Canadian Football League

                   *** CFL Previews - Week 7 (August 7-8) ***
                            From The Sports Network
 By Fred Williams, CFL Editor
 Toronto, Ontario (Sports Network) -
 DATE & TIME: Thursday, August 7, 7 p.m. (et).
 GAME NOTES: These are indeed difficult times in Hamilton.
 The  Tiger-Cats are  tied for last in  the East Division and banged up heading
 into their game with their arch rivals.
 The  first  time these two  teams met, running back  Jesse Lumsden ran for 189
 yards  and  two touchdowns to lead  Hamilton to its  only win of the season, a
 32-13  decision at  Rogers  Centre against  Toronto on  July  3. With  Lumsden
 leading the way, the Ticats ran for over 300 yards against the Argos defense.
 Trouble  is, Lumsden  is on  the limp  with an  ankle sprain  and won't  play.
 Neither  will  starting  quarterback  Casey Printers,  will  miss  his  second
 straight start with a thumb injury.
 Receiver  Tony  Miles might also  miss a third  straight game with a hamstring
 Richie   Williams   will  make   his  second   straight  start  for  Hamilton.
 Williams  completed 18-of-24 passes 260 yards in Hamilton's 40-33 road loss to
 Montreal. But he didn't throw any touchdown passes -- the Ticats don't have an
 aerial TD to show for through six games -- and had two interceptions.
 Williams  did run for a team-high 79 yards and two touchdowns as Montreal held
 Lumsden  to 27 yards rushing on five carries. Tre Smith rushed for 50 yards on
 seven carries and had a touchdown but also a fumble.
 However,  Montreal's  Anthony Calvillo threw  for 326 yards and two touchdowns
 against Hamilton's defense. The Alouettes rolled up 443 total yards and sacked
 Williams five times.
 Williams  and Co.  takes on a Toronto defense coming off a stellar performance
 in last week's 19-11 home win over Winnipeg. The Argos held Winnipeg to 272
 total yards and had four sacks and two turnovers. After passing for 450 yards
 in his CFL regular-season debut against Calgary, Bombers quarterback Ryan
 Dinwiddie threw for just 224 yards -- 85 coming on a TD pass to Romby Bryant
 -- and had two interceptions against Toronto.
 The  Argos also  came into the game  allowing over 160 yards rushing per game.
 But they gave up just 69 against Winnipeg, with Charles Roberts accounting for
 66 of those yards.
 The numbers: Hamilton is 0-3 at home and 1-2 within the East Division. Toronto
 is 1-2 on the road but 2-1 against conference competition.
 Keys  to the game: How the running game goes will dictate how Hamilton goes in
 this contest.
 The  Ticats sport  the league's  top  rushing attack  at 167  yards per  game.
 Usually, Lumsden is a big part of that but if he can't play the onus will fall
 on Smith to step up.
 Toronto  has been vulnerable  to the run this year, but is expected to welcome
 linebacker  Kevin Eiben back. He missed last week's game against Winnipeg with
 a knee injury.
 If  Toronto can  shut down  the run,  then it  will be  in good  shape because
 Hamilton's offense is the CFL's worst when it comes to passing. In addition to
 not  having thrown  a touchdown  pass this  year, the  Ticats are  ranked last
 overall in passing, averaging 238 yards through the air.
 While  Toronto  has the league's weakest  run defense, it sports the CFL's top
 pass defense (242 yards per game).
 However,  Toronto's offense  has had  its share  of trouble.  The Argos'  lone
 touchdown last week came on Dominique Dorsey's 94-yard punt return.
 Still,  the  Argos should have  more than enough  to dispatch a hurting Ticats
 Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Toronto 21, Hamilton 14.
 DATE & TIME: Thursday, August 7, 10 p.m. (et).
 GAME  NOTES: Another  week,  another batch  of injuries  to  overcome for  the
 Saskatchewan Roughriders.
 The  defending Grey Cup champions improved to 6-0 last week with a close 22-21
 road  win  over the Calgary Stampeders.  But the win  came with a price as the
 club  lost four  more players  to injury,  including receivers  Matt Dominguez
 (knee) and Carl Berman (Achilles tendon) and fullback Neal Hughes (leg).
 They  join  the likes  of  quarterbacks  Marcus  Crandell and  Darian  Durant,
 receivers  D.J.  Flick, Andy  Fantuz, Weston  Dressler, defensive lineman John
 Chick, defensive back James Johnson and cornerback Leron Mitchell, all of whom
 have missed time due to injuries.
 What's  more,  the Riders could be  without receiver Corey Grant. His wife, is
 pregnant  with the couple's first child and Grant has permission from the team
 to leave to be with his wife if she goes into labor before Thursday's game.
 The  good  news, though, is Johnson  and Dressler resumed practicing this week
 and should be back soon.
 Fortunately for the Riders, running back Wes Cates remains healthy.
 Cates  ran  for 139 yards against  Calgary. He's the CFL's rushing leader with
 632  yards  and is  averaging over six  yards a carry.  Cates has scored seven
 Marcus  Crandell returned to the starting lineup against Calgary and threw for
 just 225 yards, but included were three touchdown strikes.
 But Saskatchewan's defense has been as impressive.
 The  Riders are  allowing a league-low 21.5  points per game and just 80 yards
 rushing per game. They're second in overall pass defense (270 yards per game).
 And  Saskatchewan was  pretty good against Calgary as quarterback Henry Burris
 was  20-of-37 passing  for 248 with a touchdown and interception. Running back
 Joffrey  Reynolds  ran for just  46 yards on 10  carries while Burris added 43
 yards rushing on five carries.
 The  numbers:  Saskatchewan is 3-0  at home and  3-0 within the West Division.
 Calgary is 1-2 on the road and 1-2 against conference competition.
 Keys  to the game: Sweeping a home-and-home series is a difficult proposition,
 even for a team that's undefeated.
 The  Roughriders were  a little  lucky to  maintain their  unbeaten streak  as
 Calgary  kicker Sandro  DeAngelis missed a 54-yard field goal late in the game
 that, if successful, would've given the Stampeders the victory.
 Beating  Saskatchewan at home  is never easy, but there comes a point and time
 when the mounting injuries have to take their toll against the Riders.
 In  Flick,  Fantuz  and  Dominguez,  the Riders  are  minus  their  three  top
 receivers.  The  key to the  offence's success is  its running game. Shut that
 down,  and  the Stampeders will go  a long ways  towards being on an even keel
 with the defending Grey Cup champions.
 The  Stamps  have the ability  to be dominant  against the run. They're ranked
 second in the CFL, allowing just 83 yards on the ground per game.
 And  while  Calgary is ranked last  in the CFL  in pass defense (325 yards per
 game),  given how banged up the Riders' receiving corps is, this should be the
 time  when the Stampeders  surge ahead and hand the Riders their first loss of
 the year.
 Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Calgary 28, Saskatchewan 22.
 DATE & TIME: Friday, August 8, 7:30 p.m. (et).
 GAME  NOTES: The  Montreal Alouettes are really giving opposing defenses a lot
 to ponder.
 Last  week, quarterback  Anthony Calvillo  completed 26-of-36  passes for  326
 yards  and two touchdowns in leading Montreal to a 40-33 win over the Hamilton
 Tiger-Cats.  His favorite  target was  none  other than  veteran receiver  Ben
 Cahoon, who had nine catches for 89 yards.
 But the Alouettes were much more than a pass-oriented offense.
 Running back Avon Cobourne rushed for a game-high 119 yards and a touchdown as
 Montreal  finished  the game  with 443 total  yards offensively. The Alouettes
 also surrendered just one sack.
 The  only blemish on the Alouettes offensive game plan was the three turnovers
 the offense had against Hamilton.
 Despite  allowing  33 points and 356  total yards, Montreal's defense was good
 when  it had  to be,  registering  five sacks  and two  turnovers against  the
 Ticats' offense.
 Two  weeks ago,  quarterback  Ryan Dinwiddie  was  the toast  of  the town  in
 Winnipeg  after passing  for 450 yards and a touchdown in rallying the Bombers
 past  Calgary.  Dinwiddie cemented the  victory in style, throwing the winning
 touchdown pass from 35 yards out with under a minute to play.
 But  Dinwiddie and the Bombers' offense came crashing back to earth last week.
 Dinwiddie  was  16-of-28 passing  for 224  yards and a  touchdown but also two
 interceptions in a 19-11 loss to Toronto at Rogers Centre.
 The  Bombers managed just  272 total yards on offense and could only muster 67
 yards  rushing against  a Toronto defense that was averaging 167 yards against
 on the ground.
 Romby  Bryant was  the lone offensive bright spot against Toronto, registering
 four  catches for 119 yards and a touchdown. But 85 of those yards came on one
 big completion in the third quarter.
 Not  even  the return of  receiver Milt  Stegall could kick-start the offense.
 Stegall,  who missed the first five games while recovering from offseason knee
 surgery, had three catches for 38 yards for the Bombers.
 The  numbers:  Montreal is 1-2 on  the road but  a stellar 3-0 within the East
 Division. Winnipeg is 1-2 on the road but 0-3 against conference rivals.
 Keys  to the game: It's hard to figure out exactly what's wrong with Winnipeg,
 especially with such an offense with so much firepower. But the club's running
 game  hasn't got  on track, and that's  bad news for an offense that relies so
 heavily on running back Charles Roberts to be its catalyst.
 Roberts  has run for just 263 yards this season, with 67 of those yards coming
 in  last week's lost to Toronto. Roberts is averaging 4.1 yards per carry, but
 has often become the forgotten man.
 A  reason for  that has been Winnipeg's penchant for falling behind and having
 to  abandon the  run game. Despite having  one of the CFL's top running backs,
 the  Bombers are last in the league in rushing, averaging less than 65 yards a
 Montreal's  defense is  vulnerable to  the  run, standing  seventh overall  in
 allowing 134 yards per game.
 Trouble  is, Montreal's offense is pretty good, standing second in total yards
 (426  per game), first  in passing (331 yards per game) and scoring (32 points
 per game). The Bombers can't afford to get into a track meet with Calvillo and
 Co.,  meaning it  will be up to  Winnipeg's defense to stop Cobourne, then try
 and get pressure on Calvillo on passing downs.
 Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Montreal 37, Winnipeg 28.
 DATE & TIME: Friday, August 8, 10:30 p.m. (et).
 GAME NOTES: The B.C. Lions are quickly becoming a touch team to figure out.
 Some  weeks, they  can look simply overpowering with a high octane offense and
 smothering defense. And other times, they can look downright terrible and like
 a team that's nowhere near capable of being a threat come playoff time.
 Last week against Edmonton, they looked more like the latter in losing 35-24.
 Quarterback Jarious Jackson was an average 19-of-36 passing for 217 yards with
 a  touchdown  but two interceptions.  Running back  Joe Smith, last year's CFL
 rushing leader, ran for 58 yards on 13 carries.
 As  a unit,  the Lions had 360  total yards, but three turnovers and failed to
 hold on to a 24-17 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
 Edmonton,  on  the other hand,  was especially  proficient in the second half,
 rallying  from  20-10 half-time deficit  and outscoring  the Lions 18-0 in the
 fourth quarter.
 Quarterback  Ricky Ray  was 23-of-30 passing for 392 yards and two touchdowns.
 He  also  ran for  two touchdowns himself  as the Eskimos  rolled up 463 total
 yards against a usually stout B.C. defense.
 As  impressive  was Ray's ability  to distribute the football. Eight different
 Eskimos caught passes in the game.
 The  Eskimos  were able  to keep  CFL sacks  leader Cameron  Wake off Ray, but
 defensive end Brent Johnson had two of the Lions three sacks in the game.
 The  numbers:  Edmonton is 1-2  on the road but  2-1 within the West Division.
 B.C. is 2-1 at home but 0-3 within its conference.
 Keys to the game: A staple of head coach Wally Buono's tenure in B.C. has been
 consistent  play  at quarterback.  Be it Dave  Dickenson, Casey Printers, Buck
 Pierce  and at times  Jarious Jackson, the Lions have always seemed to be able
 to garner excellence under center.
 But Jackson hasn't provided that consistency this season.
 He  has  completed 57  per  cent  of his  passes  for  1,531 yards  with  nine
 touchdowns  and nine  interceptions. And it seems whenever veteran Geroy Simon
 doesn't play, the Lions offense sputters.
 Simon  didn't play last  week and his status for this game is uncertain. Not a
 good sign for the Lions at all.
 But  the Lions  have always  been a  solid team  at home,  and faced  with the
 prospect  of playing  the same team in consecutive weeks, the thinking here is
 B.C. will be much better prepared for the Eskimos the second time around.
 Sports Network Predicted Outcome: B.C. 27, Edmonton 24.
 Last week's record: 1-3; Season record: 7-17.

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