LIVE STREAM & PREVIEW: Sweden – The Uppsala 86ers Take On the Limhamn Griffins

The Uppsala 86ers are preparing to face the visiting Limhamn Griffins this weekend in a game which could secure a playoff spot for the third place 86ers. Uppsala head coach Mike Mitchell is not taking the seventh place Griffins lightly though.

“The Griffins played their best game of the season when they beat the Stockholm Mean Machines last weekend. They looked good in all phases of the game – offense, defense and special teams – so this will be no easy match for my players.”

Last season the teams met in Malmö and Uppsala came away with a 35-13 victory. This year, the 2-6 Griffins have struggled although they have played well of late. Meanwhile, Uppsala at 5-3 has played outstanding football all season and boasts the best defense in Sweden having allowed only 122 points in eight games. And their three losses have been by the slimmest of margins to the top two teams, Carlstad and Tyresö.

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Jeff Welsh has been steady. Photo: Staffan Claesson

The Griffins have gone through some turmoil this season firing their head coach John Trana but new head coach Johan Vajnlie has managed to right the ship and although they have been eliminated from the playoff picture they have been playing good football.

The game will feature the top two running backs in the league as Uppsala’s Jonathan Wikstrom leads all rushers with 697 yards rushing on 133 carries and 10 touchdowns. Greg Robinson from the Griffins is right behind him averaging 73 yards a game while scoring five touchdowns.

Uppsala quarterback Jeff Welsh is no stranger to pressure having led the Dresden Monarchs to the German playoffs and the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes to the German championship (2010) while also taking France’s La Courneuve Flash all the way to the Eurobowl final. And his backup is Jared Stegman, quarterback for Australia’s national team – Team Outback. Not a bad combination.

Uppsala’s stingy defense features linebacker Cameron Grad who is in the top 10 in tackles, sacks and tackles for loss.

Limhamn quarterback Hampus Kristiansson has grown into his role this season and has thrown for almost 1,200 yards. But he will be under pressure all afternoon from the 86ers front seven. If he can survive the onslaught and Robinson can find some running room, the Griffins could surprise Uppsala.

Kickoff: Sunday, August 16 4 PM (10 AM EDT) (As this is pay per view, follow the instructions. The language will change depending on location. Price: 49 Swedish kronor or $6)

Roger Kelly
Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.
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