To Bombers, it's simple: They were outplayed

October 30, 1994|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,Contributing Writer

If No Excuses Jeans is looking for another spokesman, there were plenty of candidates in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' locker room yesterday.

Neither Winnipeg head coach Cal Murphy nor his players offered any excuses for the team's lackluster performance in yesterday's 57-10 loss to the Baltimore CFLs at Memorial Stadium.

"They took it to us," Murphy said. "They played pretty good."

Excuses, no. Understatements, definitely.

Baltimore had made nine first downs and built a 20-0 lead before Winnipeg had a first down.

For the first half, Baltimore had 23 first downs to Winnipeg's eight and had out-gained the Blue Bombers in total offense, 387-86.

By the end of the game, the CFLs had 599 yards total offense and running back Mike Pringle had broken two single-season league records (most rushing yards and most total yards from scrimmage).

There was some speculation about whether the Blue Bombers were flat because of their late flight.

The Blue Bombers arrived in Baltimore at approximately 11:30 p.m. and did not check into their hotel until about an hour later.

Not exactly ideal conditions the night before a showdown for first place.

Murphy, however, denied that the late arrival was a factor, as did running back Blaise Bryant and quarterback Matt Dunigan.

"When it's your job, you have to do it," Bryant said. "We've had other things that took our attention away and we came through."

Said Dunigan: "I don't want to get into that. We can't use that as an excuse. It's a situation you have to deal with, and we dealt with it the best we could. [The late arrival] is a new experience for us, but we're paid to play the game and we didn't play it very well."

The CFLs' domination apparently hasn't shaken the Blue Bombers' confidence, however.

"Today was their day," said Bryant, who entered the game with 1,283 yards, but was limited to three carries for 6 yards yesterday. "I think we played a poor game and we just got beat. lTC But as far as saying they're better than us, I don't think so."

The Blue Bombers can take solace in the fact that they can make amends.

Barring an upset of either team in the opening round of the Eastern Division playoffs, the Blue Bombers and the CFLs would meet again in three weeks with a trip to the Grey Cup on the line.

With one regular-season game remaining, the CFLs moved ahead of Winnipeg in the battle for home-field advantage throughout the Eastern Division playoffs.

"We're not out of it. We can still get first place, and that's what counts," Murphy said.

"When you have to play at an emotional high game after game, you're going to have a letdown. Thankfully, ours have been few and far between. And I'd rather have it now than in three weeks."

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