This Saturday afternoon, the Huskies will face the tall task of handing the Calgary Dinosaurs their first loss of the season in the conference semifinal to be played at McMahon Stadium. The Dogs played a great fourth quarter in a comeback win over Regina in order to reach the playoffs, and hope that momentum continues against the Dinos. We look ahead to the game with “Three Downs.”
1st down: What will it take to hand an outstanding Calgary team their first loss of the year?
Dallas: It will take a full 60 minute effort in all three phases of the game. The Huskies have to find a way to match Calgary’s intensity and precision and keep up with them blow-for-blow. They will also have to bounce back quickly when Calgary makes a big play or if the ball is turned over. Keeping positive and concentrating on what Calgary is giving them and how to take advantage of that will be what will allow them to pull off the upset.
Tom: It will take the Huskies’ best performance of the year, along with a few big plays, whether that be by turnover or players such as Mitch Hillis coming through in key moments.
2nd down: What positives do the Huskies take into this game?
Tom: For starters, the Huskies were within 2 points in the third quarter in their earlier trip to Calgary this season. Also, the Dogs can feel good about the fact that their offence was really rolling in the fourth quarter last week, albeit against a rather weak Regina team.
Dallas: They had a good, balanced attack in the second half of the game against Regina. Plus, Kyle Siemens is an athletic, mobile quarterback who can buy time for his receivers and cause problems for defences. They are also fairly healthy heading into Calgary.
3rd down: Make a statistical prediction that you think needs to occur in order for the Huskies to come away with the upset.
Dallas: I think they need to limit the Dinos to less than 150 yards rushing. The swarming front seven of the teams of the 2000s was almost impossible to run against when they were at the top of their game. I think they have to do this again, leaving no holes open for Mercer Timmis to run through. This won’t be an easy task against the Dinos’ offensive line, but they will have to make sure to limit gains and make the Dinos more one-dimensional if they hope to take this one.
If the Dogs can be +2 in the turnover margin, it would give them the extra offensive possessions to hopefully stick with the Dinos into the fourth quarter. I’d love to see the Huskies have a chance to pull off the upset in the final 15 minutes; working against this prediction is the fact that Dino QB Andrew Buckley only threw 1 interception all season.