EDMONTON, AB. – An injury depleted UBC Thunderbirds (3-1) team overcame a slow start against the winless Alberta Golden Bears to pick up a 41-21 victory on Saturday afternoon at Foote Field.
With the ‘Birds down 14-7 midway through the second quarter, Will Maxwell returned a Bears’ kick-off 96 yards for a touchdown, giving UBC momentum they would never relinquish. The Thunderbirds outscored the Bears 34-7 the rest of the way.
Thunderbirds’ quarterback Michael O’Connor, throwing to a receiving core missing stars Marcus Davis, Trivel Pinto and Will Watson, passed for 251 yards and a touchdown. Second-year wide receiver Trey Kellogg was O’Connor’s top target on the day with four catches for 108 yards. UBC kicker Greg Hutchins was hit three of the four field goals he attempted in the contest.
On his team’s performance - “We have to be realistic. We want to be more consistent. But we found a way to win again. There are certain inconsistencies with this particular Thunderbirds team and we just have to keep working to become more consistent.”
On having so many starters injured - “That’s the big thing. We knew we were going to sit a lot of key starters. All week we were telling guys that it was their opportunity to come out and compete and show us what they could do in a bigger role.”
On next Friday’s game versus Calgary for first place in Canada West - “Until someone knocks off Calgary, they are the team to beat in Canada West. We’ve got to prepare for the kind of team they are, which is a veteran team with a very explosive offence and a very capable defence that puts a lot of pressure on you and forces you to make plays.”