The Bisons football team demolished the University of Alberta Golden Bears in their home opener at the rookie, but very capable hands of quarterback Jordan Yantz.
"I was amped up for his game, and as a quarterback it takes a couple plays to really get into it and get the bugs out right away," said Yantz after the game. "To me once you start getting hit, you’re sweating and you’re getting in the game, and once you start getting hit a couple of times you know, well, I’ve got to start moving the football a little faster now."
The University of Manitoba pummelled the University of Alberta with a 65-41 win on Aug. 30, the most points in a regular season game half (46 in the first half) and the third highest points total in Bisons history. Plus, they did it in front of the largest attendance ever for a Bisons game, with an estimated 6,500 in the stands at Investors Group Field, and 10,199 tickets sold or given to students via Ticketmaster.
It was the first CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) game for the 23-year-old Regina native, who came from the Vancouver Island Raiders and competed with fellow Bisons QB Marc Paquette for the starting position.
"I made my CIS debut and it was an exciting moment," said Yantz. "We had a tough training camp battle with me and (Paquette), it was an outstanding competition between the two of us. Coming in here and being able to be the starting quarterback for such a special team, on such a special day, and special event, and the fans did really show up for us."
Bisons head coach Brian Dobie said Yantz came out "pretty pumped," but maybe a little too pumped.
"I thought that detracted from his abilities to perform as well as he could," said Dobie. "I thought he was a little hyped up and certainly extremely motivated."
Dobie added Yantz wants to prove he deserves to be where he is.
"He wants to come out and prove that he’s the right guy and he’s everything that we all said he was when we recruited him," said Dobie. "I think that got in his way a little bit, then once he settled down he made some big plays, big throws, and he started to make better decisions as the game went on."
Yantz said he’s happy with the offensive line in front of him.
"We practise with six guys and those guys are the guys on the team that are banging 24-7, through two-a-day (practices) at training camp and all week. It’s one group that really doesn’t get enough credit and those guys went above and beyond."
Yantz said the last time he was on a team that scored more than 65 points was in 2009, when he played with CFLer and former teammate Andrew Harris on the Vancouver Island Raiders in the Canadian Junior Football League. He said the major difference between playing at the junior level and playing CIS is the size of the opponent trying to take him down.
"I think right off the bat it’s a lot faster," said Yantz. "And instead of having a 180-pound defensive end coming at you you’ve got a 235 to 245-pound D-end with some speed coming at you. It’s just some bigger guys all around the field and those couple of hits that you take as a quarterback you feel a lot more in the CIS than you do in the junior level."
"Start sliding," quipped Dobie to his quarterback.
"Yeah I need to start doing that," admitted Yantz.
The Bisons fell to 1-1 on Sept. 7 with a 36-34 home loss to the #9 University of Saskatchewan Huskies.