Huf wants consistent offence

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:36 AM ET

After blowing out a division rival and taking first place, you would expect John Hufnagel to be content with his Calgary Stampeders.

But as much as Monday's 42-5 spanking of the Saskatchewan Roughriders helped the Stamps gain a measure of confidence heading down the stretch, the head coach can find areas to improve.

"We weren't as consistent on offence as I would like to see," Hufnagel said. "I'm a coach. You are never satisfied.

"I told the players going into this game I wanted them to prepare themselves in order to play their best. I don't expect them to play a perfect game. I would never say you have to play perfect to win, but I do expect them to be in position mentally and physically to have the opportunity to play their best."

The Stamps offence benefited from two huge plays to make their overall numbers look great. Ken-Yon Rambo and Nik Lewis had touchdown grabs of 81 and 85 yards to account for half of quarterback Henry Burris' total of 304.

But the offence didn't turn the ball over compared to seven by the Riders, and the Stamps only took seven penalties for 36 yards.

For all the criticism over his career, Burris is having his finest season, especially when the competition gets tougher.

In games against winning teams, Burris has a 7-3 record and a quarterback rating of 101.2.

Alouettes pivot Anthony Calvillo, considered the frontrunner for the most outstanding player award, has a 4-3 record and 99.4 quarterback rating in those games.

With the win Monday, the Stamps took the season series against the Riders and control their destiny in the race to host the CFL's West Division final.

Hufnagel wants to see further improvement Saturday when the Stamps host the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who only need one victory to clinch second place in the East Division. The Bombers are the only team the Stamps haven't beaten this season.

The Stamps want to head into the playoffs on a win streak and finish the final third of the season with a 5-1 mark.

"It's very important because every team's coaches are preaching the same things," Hufnagel said. "You can't relax, especially with the race as tight as it is."

Two of their final three tilts are at McMahon Stadium, where they boast a three-game win streak.

"We owed our fans," Hufnagel said. "We lost the Labour Day game, and it was two in a row at McMahon Stadium (following a loss to the Riders). At that point, we made a sincere point to play good football in front of our fans."


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