Winnipeg – Winnipeg Blue Bomber head coach Mike O’Shea is a student and fan of CFL history but he is not letting the build-up surrounding Saturday’s game in Calgary affect his approach. The game marks the first time in CFL history that two teams with a combined win streak of 16 games have met. Calgary has won 9 straight, the Bombers 7 in a row. O’Shea says those facts really have no bearing on how his team goes about preparing, although he does understand why the game is being hyped. “I think it’s important the leaague, you know it’s an entertainment based business and it’s important that the league promotes certain things but at the locker room level, I don’t think it really matters. As a fan of the league I know they have to promote these things when they come up but we are not going to spend much time dwelling on it that’s for sure” said O’Shea.
Added O’Shea “Everybody knows Calgary is a good team, they were a good team when we played them the previous two times this year. I think you stay consistent in your approach, you stay focused on the task at hand. Everybody is looking for ways to beat them so we look at what we did the last time we played them, how to improve, look at what other teams have done against them. I don’t know that it provides any extra spark, at least not for me.”
The Bombers lost twice, handily, to Calgary earlier in the year when they got off to a 1-4 start. It was late in the fourth loss that O’Shea turned to Matt Nichols at quarterback, and since then the Bombers have surged to 7 straight victories. During that stretch, the Bombers have forced 29 turnovers and committed only 5, a key reason for their success.
Injuries are an issue going into Saturday’s game as it appears that running back Andrew Harris and receiver/kick returner Quincy McDuffie will miss the game although a final decision hasn’t yet been made. Linebacker Ian Wild, the Bombers leading tackler, is also expected to miss a second straight game. But the Bombers have adopted a plug and play, a “next man up” mentality this season that has served them well.
It truly is the marquee matchup, not only of this weekend, but of this season in the Canadian Football League. A team on a 7-game run against a team on a 9-game run. Rare indeed.
We will have all the action on 680-cjob beginning with a 2-hour pre-game show Saturday at 1pm.