By Jon Roe
After a blistering 5-1 start to the season, it’s time to rest for the Dinos football team as they settle into a bye week.
“We’re the last program to get a bye week,” says Dinos head coach Blake Nill. “The toll physically on the kids is high as it can be . . . I think we’ve maybe had two days off in the eight weeks we’ve been going, counting training camp. It’s more or less a time to take a deep breath, let some aches and pains heal and then make sure we’re ready to start our preparation for Regina come next Monday.”
The Dinos play the University of Regina Rams at McMahon Stadium on Oct. 24 before finishing the season out in Edmonton at the University of Alberta a week later. With a 5-1 record, the Dinos currently sit on top of the conference, but will need someone to beat the University of Saskatchewan Huskies in their final three games of the season in order to finish there. The Huskies are the only team to have beaten the Dinos so far this season, and hold the tie-breaker should both teams finish 7-1.
The Dinos’ latest win, their 11th in a row on home turf, came against the University of Manitoba Bisons in a mistake-filled 35-24 victory. The Dinos fumbled four times and lost three of them. Quarterback Erik Glavic was responsible for two of the fumbles, one lost, and also threw an interception to go with 321 passing yards and three touchdowns. Glavic’s loose hold on the ball while piling up 78 yards on the ground is something that will be addressed, Nill says.
“Erik’s gotta realize that once he crosses the line of scrimmage, he’s basically a running back and he’s gotta secure the ball as a running back would,” he says. “It’s something that seems like an easy thing to do, but it’s not. It’s probably something that’s habitual of sorts and we have to deal with that because it’s certainly not sound, and it did cost us.”
The week off will also be time to rest running back Matt Walter, who has racked up a conference-leading 877 rushing yards and was pulled halfway through Saturday’s game against Manitoba for precautionary reasons.
“As with all of the other players, Matt’s beat up a bit,” says Nill. “We took a bit of a gamble, we felt that Steven [Lumbala] could come in at that point of the game and be responsible for the run game. Which he did. Matt’s situation is more or less resting a tired kid.”
Lumbala, a rookie recruit from Calgary’s St. Francis High School, rushed for 87 yards on 13 attempts and 17-yard touchdown which capped off the win for the Dinos.