CFL Preview - British Columbia (6-3) at Hamilton (4-5)
From The Sports Network
By Gregg Xenakes, CFL Editor
DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 7, 4:00 p.m. (et).
GAME NOTES: A perfect 5-0 at home this season, the British Columbia Lions now
try to find the secret to winning on the road as they clash with the Hamilton
Tigers-Cats on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Stadium at the University of
BC, which is a solid 6-3 at the moment, finds itself sitting in third place in
the West Division where Saskatchewan (8-1) and Calgary (7-2) continue to ring
up wins at an accelerated rate partly because the Lions are just 1-3 on the
road in 2013. The good news, however, is that this week the opposition is one
that has already bowed down to British Columbia, within the last week in fact.
On Friday, Aug. 30, the Lions hosted Hamilton at BC Place and, despite scoring
in every quarter, still had to hold on down the stretch for a 29-26 victory
over the Ticats. Quarterback Travis Lulay converted 26-of-36 pass attempts for
359 yards and three touchdowns, picking himself off the ground only once
following a sack. The signal caller was also credited with three rushing
attempts, one of which culminated in a trip to the end zone.
Receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux caught four balls for a game-high 113 yards and a
major, the touchdown coming on a lengthy 80-yard pass play in the second
As for Hamilton, which is now a game under .500 overall on the season but
still just two points out of the lead in the East Division standings where
only one team (Toronto) has a winning record, Henry Burris missed only seven
of his 36 pass attempts, leading to 352 yards and two touchdowns, but at the
same time he was intercepted once and sacked four times. Dan LeFevour stepped
in under center for a spell and he too was sacked once, showing just how
aggressive the BC defense was during Week 10 action.
Neither team ran the ball particularly well, with BC coming away with just 65
yards on 18 attempts, but in the case of the 'Cats, they attempted only nine
rushing plays, three by LeFevour who actually scored on a one-yard run in the
third quarter. Hamilton was credited with just 50 yards rushing in the outing.
The mediocre rushing effort is nothing really new for the Tiger-Cats though,
with the team averaging just 87.5 ypg on the ground through the first eight
games of the campaign. Instead Hamilton, which had a three-game win streak
snapped with the most recent setback, attacks almost primarily through the
air, having attempted the most passes in the league through eight games with
One positive for the Tiger-Cats through Week 9 action was the pass defense
which had allowed a league-low 147 completions and 61.5 percent accuracy for
opponents. Then again, the only other team to have a better percentage against
foes in that department was BC (.613) which could cancel out any effort made
by the Hamilton secondary.
Midway through the season Burris, now in his second year with the 'Cats, still
had an efficiency rating of 101.8, but after setting a huge standard for
himself a year ago with 43 touchdown passes, it will be hard for him to come
up with a number close to that, considering he has just 14 aerial majors thus
British Columbia has now won three in a row over the Ticats, pushing its lead
in the all-time series to 49-32-3, when taking into consideration only
regular-season bouts tracing back to 1961.
Hamilton plans to celebrate a key moment in the team's history this weekend,
honoring the 1943-44 squad that was known then as the Flying Wildcats and won
the 31st Grey Cup over Winnipeg R.C.A.F., but that probably won't be enough of
a boost to get the current squad back on track and into the win column.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: British Columbia 31, Hamilton 20
09/04 11:15:04 ET
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