VANCOUVER — Matt Nichols made sure everyone noticed that he didn’t get his jersey dirty in last week’s blowout win over the B.C. Lions.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback was not touched by the Lions in his first game back from a knee injury and predictably, the Bombers offence rolled in a 41-19 win at Investors Group Field.
Lions coach Wally Buono actually hopes his quarterback Travis Lulay, who is coming off a lengthy recovery from a major knee injury, does feel some contact early in Saturday’s rematch between the two teams at B.C. Place.
“I hope Travis gets hit early, so that he realizes he’s OK,” Buono said. “Matt Nichols must not think he’s OK yet because he didn’t get hit.”
It’s pretty obvious the Lions need to do a better job against the Bombers offensive line if they are going to have more success this week.
Buono expects them to stand and deliver because they were beaten a week ago, not necessarily because Nichols rubbed salt in the wounds by pointing out how clean his game was.
“I don’t think he was saying that to throw darts at anybody,” Buono said. “I think he was saying that to compliment the offensive line.
“Why should the truth bother you? If that’s the truth you can do two things about it. You can feel like you’ve been insulted or you can do something about it. My thing is ‘Why would you be insulted by the truth?’ There’s no insult. It’s just true. If you don’t like it, you do something about it.”
Nichols threw for 162 yards and a touchdown, with no interceptions last week and Chris Streveler added 33 yards and two touchdowns along the ground, along with 45 passing yards.
Buono admitted the one-two punch of Nichols and Streveler provides a challenging dimension for the opposition. However, he is fully aware that most of Streveler’s damage came on one play, a short-yardage play that ended up going for 26 yards.
“(Streveler) is a great athlete,” Buono said. “We all knew that. If they block it up, which they did, then he’s a problem. I’m not sure it was just him. If the offensive line and the perimeter players don’t block it up, I don’t think he’s going 26 yards. It’s not like he was making 20 guys miss. He got the edge and there’s nobody out there and he is an athlete.”