By Curtis Wolff
The Dinos football team completed their regular season with a 34–17 win against the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds on Friday, Oct. 25. With the victory, the Dinos finished without a single regular season loss for the first time in school history, going a perfect 8–0 on the year.
“It definitely feels good,” said Dinos running back Mercer Timmis, who finished the season with an impressive 1,183 yards and a conference-record 19 touchdowns. “It’s not something I was really thinking about before the season. To have that happen it’s really just a tribute to Coach Nill and our defensive coordinator and our program.”
The Dinos were in control for much of the night, making quick work of the Thunderbirds in the opening drive of the game. The Dinos gained 75 yards in seven plays as quarterback Andrew Buckley tossed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Mac Sarro to give the Dinos a 7–0 lead.
The pace of the game would slow from there, with the Thunderbirds managing to take a 11–8 lead in the second quarter. Buckley and Timmis would respond with a couple of big rushing plays each and Timmis would finish the drive with his 19th touchdown of the season to restore the Dinos’s lead. The Dinos would finish the half with a 22–11 lead.
The Dinos defence shut down the Thunderbirds for the rest of the game, allowing only a punt single and a field goal. Backup quarterback Jimmy Underdahl and backup running back Quentin Chow received a lot of reps in the second half of the game, as head coach Blake Nill stayed true to his promise to protect Timmis and Buckley from injuries going into the playoffs.
The Dinos will face the Thunderbirds for the second week in a row on Saturday, Nov. 2 in the opening round of the Canada West playoffs. Timmis said it was important to get a good look at the Thunderbirds ahead of the most important game of the year so far.
“It was definitely helpful,” said Timmis. “We saw the way they adjusted to a lot of our fronts and a lot of our offence, a lot of our formations. So it’s going to be a big game for us next week. They are a good defence and a good team, so we just have to make the adjustments and come out to play.”
Regardless of how they fare in the playoffs, the Dinos 8–0 season was one to remember. The Dinos had technically gone 8–0 once before in 2011, although they were awarded their last win of the season on a technicality — they lost their final game to the Thunderbirds, which UBC later had to forfeit due to the use of an ineligible player.
“I’m just going to remember the 8–0 first of all and just the great season overall for me,” said Timmis, before jokingly adding a personal footnote. “Actually, I’m probably going to think of all the fumbles I had.”
The Dinos play the Thunderbirds in the first round of the Canada West playoffs on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 3 p.m. at McMahon Stadium. Admission is free for students and the game will also be broadcast on Shaw TV.