The Ottawa REDBLACKS will face a big test, Sunday night, as they aim to end their current two-game losing skid.
Ottawa makes their first visit of the year to the 6ix, as they eye an upset victory over the East Division-leading Toronto Argonauts (6-1). Kickoff is set for 7:00pm ET, under the lights at BMO Field.
It was another close affair for the REDBLACKS, a week ago, but a field goal in the game’s dying moments proved to be their undoing. On the road against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Dustin Crum threw for 174 yards, completing 16 of 20 pass attempts, and Douglas Coleman scooped and scored a Thomas Schaffer forced fumble for a defensive touchdown. Lewis Ward converted on five of six field goal attempts, but it was the Riders making good on a 54-yard attempt late in the game that delivered them a 26-24 victory.
The REDBLACKS will again have to make some alterations on the offensive line, as star guard Drew Desjarlais is out with an ankle injury. Hunter Steward slots into his spot, and 2023 first-overall draft pick Dontae Bull will dress for the first time in his CFL career. Defensively, Coleman is a gametime decision for Sunday
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Toronto suffered a somewhat surprising first loss of the season in Week 9, dropping a 20-7 road result to the Calgary Stampeders. It was a rough night from the outset for the Boatmen, as star quarter Chad Kelly, and running back AJ Ouellette were banged up early. Both are set to start vs the REDBLACKS on Sunday.
Kelly entered Week 10 tied for second in the CFL, with nine passing touchdowns on the season, and boasting a CFL-leading five rushing majors. Ouellette is right behind him with four, as a key part of Toronto’s two-headed monster backfield, along with future Hall of Famer Andrew Harris.
On defence, halfback Robertson Daniel began the week tied for fourth in the CFL with 44 tackles, and in a tie for second with Ottawa’s Brandin Dandridge, with four interceptions.
Ottawa will have to sharp in kick coverage, as Toronto returner Javon Leake is one of two players with a pair of kick return touchdowns on the season, and leads the CFL with an average of 14.3 punt return yards.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS:
Bryce Carter, defensive lineman, on stopping a high-powered Argos offence: “The whole defence has to do their jobs. When the secondary and linebackers do their job at the second level, that allows us to get some good rushes and put some pressure on [the quarterback]. »
Bob Dyce, Head Coach, on his message to the team this week: ““What I have to impress on the team is it takes all 12 on offence to be successful. When you have a younger [quarterback], all 11 guys around him had better be doing exactly what they need to do so he’s feeling extremely comfortable in what he needs to do and can just focus on being himself. He shouldn’t feel like he has to do something else. If a depth doesn’t time up with his drop, then all of a sudden he scrambles and he feels like he’s got to run. That’s not right. There are a million things that go into it.”
Jaelon Acklin, receiver, on the play of his young quarterback thus far: “We can’t complain that we’re in our fourth quarterback this season, he’s very good. I’m in my fourth season and I’m just beginning to understand the game in the CFL, so I can’t imagine what it would be like for a quarterback in his first season.
7:00 PM ET | TV (ENG): TSN / TSN4 / TSN5 (JIP TSN3 at 9:30pm ET) RDS (French) / CFL+ | Radio: EN: TSN 1200, SiriusXM (ch. 1