Vancouver, BC – “There is no doubt our first meeting of the season left a scar, but the thing is you learn from scars and it will be a reminder for our guys that we don’t won’t to ever have another game like that.”
Those are the words from UBC head coach Shawn Olson when asked about the Thunderbirds week two 59-11 loss to the No.2 Calgary Dinos. This weekend the ‘Birds will be in Calgary with something to prove to the top team in the Canada West. Kickoff is set for 1:00 pm PST at McMahon Stadium in Calgary.
UBC (2-4) is coming off its second victory of the season, a 33-32 win over Regina last Saturday. Currently the Thunderbirds are on the outside looking in when it comes to the Canada West playoff picture. With two weeks left in the regular season, UBC sits in fifth place. The simple scenario is they to win and get help along the way in order to punch their ticket to the post season.
Calgary (5-1) was a 52-37 winner over Alberta last week. While the standings show their record as 5-1, the Dinos are actually undefeated on the season, but had its first win of the season over the Golden Bears stripped due to the use of ineligible players.
The Dinos are led by their explosive offence. They score early and often, averaging 53.5 points per game and 664.5 total yards per game. So far this season they have scored 40 touchdowns in six games. They also boast the front runner for conference player of the year in quarterback Andrew Buckley. He has thrown for 17 touchdowns and just three interceptions, averaging 297.5 yards per game in the air. He has also rushed for another seven scores, putting up 58.7 yards per game on the ground.
Buckley’s go to receiver is Brett Blaszko. He is averaging 107.5 yards receiving per game and has scored 10 touchdowns. Don’t forget last year’s Canada West Player of the Year, running back Mercer Timmis. He averages 120.8 yards per game rushing, scoring six touchdowns in six games this season.
“Calgary has an impressive group of athletes that can beat you a multiple of ways,” said Olson. “We need to be sound tacklers, eliminate the breakdowns, and prevent them from putting points on the board early.”
UBC quarterback Carson Williams is coming off his best game of the season. He was named the Canada West Offensive Player of the Week after throwing for three touchdowns and 256 yards passing to go along with another 68 yards rushing against Regina. Marcus Davis continues to lead all Canada West players in all-purpose yards with 1,063 in the year.
“This is a good group that competes hard and continues to build every week,” said Olson. “What we have to do is eliminate any doubt from our minds and focus on relaxing, trusting the system, trusting our teammates and just play.”
Other games this week include Saskatchewan playing host to Alberta and Manitoba in Regina.