Buckley gets first CIS start in Regina (VIDEO)

CALGARY – The University of Calgary Dinos hand the football to third-year quarterback Andrew Buckley this week as they roll into Regina for their Week 2 contest against the Rams Friday night.

With reigning conference MVP Eric Dzwilewski out with a broken foot, Buckley gets his first CIS football start at Mosaic Stadium. Kickoff goes at 7 p.m. Friday, live on CanadaWest.tv and 620ckrm.com.

It’s the first of two meetings between the fifth-ranked Dinos (1-0) and the unranked Rams (0-1) this season, and their first match-up since the Dinos captured their fifth consecutive Canada West title last November in a 38-14 win over Regina. The teams split the regular season series in 2012, with the Rams handing Calgary its only loss of the regular season: a 12-9 setback Week 7 in Regina.

Here’s a look at the two teams:

No. 5 Calgary Dinos (1-0)
Last week: defeated UBC 41-31
Next week: host Saskatchewan

The Dinos escaped Vancouver with a 41-31 win over UBC to open the regular season last week, but it almost didn’t happen…and it was costly.

Eric Dzwilewski exited the game late in the third quarter with a broken foot, putting Buckley behind centre for a wild finish that saw the Dinos and Thunderbirds trade touchdowns until Calgary put up 10 points in the final 3:16 of the game, capped off by a two-yard Mercer Timmis touchdown run.

Timmis, in his first start as the team’s feature tailback, carried the ball 24 times for 115 yards and three touchdowns while adding three receptions for 41 yards to pace the Calgary offence. He was one of eight Dinos receivers to record a catch on the afternoon as the team spread the ball out with 465 yards of total offence.

Calgary’s young defence had an up-and-down day, allowing 422 yards by the UBC offence – the vast majority of those along the ground. However, freshman cornerback Adam Laurensse picked up a pair of interceptions on the day to earn conference player-of-the-week honours on defence.

Buckley gets the start for the Dinos in Regina, but despite never having started a CIS game before he has plenty of experience. He completed 46 of 61 passes for 550 yards and four touchdowns in relief last season and acquitted himself well off the bench against UBC last week, completing 6 of 11 passes for 80 yards and scoring his first career touchdown with a one-yard scamper midway through a fourth quarter that saw the two teams combine for 34 points.

Defensively, the Dinos hope to return 2013 CFL draft pick Thomas Spoletini to the line-up this week after he sat out the UBC game. The Calgary defence will be challenged by the Rams’ passing game, a significant change from the run-first orientation of the Thunderbirds last week.

Despite defeating UBC, the Dinos dropped from No. 3 to No. 5 in this week’s CIS Top 10 poll. Calgary will finally play a home game next weekend after three straight on the road as they host the Saskatchewan Huskies for KICKOFF Saturday, Sept. 14 at McMahon Stadium.

Regina Rams (0-1)
Last week: lost to Saskatchewan 40-33
Next week: at Alberta

With new quarterback Cayman Shutter at the controls, the Rams nearly came back from a 32-7 halftime deficit but ultimately fell to Saskatchewan 40-33 in the Canada West curtain-riser for both teams. The University of Hawaii transfer completed 20 of 40 passes for 319 yards, including a 98-yard touchdown strike to Kolten Solomon.

Shutter is part of a major changing of the guard in Regina, with 20 fifth-year players moving on after last season. However, the Rams do have one of the conference’s most fearsome receiving corps and plenty of experience, with 16 players in their fourth or fifth year of eligibility. Solomon is joined by the likes of Mark McConkey and Addison Richards, on the offence.

Defensively, Brady Aulie was busy for the Rams against the Huskies last week with eight tackles.

Like the Dinos’ Dobko, McConkey is also chasing a receptions record. He enters the game with 160, just 13 away from the conference record of 173 held by former Ram Chad Goldie.

The Rams head back on the road next weekend to face the Alberta Golden Bears in Edmonton.

Photo credit:  David Moll

Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

Leave a Reply