Things I learnt this weekend:
1) Huskies can be mean.
2) Huskies fans can be even meaner.
3) Hell is cold and does have snow.
This weekend the Dinos football squad met the University of Saskatchewan Huskies in Siberia (otherwise known as Saskatoon) for a re-match. The results were dismal. The final score was 34-3 for the Huskies.
In the last three games, the Dinos saw great success on the field and seemed to have really come together as a team. Both the players and the coaches were confident going into this game, as they should have been. The Huskies were ranked third in CIS ratings and have now moved to 5-1 whereas the tenth placed Dinos now move to 3-3.
Starting quarterback Charles Guedo threw some remarkable passes in the first half, completing 14 of 23 passes and rushing for 49 yards. Unfortunately, the only points the Dinos could muster came from a 20-yard field goal by Ryan Saurette.
"We went out with the attitude not to lose; looking back that was the wrong attitude to start the game with," said Guedo. "We were prepared; unfortunately we just didn't have the right intensity. The Huskies are a very good team, and it was frustrating because we were able to move the ball, we just couldn't finish our drives."
One of the highlights of the games was watching the receivers dive for every ball thrown at them. Joel Ford, Adam Ford, Brent Hargreaves and Dave Holowaychuk, to name a few, did everything in their power to move that ball 10 yards each play. Through blood, sweat, ice and pain these boys tried to do their job.
Regrettably, the Huskies showed them no mercy. The offense just couldn't catch a break. It was during this game last year that starting wide receiver Holowaychuk was injured during the game which resulted in a broken wrist and months of physiotherapy. Holowaychuk, the top receiver for the game, caught five passes and accumulated 67 total yards.
"The offense had spurts of greatness but couldn't capitalize in the red zone. Personally, it was nice to go back after a year and play one of the best games of my career. At least this time I didn't break my wrist!" joked Holowaychuk.
"We [the offensive line] didn't execute our game plan. When you play a team like U of S, you need to have confidence, patience, and you genuinely need to play your best. Unfortunately, we didn't meet the last requirement," said offensive lineman Tim O'Neill. "Next game we'll be at home and that always makes a difference."
While the offense tried everything to get points on the board, the defense ran all day to try and stop U of S from getting points on the board. Though their efforts were valiant, it just wasn't enough.
This was linebacker D.J. Wickham's first game back after sustaining a wrist injury in preseason. Wickham, fresh from the bench, should have been named defensive player of the game (if Saskatchewan did such a thing) with his eight solo tackles. Regrettably, Wickham was unavailable for comment on his big game, however defensive back Rich Fowlstone commented on the Dinos' inspiring efforts.
"We [the defense] played sloppy. We missed tackles and blew coverage assignments. We didn't execute when we needed to. When you play a team that is as good as U of S, you have to play flawless and unfortunately we did not."
The game may have been a trying experience for the Dinos, but what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, and to be honest, I'm pretty sure death was just around the corner for our men in red. The Dinos are still in contention for playoffs as long as they get their game back so to speak. The Dinos face off against the Simon Fraser University Clansmen Sat., Oct. 23 at 1 p.m. Come out to McMahon Stadium and show your support as the Dinos look to secure a playoff spot!