Eight practices are now in the books, so we thought we’d talk Huskie football with another edition of “Three Downs.”
1st down: What is your impression of training camp so far?
Dallas: I thought they started out slow and rusty the first couple days but have really turned it on the last two days. The offence is looking sharp and quick and the defence is looking physical and fast. Their play on Tuesday is what I was expecting of the team since spring camp.
Tom: The ugly weather hindered the Huskies on Saturday, and there still seemed to be a fair amount of rust on Sunday morning, but that was a different Huskie team that I saw on the field for two practices on Tuesday. Like spring camp, I’m particularly pleased with how the offence has looked for the most part. Moving forward, I think consistency will be the key for this team. Last season they were a little up and down, but if this team can play to its potential each week, watch out!
2nd down: Who is one non-starter from last season, or newcomer, that you expect to become a familiar name with Huskie fans in 2015?
Tom: I’m going to exclude Donovan Dale from consideration because even though he is a newcomer to the Huskies, he is a veteran from his two All-Canadian seasons with UBC. My first thoughts were RB Kayden Johnson and Rec. Tevin Godfrey, who I think will both be solid contributors to this team, but Sean Stenger will be taking over the punting and placekicking duties and will have a big impact on the success that the Dogs hopefully experience this season. I expect Stenger to be a good, serviceable kicker for us.
Dallas: I think there may be a few. On offence, we will see a lot of Kayden Johnson at running back this year. We will likely see him returning kicks, as well. On defence, there are number of newcomers. I have noticed safety Brooks Falloon a couple times during practices. He’s great in coverage and isn’t afraid to mix things up.
Third down: Looking ahead to Friday’s non-conference game with Laurier, what do you hope to see from the Huskies in that game?
Dallas: I hope we see dominance on both sides of the ball from the first team offence and defence. On offence, I think we will see a balanced attack and a more aggressive attack when in the redzone. On defence, I hope we see a team that’s virtually impossible to move the ball against. I expect our run defence to be excellent but with the changes in the secondary, it may take a series or two for them to come together.
Tom: Like you, I really want to see the first team, on both sides of the ball, take charge and control the game for as long as they play, which I suspect to be for about half of the game. But depth is always important to a team’s success, and I hope to see several of the reserves make their case for playing time and remind the coaches that they’re ready to step in and start should they get the chance. The most memorable performance from a non-starting Huskie in a non-conference game has to be Jade Etienne’s amazing second half vs. Western Ontario in 2010; he parlayed that performance into a boost to the starting lineup and finished the year off as an All-Canadian – wouldn’t it be great to see that kind of a breakout performance from someone this Friday.