It was a windy and rainy day at Mosaic Stadium on Saturday as the University of Regina Rams took on the University of Calgary Dinos.
Rams quarterback Noah Picton said the conditions were tough as they had to assess each play where the wind was coming from. He said at the end of the day “you have to make the plays no matter the conditions.”
Picton and head coach Stephen Bryce didn’t blame a miserable first quarter on the weather as the Rams were down 24-3 at the end of the quarter.
“Of course the ball was sailing in the first quarter but we’re both playing out here. We didn’t do enough to establish the run early,” Bryce said.
Bryce called the first quarter one of the worst quarters he’s ever been a part of.
“I told the guys we can’t have this mentality that there’s a team that’s just better than us because of their record or this overall long-standing mentality that U of C is unbeatable. It’s not true, we can play with them every down and beat them in quarters and we did,” he explained.
Bryce said you can’t spot a team 24 points and expect to win.
“I told them we’re going to see these guys again in the playoffs and I hope there’s not one person here that still believes that this team is better than you are, and we don’t believe it now,” he said.
Picton said it a tough go given that the Dinos are one of the best teams in the country and have a record of 7-0 this season.
“You can’t spot them 20 some points and that’s how it played out, it’s a tough hole to dig yourself out of. They outplayed us, they were a good matchup. I admire the way we fought back and I think that’s a good trade for our team,” Picton said.
He said the team didn’t execute as well as they could have in the first quarter and takes some of the responsibly on himself because of missing a number of throws early on.
“Against a team like this you can’t do that, you have to be firing on all cylinders from the get-go,” Picton said.
But the Rams bounced back in the remaining quarters, coming close to catching the Dinos a few times. Bryce said they found the reset button and hit it.
“We were back and forth with them and I thought we outscored and outplayed them for about half the game, at least, you just can’t get yourself dug so deep so early,” Bryce said.
Despite the loss, the Rams are still heading to playoffs. The team even has a shot at clinching a home playoff game if they can get past UBC on Oct. 28.
Bryce said it’s all about mentality, psychology and sports preparation.
“We need to find a way to get dialled in and get going early. We haven’t had a first series score in the first quarter yet this year, that’s something that’s a goal of mine, it’s on our goal board that we got to get that and get the ball rolling a little faster and get that momentum going,” Bryce said.
He said the team has the ability to be a high powered offence that starts right off that bat, instead of coming back from behind all the time.
Picton thought there were some positives to take away from the game, including coming back after a terrible first quarter.
“Going into next week against UBC is going to be another good test for us, there’s a lot on the line,” he said.
It was also a big game for Picton on Saturday as he was 15 passing yards away from becoming the all-time leader in Canada West football for passing yards.
He was able to take the record from former Rams player Teale Orban in the first quarter.
“I didn’t really get a chance to think about it in the first quarter, I wasn’t playing really well so I didn’t really relish it at all, to be honest,” Picton said.
He said he grew up watching and admiring Orban.
“I really never did think I’d be up in the ranks with him and sure enough, with my teammates, I was able to get to that point so it’s pretty neat,” Picton said.