Let’s face it, UBC football did not start this season’s campaign like Vanier Cup champions.
After a home victory against the University of Alberta Golden Bears in their season premiere, the ’Birds underperformed against the Calgary Dinos, scoring just one touchdown in a 35-8 loss. A week later, the team suffered the most disappointing defeat of the season, losing 20-10 during Homecoming in front of 7,834 fans against the Regina Rams — a team that had ended their 2015 season with an 0-8 record.
However, their last two games have given the Thunderbirds a glimmer of hope.
They recorded their second win against the Alberta Golden Bears in convincing fashion, obliterating them 62-0. It was the biggest win in UBC football history. Last game, the ’Birds won a dramatic contest against the University of Manitoba Bisons — a game that took four overtimes to resolve.
There’s no doubt about it — this game had a flare for the dramatic. UBC tied the game 30-30 in the fourth quarter and the game went into overtime. During that, the teams matched each other’s points three times before UBC finally ended it in the fourth overtime, with a touchdown to best Manitoba’s field goal. The final score was 53-50. Moreover, a big chunk of the scoring came in overtime.
Quarterback Michael O’Connor was outstanding, throwing a total of 463 yards. This surpassed the 413 total that he recorded against Alberta the week before. In addition, O’Connor threw four touchdowns, while running back Ben Cummings ran in for two and recorded 206 rushing yards.
With three games left in the regular season, the ’Birds look to be on the right track. However, their remaining games are against three tough opponents. In order to host a playoff game, they are going to have to finish in the top two of the standings. At the moment, UBC is third in Canada West and two of their last three games are against the two teams ahead of them — Calgary and Regina.
Considering the team was also 3-2 at this point in the season last year, a Vanier Cup repeat is definitely still possible.