Vancouver, BC – The UBC Thunderbirds (0-2) go in search of its first win of the season Saturday afternoon in Winnipeg when they take on the No.9 ranked Manitoba Bisons (1-1). Kickoff is set for 12:00 pm PST at Investors Group Field.
Needless to say this is not the start to the season the Thunderbirds were expecting. After an opening night loss in Regina (33-23), the ‘Birds returned home for homecoming weekend where the Calgary Dinos dominated from start to finish, winning 59-11.
Offensively the Thunderbirds have struggled to find cohesion managing just 34 points through two games of the year with their average time of possession coming it at just 24:56 minutes per game. Defensively UBC has been on the field for far too long, but have done well getting teams into second and long situations; however, they have been unable to capitalize on the situation, allowing teams to extend drives.
The Bisons are coming off a 42-18 victory over Regina last weekend after opening up the season on the road in Saskatchewan and falling 44-24 to the Huskies. Manitoba features quarterback Jordan Yantz, the reigning First Team Canada West All-Star, 2013 Second Team All-Canadian receiver Nic Demski, who is the top ranked CIS player for the 2015 CFL Draft, and defensive back Jonathan Jones, who was last week’s CIS Defensive Player of the Week.
Last season these two teams played two of the most exciting games of the season, both coming down to the final minute to decide a winner. Manitoba defeated UBC at home early in the season 36-32, but the Thunderbirds returned the favour in Winnipeg a couple of weeks later, defeating the Bisons 28-24.
Other games this week include Calgary taking on Saskatchewan on Friday night and Alberta playing host to Regina Saturday evening.