The Huskies’ play this season has been a larger reflection of the play of their quarterbacks. Trent Peterson and Jahlani Gilbert-Knorren have split time under centre this season, with one relieving the other when trouble ensued. Until Saturday’s game against the Bears, that is.
Peterson started for the Dogs and was red hot from the outset, throwing for two touchdowns and leading the offence to 44 points before the half. He finished the game with 325 yards, completing 76 percent of his passes and leading the team on seven touchdown drives before giving way to Gilbert-Knorren with five minutes remaining in the third quarter. He looked poised and in control against Alberta’s defence, and he feels that things started to open up and become clearer during the game.
“Definitely, I’m becoming more comfortable with the reads,” said Peterson after Monday’s practice. “Things get a little bit faster in a game than in practice and I’m starting to adjust to the speed of things. But things are starting to slow down out there, for sure.”
A key change the Huskies made on offence for the Alberta game was moving all-Canadian offensive lineman Ben Heenan from right tackle to right guard. Peterson feels this change helped both the play of the offensive line and benefited the offence, which finished the game with 628 yards of total offence.
“Heenan’s an outstanding football player,” he said. “I know he feels more comfortable at that guard position, and I think it definitely showed, especially in our run game, opening up some holes there.
“The entire o-line played great all game and gave me lots of time. A lot of those sacks were my own fault, but they played great all game.”
The Huskies head to UBC this Saturday for a playoff clash with the Thunderbirds. Although they won their only game of the season against the Thunderbirds, a 36-33 decision on September 30 at Griffiths Stadium, the UBC defence has improved steadily since then and will surely be a tougher test than the Huskie offence faced on Saturday in Alberta.
Although the Huskies are early in their planning for this weekend’s match, Peterson and the offence feel they have a good idea of what to expect from UBC’s defence. “They’re pretty good at what they do. I mean, they don’t do anything that we haven’t seen before, which is comforting. Then again, we might go in there and they might throw something new at us and force us to adjust on the fly, so we have to be prepared.
“They’re a good football team, and they beat Calgary for a reason. They have a very good offence and a very well coached and disciplined defence. If we play like we did last week, we’ll have a shot, and if we play better than we did last week, we’ll have a good chance at a win.”