The Huskies and Manitoba Bisons have split their previous two meetings this season; the rubber match takes place in Winnipeg on Friday. Huskie Outsider talks about what the Dogs must do to come away with a win in another edition of Three Downs.
1st Down: What is the key for the Huskie offence to be successful against Manitoba?
Dallas: They have to do the small things better. The underneath routes and quick outs are not working and getting a gain running the ball is impossible at times. We need better accuracy from the quarterback, more receivers getting open, better run blocking from the offensive line and running backs finding their gaps. They have the capability of moving the ball and putting up a lot of points if they’re all on the same page. Hopefully they play similarly to the game they played in Winnipeg earlier in the year rather than how they’ve played the last half of the season.
Dog Whisperer: Score more than 33 points. The Bisons scored 33 and 34 points in the two meetings this season. The Huskies scored 36 in a win and 26 in a loss. I think 35 will be enough this time.
Tom: Sustain drives and not turn the ball over; both of these areas – particularly sustaining drives and keeping our defence off the field – have been an area of weakness for the Huskies this season. Turn this around on Friday and I think they’ll win.
2nd Down: What is the key for the Huskie defence to be successful?
Dog Whisperer: Prevent the big play or at least limit it. By that I mean contain Coombs and Demski and bring some heat on Yantz and the D will be okay. Based on the regular season we can expect a 33 point output from the Bisons, if the defense holds them to less it is a bonus, they need to be allowed to stay fresh and have the offence on the field more than the last time they met.
Dallas: If the defence can keep Jordan Yantz in the pocket and improve their pass coverage, they will have a good chance to win. Yantz made big plays thanks to his scrambling ability the last time these teams met, giving his receivers time to get open and make big plays. If they contain him and collapse the pocket, the Huskies will come out on top.
Tom: I’m with you Dallas – we need to limit Yantz’ ability to extend plays with his legs. The Huskies did a fairly good job defending Anthony Coombs in our last meeting, but maybe that focus is what allowed the Bison QB to have such a big game.
Third Down: Do you view the Huskies as the favourite or underdog in this, the third meeting between these two teams this season?
Dallas: Definitely the underdog. The Bisons finished the regular season strong and were clearly the better team the last time they met. However, the Huskies still match up well with Manitoba and if they are well prepared, they will have a good chance of taking this game.
Dog Whisperer: Underdog, so embrace it. Manitoba is averaging 39 points a game over their last three games, whereas the Huskies are averaging just over 23. Mo is on the Bisons’ side where they finished the season with 3 wins. The Huskies need to seize it early and find the killer instinct.
Tom: Slight underdogs; both previous games have been close and I expect this one to be no different. We’ve each identified some things that will put the Huskies over the top, now we have to wait and see if they can pull it off. Go Dogs!