The formula for success was cut and dry. If the (#7) U of Manitoba Bisons were going to beat the (#2) U of Calgary Dinos at the 2012 Homecoming Game, they would have to establish the running game early, capitalize on their opportunities and win the turnover battle.
Sadly, for the throngs of Bison alumni and U of M residence students in attendance, the Brown and Gold simply weren’t up to the task.
In a game that was close through the whole of the first half, the Dinos showed why they were the four-time defending Hardy Cup champions of the Canada West, as they scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter in a 33-12 victory over the now 2-1 Bisons.
Cam Clark, starting at quarterback for the third time this season, went 10 of 27, throwing for 211 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions. There were multiple plays in the game where his receiver had beaten Calgary’s man-defence coverage, but the passes were just out of reach. Had one of those passes connected, the entire outlook of the game might have changed as the Bisons were only down by four points heading into the fourth quarter.
The Bisons were forced to play without RB Anthony Coombs for a second time this season. Kienan Lafrance rushed for 119 yards on the day, but only 36 of those yards came in the first half and one third of his total yards were earned on the final play in the fourth quarter
Turnovers proved to be the Achilles heel for the home team, as Clark’s aforementioned interceptions and a botched punt return allowed Calgary to control field position for most of the game. Clark’s second interception of the game came early in the fourth quarter and led to a Calgary touchdown that gave the Dinos a two-possession lead and they never looked back. Calgary committed no turnovers.
With the loss, the Bisons’ record drops to 2-1, while the Dinos remain a perfect 3-0 on the season. The Bisons finish off their three-game home stint Saturday, Sept. 22 at 1p.m., as they host the 0-3 University of Alberta Golden Bears.