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CFL Preview - Calgary (5-4) at Edmonton (5-4)



From The Sports Network

By Gregg Xenakes, CFL Editor

DATE & TIME: Friday, September 7, 9:00 p.m. (et).

GAME NOTES: The Calgary Stampeders shoot for their third straight win on Friday night as they tangle with the Edmonton Eskimos, the same team they faced earlier this week, but this time at Commonwealth Stadium in Alberta.

On Labour Day, Calgary scored the first and last points of the game as they slipped by the Eskimos for a narrow 31-30 triumph. Getting most of the accolades for the hosts was quarterback Kevin Glenn, who tossed a seven-yard TD to Larry Taylor with less than two minutes remaining in regulation to give his team a one-point advantage despite a failed two-point conversion attempt.

Glenn finished the contest 23-of-30 for 273 yards and two TDs which countered his two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown by Joe Burnett in the fourth quarter to tighten up the meeting. Nik Lewis was his favorite target once again as the receiver reeled in seven passes for 101 yards, although he did lose one of those receptions on a fumble which is somewhat of a rarity for Lewis.

Backup quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell actually scored the first TD of the game on a one-yard run in the first quarter.

Edmonton quarterback Kerry Joseph tossed a couple of touchdowns in the second quarter for the visitors, but after that he couldn't get another aerial strike to cross the goal line. Joseph finished 17-of-27 for 311 yards, was intercepted once and sacked three times. Out on the run, the signal-caller managed to find the end zone himself on a one-yard effort in the fourth frame.

Joseph was inserted into the lineup when it was determined that regular starter Steven Jyles was deemed to be unfit to play following an ankle injury that he suffered during Week 9 action versus Toronto.

Newly resigned Jerome Messam carried the ball seven times for the Eskimos, resulting in just 32 yards, while Hugh Charles accounted for just 16 yards on six attempts. Getting the short end of the stick with the return of Messam was Cory Boyd who ended up as a healthy scratch.

Edmonton now has an embarrassment of riches at the running back position and yet the team is still tied for fifth in the league with just seven rushing scores. Strangely enough, even though Boyd has gained close to 500 yards already this season, he might be the odd man out moving forward with Charles (520 yards, three TDs) having already earned his stripes with the team.

Where the Eskimos need to be concerned is at the quarterback position since the squad ranks last in the league with 2,227 yards and has more interceptions (10) than passing scores (nine). Only Winnipeg, a team which has used three starters at the QB spot already, has fewer passing TDs with just eight.

Over on the other side, it is not as though Glenn is lighting up the scoreboard with his passing prowess, but he does have 12 passing TDs and one of the better completion rates (.679) among the regular starters in the league heading into action this week. However, the Stamps have tossed a total of nine picks and are tied for the most lost fumbles in the league with eight, which means Glenn doesn't always have complete command of the offense.

In fact, Calgary as a whole is currently second-to-last in turnover margin with a minus-seven, while Edmonton is at the other end of the list with a plus-seven, which leads the CFL after nine games.

While the Eskimos try to sort out the issue of having too many qualified running backs, Calgary continues to stick with a proven product in Jon Cornish who is currently second in the league with 642 yards on 121 carries. Averaging 5.3 yards per attempt, Cornish has scored four times on the ground and also has one TD resulting from his 23 receptions which have led to an additional 174 yards for the back.

Edmonton leads the all-time series by a commanding 123-83-3, dating back to the 1949 campaign and only taking into account games played during the regular season. However, with the win last week the Stamps have now won two straight and nine of the last 12 encounters between the two squads.

The teams still have two more meetings on the books for the 2012 regular season, with the next game being played in Calgary later this month and then the teams closing out the regular season in Edmonton on November 2.

Having just played each other only a few days ago, these teams should know almost everything about each other which means any small slip by one of the defenses or special teams could spell disaster.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Calgary 27, Edmonton 20

09/05 11:10:14 ET


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