Despite Scoreline UBC Wins!
The UBC Thunderbirds had been waiting far too long to enjoy a win in front of their home crowd at T-Bird Stadium.
Saturday the ‘Birds offence took advantage of pent-up energy, jumping on the visiting Alberta Golden Bears early in a commanding 40-30 win, including three touchdowns from quarterback Billy Greene. It was an especially gratifying homecoming for Greene who torched the Golden Bears in his first home win as a starter in a T-Bird uniform. “This year has been all about being a lot more comfortable in coach Olson’s offence,” Green told NWSportsBeat.com.
“Having a whole off-season to work with coach Olsen has allowed for both of us to become more comfortable with what we are trying to do on game day, he has learned what I do well and puts our team in a great position to execute.”
The homecoming-game victory for UBC marks the team’s first win at home since 2008, when the T-Birds defeated the same Alberta Golden Bears.If the names on Saturday’s box score are any indicator, a lot has changed in the three years since the last UBC home win. The Thunderbirds have developed a dynamic offensive attack led by their fourth year quarterback who is enjoying a new level of success this season as a multi-dimensional pivot in a dynamic offence designed for his skill-set.
Fifth-year running back Dave Boyd and backfield complement Sam Adu have kept opposing defences honest this season, allowing Greene the time and space to find a bevvy of talented receivers in the UBC arsenal. “Anytime you have guys like that in the backfield with you it takes a lot of pressure off,” said Greene.
Longtime go-to receiver Spencer Betts has received the bulk of the attention from defenses this season however the extra coverage has earned space for others to emerge as offensive weapons for Greene to find down-field.”Yesterday they did a good job on Betts and Grieve and it opened up Micha Theil and David Scott who made some big plays for our team,” said Greene.
Veteran receivers Jordan Grieve and Micha Theil have both reached double-digits in receptions through three games played as integral parts of the balanced UBC attack. “The offence has been working really hard to take what the defense is giving us,” receiver Spencer Betts told NW Sports Beat Sunday. “Bill has been doing an awesome job of getting all the skilled positions involved and finding the open spots.”
Ranked second overall in yards per game across the CIS, the Thunderbirds’ attack is making noise across the country, not that head coach Shawn Olsen is concerned. “Actually, I prefer that no one knows about us, to be completely honest. And at the end of the day, we came out of this game fairly healthy and didn’t want to lose any of our key guys trying to defend the lead in the fourth quarter,” Olsen told Howard Tsumura of The Province.
Coach Olsen sat several of his starters on both sides of the ball Saturday including Greene, allowing young players to see game time and learn valuable (and harmless) lessons in the latter half of the game that saw the Golden Bears wrack up 21 un-answered points in the fourth quarter.
Olsen’s move to rest his strongest players could prove very astute in the future as UBC makes the charge down the stretch drive. With key players in the prime of their collegiate careers the time is now for the T-Birds to take the right steps towards the Vanier Cup in 2011.
UBC takes on Manitoba next Saturday September 24th at 2:00 PM from T-Bird Stadium.
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