Unfortunately, busy schedules led to Dallas and myself having to cancel the Outsider Radio episode that we had planned following the home loss to Calgary, but we didn’t want to turn the page without having a discussion about Friday’s loss, and we do so with another edition of “Three Downs.”
1st down: What is your reaction to the loss against Calgary on Friday night?
Dallas: I was disappointed. I did not see the improvement I expected after the first loss against Calgary. In fact, it looks like they have taken steps backwards, as they were nowhere near the same team that played the Dinos well in the first half of their last game. We saw the same mistakes and poor play from key players that have haunted them all season. I knew a win was a stretch against the powerful Dinos but outside of the first and last drives by the Huskies, this was a complete letdown.
Tom: I was very disappointed as well. I thought that it was a poor performance in all three phases of the game, and the mistakes began on the very first play of the game when a nice kick return was called back on a holding penalty. We had fumbles, penalties, and missed field goals on special teams, more turnovers on offence, and an embarrassing inability from the defence to get off the field when they had Calgary in 1st and 20 and 2nd and long situations. This wasn’t the same Huskie team that we watched daily throughout training camp.
2nd down: Are there any positives that you take away from this game?
Tom: Very few. Donovan Dale added another sack to his impressive total, and I liked seeing Andre Lalonde be a key cog in the offence.
Dallas: The main positive is that we don’t have to play Calgary again during the regular season. It also looks like we came out of the game fairly healthy.
3rd down: Looking ahead, what does this loss mean to the Huskies?
Dallas: It means they are likely to finish fourth and have a return date with the Dinos in the Canada West semi final round. The team they are chasing for a playoff spot, Alberta, clinched the season series against the Huskies, but they have the much harder schedule over the next two weeks, traveling to Manitoba next week while facing Calgary at home to round out the season. The Huskies will face UBC at home next weekend and Regina to end the season. It looks like the Huskies may be able to sneak into the playoffs with a 3-5 record, but if the Huskies and UBC both finish 4-4, a much preferable match against the Bisons in Manitoba awaits them in the first round.
With the loss on Friday, the Huskies are no longer in contention for a home playoff game. That is a major disappointment, as this is a veteran-laden team that should have improved on their 6-2 record from last season and should be challenging the Dinos as Manitoba did last season. This team is not a national contender as many, including myself, believed they were at the start of the season. It would be nice to see a miracle run like that of 2002, but all evidence is pointing to a quick exit from the playoffs, should they make it that far.
Tom: Due to the disappointing season thus far, the Dogs do not control their own destiny as far as making the playoffs is concerned…something unthinkable a couple of months ago. I know that the players and coaches haven’t given up on themselves, or this season, and that’s heartening. But at the same time, what they’ve been doing hasn’t been working, at least not consistently. Time has run out for this team as far as waiting to turn things around goes. It’s now or never.