CFL Preview - British Columbia (8-3) at Edmonton (5-6)
From The Sports Network
By Gregg Xenakes, CFL Editor
DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 22, 7:30 p.m. (et).
GAME NOTES: The top team in the CFL hits the field on Saturday night at
Commonwealth Stadium, as the British Columbia Lions drop in on the Edmonton
Eskimos for a West Division showdown.
Aside from a few bumps in the road early on this season, the Lions have been
cruising along like the Grey Cup Champions that they are. The team picked up a
second straight win and the sixth in the last seven outings last Saturday with
a 28-23 triumph over Toronto at home in BC Place. The victory was the eighth
of the season for BC, the most of any team after 12 weeks of action.
Quarterback Travis Lulay led the attack for the Lions as he completed 24-of-40
passes for 390 yards and two touchdowns, extending his consecutive game streak
with at least one passing major to 22 in a row. With his 39-yard TD strike to
Shawn Gore in the second quarter, Lulay moved into second place all-time for
consecutive games with a passing score, leaving both Anthony Calvillo and Doug
Flutie behind at 21 in a row. Next on the list is former Montreal signal-
caller Sam Etcheverry, who delivered a major in 34 straight games from
Gore finished with three catches for 96 yards, while Geroy Simon tallied six
grabs for 117 yards and Arland Bruce five catches for 55 yards and a score.
The effort by Simon marked just his second 100-yard game of the season and the
first since he opened 2012 with five catches for 105 yards versus Winnipeg
when he became the league's all-time leader in receiving yards. Simon, who has
yet to take a pass into the end zone this season, now needs just 24 more
receptions to reach 1,000 for his career, which means the all-time record set
by Ben Cahoon is certainly a possibility.
As for the Eskimos last week, they played their own version of rotisserie
quarterback as all three available signal-callers, Steven Jyles, Kerry Joseph
and Matt Nichols, made an appearance in the hopeless 51-8 loss against
Hamilton last Saturday afternoon.
Jyles and Joseph were both already ailing before the game even began and then
Nichols entered late in the third quarter and was throttled at the end of a
scramble, requiring him to come to the sideline and take a seat.
The trio combined to hit 25-of-44 for 357 yards, one interception and five
painful sacks. Jerome Messam had the only major of the game for the Eskimos,
thanks to a one-yard run in the first quarter, but he finished with just eight
total yards on five attempts. Hugh Charles accounted for 32 yards on five
carries as the team continued to have trouble identifying the most reliable
ground gainer that could serve the interests of the Eskimos the best moving
The Edmonton defense surrendered 571 yards and even though Hamilton was
flagged for 10 penalties for 120 yards, the Tigers-Cats still couldn't be
Reports have Jyles taking the majority of the snaps in practice this week and
he is the one who is expected to make the start against the Lions. Jyles, who
has attempted the most passes for an Eskimo this year, is hitting on just 58
percent of his passes, leading to five touchdowns and also five interceptions.
Jyles probably best represents the quarterback position for the Eskimos the
best as the aerial attack overall has just 11 TDs and 11 INTs.
Against the Lions in his career, Jyles has been sacked 18 times in as many
appearances and has more interceptions (five) than TDs (four).
At the other end of the spectrum is Lulay who is third in the CFL with 20
passing scores and thanks to just eight picks and 66.5 percent completions,
the signal-caller has the third-best efficiency rating (101.4) at the moment
A veteran of 10 matchups against the Eskimos, Lulay has come on strong most
recently with a total of 11 TDs in his last four appearances.
Reaching back to the 1954 season and taking into account only regular-season
matchups, Edmonton holds a 103-71-4 edge in the all-time series between the
squads. The Eskimos won the most recent meeting back in July by a score of
27-14 in Vancouver, but still BC has taken three of the last four encounters
The teams are set to meet once more during the regular season on Oct. 19 at BC
The uncertainty at quarterback can't be good for the Eskimos right now and
even though the team has pegged Jyles as the starter for this weekend, one
good hit could send him to the sidelines and begin the juggling QB routine all
over again. With that said, expect to see the Lions and Lulay have their way
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: British Columbia 37, Edmonton 13
09/19 11:13:56 ET
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