Sept 10, 2014 (ISN) – VANCOUVER – Fresh off an opening-week loss in Regina, the UBC Thunderbirds return
home for Homecoming Weekend and a tilt with the No. 2-ranked Calgary Dinos Saturday,
September 13 at 2 p.m. at Thunderbird Stadium.
UBC showed flashes last week as the Canada West regular season kicked off, but in
the end they would lose 33-23 to the Regina Rams. Meanwhile, the Dinos are coming
off a 71-3 mauling of Alberta.
“From my experience, the biggest improvement our team sees during the season is
between week one and week two,” said UBC head coach Shawn
Olson. “Because we didn’t play an
exhibition game, last week was our first live action and I could tell at times our
guys were just feeling their way through it. We didn’t play poorly, but we did have
a number of mistakes that hurt us and we will have to clean that up this week.”
The Thunderbirds have always played the Dinos tough over the last number years.
Despite losing three times to Calgary last season (twice during the regular season
and once in the playoffs), UBC had their chance to win. In fact they led going into
the fourth quarter in two of the three games last year.
“Games are won in the second half,” said Olson. “We need to ensure that our best
players are our best players in the fourth quarter and most importantly we need to
learn how to close out games.”
On the offensive side of the ball, look for the Thunderbirds to stretch the field
and be a little more aggressive. Olson sets a weekly goal of 15 explosive plays of
at least 15 yards and last Friday versus Regina they only managed five explosive
Defensively UBC needs to focus on finishing plays, especially when they have their
sights set on the quarterback with the opportunity for sack. Last week, the
Thunderbirds managed just one sack against Regina quarterback Cayman Shutter who
threw the ball 51 times.
Calgary are the five-time defending Canada West champions and lost to Laval in last
year’s Vanier Cup. They return a number of their key playmakers from last year
including quarterback Andrew Buckley, running back Mercer Timmis (led the country in
rushing and touchdowns in 2013), and Canada West defensive player of the year,
linebacker Doctor Cassama.
Despite putting up 71 points last week, Olson isn’t too concerned.
“It would be a different story if they put up 71 against Laval. We put up 60 on
Alberta last year. As long as we take care of the football and make an improvement
from week one, we should be just fine.”
Saturday’s game is the marquee event of UBC’s Homecoming Weekend. For all the
details on Homecoming and to purchase tickets, click
Fans should be advised there will be no parking at Thunderbird Stadium Saturday. The
best place to park is Thunderbird
Homecoming Weekend Events
Friday September 12
Pep Rally & BBQ
12 noon – 2 p.m.
Location SUB North Plaza
Saturday September 13
Great Thunderbird Trek
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Starting at Martha Piper Fountain
Homecoming Street Party
11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Thunderbird Stadium Parking Lot
Calgary Dinos vs UBC Thunderbirds
2 p.m. – 5 p.m.