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Three Downs: Huskies at UBC

The Huskies raise their helmets during the “Support Our Troops” game (photo Liam Richards for Electric Umbrella)

The Huskies will fly to Vancouver, this afternoon, for a Saturday matchup with the TBirds. Coming off of a loss, the Dogs hope to build off of the positives that occurred in last week’s game and re-enter the win column.

1st down: What will be a key to the game for our offence, defence, or both?

Ryan: The Huskies’ key on offense will be to have a balanced attack. They have done a good job of mixing up the run and the pass in the first two games, and I would expect the same this week. Running back Jeremy Andrew is looking more comfortable in his role as the lead back. Quarterback Drew Burko is also gaining confidence with each play. The O-line will open up holes and provide good pass protection which will allow the offense to move the ball. On defence, the Huskies need to contain Billy Greene. Greene left last week’s game with an injury and prior to that was overthrowing his receivers, which led to two interceptions. If the Huskies can keep him in the pocket, their defence should be able to handle the run and slow UBC down.

Dallas: On offence, the Huskies will need to sustain and finish off drives with scores. In their first two games, the Huskies have had five drives of over 50 yards, and of their nine scoring drives, five of them started in opposition territory. Now that they have a little experience and are starting to settle in, they need to move the ball on longer drives and finish them off with three or six points, preferably six. On defence, they need to keep doing what they’re doing. I’m confident they found the problems that plagued them last week and should be just as tough as the first two weeks, while not being suseptible to the big play.

Dog Whisperer: On offence, I would love to see a continuation of our ball protection. If we protect the ball good things will happen. On defence, we need to be aggressive and take the ball away. If we get 2 net turnovers we will be in good shape.

Tom: As Drew Burko gains more experience with each passing week, I’m hoping to see him spread the ball around more to the receivers, keeping the defence a little off-balance. On defence, the Huskies have been susceptible to a few big plays each game. If they can curtail this tendency, the defence will become even stronger than most people believe it already is.

2nd down: What will be one key to the game for our special teams?

Dallas: They need to be a little better on covering punts and kickoffs. They gave up a punt return of 20 yards in week one and a 26 yard return last week, while also giving up a 47-yard kickoff return that set up a touchdown. They need to keep the Thunderbirds from gaining field position on special teams and make it as hard as possible for them to drive into scoring position.

Dog Whisperer: There are really two as far as I’m concerned. First, we need to punt the ball like we did last week. Second, we need to cover WAY better than last week. UBC has some explosive athletes and we need  to take advantage of kicking the ball well and cover well.

Tom: I agree with what Dallas and Dog Whiperer stated about punt and kickoff coverage; let’s not give the TBirds a short field.

Ryan: It will be interesting to see if the Huskies take one or two kickers this week. Last week, on the road, they took Denton Kolodzinski and Cole Samson, mostly because of the expected poor field conditions. This week, it will be different as the game is on new turf and the Huskies may be tempted to bring another position player. The Huskies key to special teams this week will be returns. Luke Thiel, on punts, and Travoy Martinez, on kick-offs, will need to have a few good returns to set up the Huskies with a short field.

3rd down: Make a statistical prediction for this game.

Dog Whisperer: It seems the Dog Whisperer is the only guy who isn’t too CHICKEN to make bold predictions….I didn’t know this was a competition……and don’t care either! Two predictions ( as always) we will have a TD from either the D or our specials, and we will rush for 150 and pass for 300. Actually that is three predictions, so what the hell I’ll add another: UBC turns the ball over 3 times.

Tom: Wow! About the only thing Dog Whisperer didn’t predict was that Braeden George would score a touchdown and celebrate it “Gangnam Style!”

A craps dealer in Vegas once shared some words of wisdom with me: “Don’t shoot the horse that is winning you the race.” There were two lessons for me to take from this:
1) Always take the odds when playing craps
…and more importantly…
2) If Bryce McCall makes an interception for you, to make the previous week’s prediction come true, then you should stick with him. I’ll put Bryce on the spot again this week, and predict that he makes an interception, equalling the CIS record for interceptions in a career. I’ll also make a second prediction that JGK scores his first touchdown of the season.

Ryan: I’m going to make more than one prediction this week, again. First, the Huskies will have two or more interceptions. Billy Greene does not seem right and there is speculation on the internet that he has a hurt knee. This is going to cause a few balls to sail, and I would expect that the DBs will have a good day. My second prediction is that the Huskies will score over 30 points. The Huskies are a much more physical team than UBC and I expect that the Dogs will wear that defense down and have a breakout game. Ten of the points will come off of turnovers. I suppose that is another prediction.

Dallas: Since I’m in last place, I’m playing it safe from now on. The Huskies will have another 100 yard plus performance from a running back this week, likely Jeremy Andrew, and the defence will recover at least one UBC fumble and will have at least one interception.

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