The Golden Bears and University of Manitoba Bisons will have to shake off similar feelings of disappointment this weekend after both teams experienced late game collapses in week three of CIS football.
The Bears played their strongest game of the season against the University of Regina Rams, with the score tied at 10-10 at the end of the third quarter. But 88 yards lost to penalties in the second half allowed the Rams to score 21 points in the fourth quarter en route to a 31-17 win.
Meanwhile, in the Bisons’ game against the University of Calgary Dinos, a close 16-12 match ended after the Dinos scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to win 33-12.
“When you go into the fourth quarter it’s a chance to win, and it’s disheartening when it gets away from you,” Bisons head coach Brian Dobie said.
“When you lose the game late, those are tough losses to take. But just like anything else, you take that loss, utilize what you need to out of it, correct those mistakes, try to turn them around and you very quickly bury that loss and put it behind you.”
The Bisons came closer to defeating the U of C than the Golden Bears did the week before when the U of A lost 65-6. However, the Golden Bears aren’t looking too closely at comparing their performance in the Calgary game against the Bisons’ loss.
“We don’t really compare team to team in terms of how they play — everybody’s unique from team to team,” Stead said. “Athletically, however, it’s a good gauge. But we break down our opponents differently no matter what they do.”
The Bears enter Saturday’s game shorthanded on defence. Third-year linebacker Tyler Greenslade had to leave partway through the last game due to an injury, and is out for the season with a ruptured achilles tendon.
A strong defence will be crucial in the Bears’ matchup with the Bisons — a team that’s excelled on the offensive side of the ball thus far this season. Their offence is led by a triple threat rushing game featuring first-team All-Canadian Anthony Coombs, second team All-Canadian Nic Demski and former junior football offensive MVP Kienan LaFrance.
As has been the story throughout the season, they’ll be up against a young Golden Bears team. Despite the team’s youth however, Stead is confident that his team’s lack of experience won’t be detrimental to their play.
“I look down at the NCAA and these kids are younger than our guys and they’re going to play in the NFL,” Stead said.
“In the whole argument about young and old, whether you get a fifth-year or second-year guy, the only difference I really see is maybe a little bit of experience — maybe they’ve seen something that our young guys haven’t before and could react differently. But in terms of physicality and the technique of the player, there’s not always a big difference.”
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