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Three Downs: Huskies at Manitoba Bisons

Julan Lynch sports a pair of Huskie football gloves

The Huskies will play their first road game of the 2012 season, tomorrow in Winnipeg vs. Manitoba. The Huskie Outsider gang was asked to offer some input into what should be a solid matchup between two good teams.

1st down: The Huskies are off to a fairly strong start to their CanWest season, but there’s always room for improvement. What would you like to see the Dogs do better in this week’s game against a good Manitoba team?

Dallas: I want to see them play physical with an intense edge all game long. The Bisons are going to be intense and will be jacked up to play the Huskies and show that they’re for real. The Huskies need to come in and prove their haters wrong, show that they have no problem winning at University Stadium, and make a statement that they will once again be a force in Canada West.

Ryan: The Huskies had a good game against the Bears last week. What I would like them to do is to play smart, as they need to beat a team like Manitoba if they want to be in the playoffs. The Huskies had some mental errors and didn’t play a complete game last week. Like Dallas said, this week they have to be physical, avoid mental mistakes and play for 60 minutes to win.

Dog Whisperer: The Dogs have to shut down the seam route this weekend and need to pound the rock. In order to wear the Bisons down the O-Line needs to get a good push and open holes for out backs. If we rush for 130 yards we will wear them down and win.

Tom: I agree with the Dog Whisperer in that I think the Huskies need to do a better job of defending the seam route.

2nd Down: What positional battle, between the Huskies and Bisons, are you most interested in?

Ryan: The Manitoba ground game churned over 250 yards last week at UBC. The Huskies front seven, and specifically the defensive line, has to stop the run for the Huskies to have a chance to win. Zach Hart, David Rybinski, Joel Suetter and Levi Steinhauer could be the best defensive line to ever play for the Huskies. They need to show that this weekend to make believers out of everyone.

Dog Whisperer: Our DL and LB’s vs the Manitoba running backs. Their running game is the key to MB’s success, and if the DL and LB’s can match up well we have a very good chance.

Tom: I agree with both Ryan and Dog Whisperer, but to be different I’ll flip things around and say that I’m curious to see if our ground game will be effective against Manitoba’s front seven and put the Huskies into manageable second down situations.

Dallas: I’m interested to see how the Huskies’ secondary matches up with the Bisons’ receivers. The Bisons have a large set of receivers and it appears to be a size mismatch, at least on paper. However, the physicality and cover skills of the Huskies should bring the big, bad Bisons down to size.

3rd down: We didn’t exactly set the world on fire with this challenge last week, but let’s have a statistical prediction from everyone:

Dog Whisperer: Wow! I struck out last game so why not be bold again: 2 picks, and a blocked punt for the Huskies.

Tom: I’m going to put Bryce McCall on the spot and predict that he inches closer to the CIS record for interceptions by picking one off tomorrow afternoon.

Dallas: I think the defence will have a big week, with three sacks and three interceptions. The Bisons will expect the Huskies to try to shut down their ground game and will probably concentrate on the pass more, but I think this will pay off for the Huskie defence in the end.

Ryan: As the only “Outsider” to get his prediction right last week, I was thinking of being conservative this week to keep the streak alive (I just had to trash talk the other guys!!!). But, that is not my nature. My prediction is that the Bisons will have under 125 yards on the ground and less than 170 in the air. My bonus prediction is that Kit Hillis will have seven receptions for over 100 yards.

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