CFL Preview - Calgary (14-3) at British Columbia (10-7)
From The Sports Network
By Gregg Xenakes, CFL Editor
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 1, 10 p.m. (et).
GAME NOTES: Two teams finish the regular season just as they began back in
late June, as the Calgary Stampeders meet up with the British Columbia Lions
in a West Division showdown, this time at BC Place on Friday night.
While this is still a heated rivalry, regardless of the outcome the teams
already know what stands before them as far as the postseason is concerned. As
the division champions, Calgary will have extra time to prepare for their
division finals outing on Nov. 17, and will face the winner of the
BC/Saskatchewan matchup which takes place at Mosaic Stadium on Nov. 10.
Last weekend, the Stampeders put an end to the race for first in the West
Division as they slipped by Saskatchewan, 29-25, at home to mark the team's
fifth straight victory and the ninth in the last 10 outings overall.
In what was being billed as a battle between the top running backs in the
league, Calgary's Jon Cornish and Kory Sheets of Saskatchewan, it was the
former who came out on top in both personal stats and the win column, forcing
the latter to eat his words after claiming he was superior to Cornish.
Named the top Canadian for yet another week, Cornish registered his fifth
straight 100-yard game, finishing with 109 yards and a score on 20 carries,
none of them being more important than the one that he used to bull his way
into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
Quarterbacks Drew Tate and Kevin Glenn combined to convert 22-of-33 passes for
301 yards, with Glenn tossing a touchdown and an interception while being
sacked three times. Calgary generated 426 yards in the meeting, compared to
only 256 yards for the Roughriders, but the Stamps put themselves in a
precarious position by fumbling the ball away four times and committing eight
penalties for a loss of 79 yards.
However, the Stampeders were bolstered by the play of Charleston Hughes who
was named the CFL Defensive Player of the Week for the third time this season.
Hughes registered three sacks in the meeting with Calgary, coming up with five
stops overall as he helped limit Sheets to only 42 yards on 11 carries. For
the season, Hughes paces the rest of the league with 18 sacks and is one sack
away from tying Harold Hallman's team record of 19. The six-year defensive end
has six multi-sack games this season.
Last Friday night, with Thomas DeMarco starting at quarterback, the Lions fell
behind 10-1 in the first quarter, prompting a move to Buck Pierce who went on
to have a hand in four touchdowns over the final three quarters to get BC over
the top in a 43-29 final at home.
Pierce, who was acquired in a trade with Winnipeg early last month, stepped in
and converted 11-of-14 passes for 141 yards and three touchdowns, adding
another on the ground as well in the comeback victory. Running back Stefan
Logan registered a 54-yard TD run in the second quarter as he finished with a
game-high 121 yards on 10 carries, his yardage total more than double what
Edmonton was able to produce as a unit.
Andrew Harris and Emmanuel Arceneaux combined for a modest seven receptions,
yet four of those ended up in the end zone for the Lions.
Somewhat surprisingly, the BC defense allowed more yards (448) than the Lions
were able to produce themselves (421), but that stat did not matter much after
factoring in the nine penalties for 95 yards assessed to the Eskimos.
From an offensive standpoint, specifically in the passing department, the
Lions are somewhat lucky to be where they are when you consider they rank
second-to-last with only 4,217 yards through the air. Then again, the squad
has had a series of different players stationing themselves as quarterback, so
it is understandable to find that there have been some struggles in that area.
With respect to the series between these two clubs, one that recognizes only
regular-season matchups going back to 1954, the Stampeders own a 97-78-5
advantage. Calgary won the most recent encounter less than a month ago, 40-26,
at home which means the Stamps have now taken three of the last four matchups.
British Columbia, which is trying to even the 2013 regular-season series at
two games apiece, posted a 26-22 victory back in the middle of August.
The squads have the potential to meet at least one more time in a few weeks,
so perhaps showing all of their plays this week would not be a wise move.
Putting it all on the line on Friday really doesn't give either team an
advantage anyway, so playing smart will be the key to the game on both sides.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: British Columbia 26, Calgary 23
10/30 10:51:16 ET
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