memorable 41-38 overtime win against Laval in Vancouver, were represented at the media conference by head coach Stefan Ptaszek, quarterback Kyle Quinlan and linebacker Aram Eisho.
"I told my kids that once we got through Yates Cup, we are going to the Show," said Ptaszek, who hopes to lead McMaster to its first-ever Bowl win at home following losses in 2000, 2002 and 2003. "These young men have had a productive year, and getting out of Ontario is no small feat. Calgary is one of the strongest rosters I've seen in my years involved in CIS football, but we're excited for the opportunity and we'll be ready."
"We had so many of our fans travel last year and they flew all over the country to support us. To play this game in our backyard, we're pretty excited for our fans," said Quinlan, a fifth-year pivot who is also in the running for the Hec Crighton Trophy and had a playoff run for the ages in 2011 when he was named MVP of the Yates Cup, Uteck Bowl and Vanier Cup.
Eisho, the OUA defensive MVP, offered his take on trying to slow down the powerful Calgary offence.
"No doubt about it, they play well on offence. They run the ball well, they throw the ball well, but to be the best you have to beat the best. Coach Knox (McMaster defensive coordinator) is an evil genius and we'll be ready on Saturday."