CFL Preview - Winnipeg (1-4) at British Columbia (3-2)
From The Sports Network
By Gregg Xenakes, CFL Editor
DATE & TIME: Monday, August 5, 7:00 p.m. (et).
GAME NOTES: The Winnipeg Blue Bombers try to bring an end to a three-game
slide on Monday night as they pay a visit to the British Columbia Lions at BC
Tied with Hamilton for last place in the Eastern Division standings with just
a single win in five opportunities, the only victory coming against Montreal
on the road back on July 4 by a score of 19-11. In every other contest the
squad has given up at least 25 points, with 37 being permitted to the Calgary
Stampeders in a 13-point setback the last time out on July 26.
Prior to that contest, Winnipeg held a players-only meeting in an effort to
clear the air and get on track but it didn't help on the scoreboard.
Filling in for an injured Buck Pierce at quarterback, Justin Goltz threw a
pair of touchdown passes to Jade Etienne in the first and second quarters,
respectively, the receiver finishing with a total of three catches for just 18
yards. Goltz hit on just 19-of-35 passes for 194 yards, was picked off once
and sacked three times as the team controlled the ball for less than 22
Running back Chad Simpson, who finished with 13 carries for 73 yards, notched
a two-yard scoring run in the fourth period.
Defensively, the Blue Bombers had no answer for Bo Levi Mitchell, a backup
quarterback himself for the Stampeders, who missed on just four of his 33 pass
attempts, leading to 376 yards and three majors. Jon Cornish was allowed to
roam free as he not only registered a game-high 88 rushing yards on 16
carries, he also caught a game-high six passes for another 87 yards.
In the case of the Lions, they just played on Tuesday night against Toronto at
Rogers Centre and based on the key injuries to Argos quarterback Ricky Ray and
running back Chad Kackert, BC figured to have an edge even though it was on
the road. Unfortunately, the visitors simply could not get their offense on
track as they suffered a 38-12 defeat.
Filling in for Ray was Zach Collaros who threw a trio of TD passes, while
subbing for Kackert was Curtis Steele who ran for 74 yards and two majors, not
to mention coming up with a team-best five catches for another 35 yards.
The first half saw the Lions score just six points on a pair of short field
goals by Paul McCallum. The kicker added two more field goals in the third
frame, but clearly quarterback Travis Lulay was not finding his receivers with
any regularity as the team saw a six-game win streak in the series versus
Toronto come to an end.
Lulay, who finished the 2012 campaign with the second-best efficiency rating
in the league at 100.7 as he completed close to two-thirds of his pass
attempts, was in the same neighborhood versus the Argos as he converted 20-
of-29 for 226 yards, but had one pass picked off and was sacked three times.
Nick Moore stepped up with six receptions for a game-high 116 yards, while
Andrew Harris continued to assault defenses by generating a game-high 107
rushing yards on 16 attempts, but still neither was able to get into the end
Harris, who ran for 1,112 yards on 187 carries a season ago, is now up to 403
yards on 70 attempts in 2013 thanks to a trio of 100-yard efforts.
Lulay and the offense suffered a significant setback late in the first quarter
when guard Kirby Fabien, who earlier in the period recovered a teammate's
fumble, went down with an apparent knee injury and was carted off the field.
Fabien was taken to a local hospital for additional evaluation.
The least penalized team in the league after four weeks of play with a total
of just 21 miscues, for a loss of 250 yards, the Lions were hit with a hefty
13 flags for a staggering 126 yards on Tuesday night, compared to just five
penalties for 45 yards assessed to the Argonauts.
Last season, the teams kicked off the campaign against each other in British
Columbia, with the hosts capturing a convincing 33-16 triumph. In Week 9
action, the Bombers made the game much more competitive before bowing in a
20-17 final at home.
Even with the sweep in 2012, the Lions still trail the all-time series between
the teams, taking into account only regular-season bouts dating back to 1954,
by a count of 83-73-2.
These two clubs are set to meet once more during the regular season in late
September in Winnipeg.
Back home where they are 2-0 this season, the Lions should be able to figure
out their issues from Tuesday night and put their best foot forward against a
Winnipeg squad that is clearly having some serious problems of their own at
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: British Columbia 35, Winnipeg 20
07/31 11:44:35 ET
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