BC takes on the Surging Eskimos
Edmonton Eskimos @ BC Lions
Date: Friday, October 19, 2012
Place: BC Place
Time: 7:00pm (Pacific Time)
Television: TSN, NBC Sports Network (US)
Radio: TEAM 1040 (Rick Ball & Giulio Caravatta)
Lions Try to Hold Off a Gold Rush
With the BC Lions already locked into a playoff spot, a win over visiting Edmonton will clinch their second consecutive West Division title. But don’t count out the 7-8 Green and Gold just yet.
Their offense is starting to surge, having notched over 70 points in their last two games. BC, meanwhile, has posted the league’s best record at 11-4 but injuries are mounting and may factor into this week-ends decision.
Time to claw through the surface in this week’s Top Shelf Keys to the game as BC welcomes the Eskimos into the Lions den.
Battle of Attrition
Another week, another injury for the BC receivers. After a vicious hit to the head by Hamilton’s Dee Webb, Lions wide-out Marco Iannuzzi will be sidelined this week. Hopefully it’s just precautionary as Iannuzzi has already passed some early concussion testing.
With Marco out, it appears that Kierrie Johnson will get a spot back on the game day roster.
Even with all the new faces to throw to, Lions QB Travis Lulay has been so accurate he could make the BC Place beer vendors look like All-Stars. But it sounds like all that consistency and accuracy may be on the shelf as there are concerns over Lulay’s throwing shoulder.
He suffered the injury late in the Hamilton game leaving back-up Mike Reilly to take first team reps all week. Reilly, a constant in short-yardage situations all season, completed 75% of his passes and ran in a TD, filling in last week.
New is Old
Throughout this season Edmonton has playing with two QB’s. Steven Jyles and Kerry Joseph have split games all year, 4 weeks ago, when BC eked out a win over the Eskimos, it was Jyles at the helm. After back to back wins, Joseph gets the nod to face the vaunted Lions D.
The veteran pivot saw limited duty in the first game against BC and will hope to use his big arm to burn the Lions deep. The one fault in the Leo’s defence is that their secondary tends to give up passes for 30+ yards.
Unstoppable Force meet Immovable Object
The unstoppable force is BC’s RB Andrew Harris, the immovable object is Edmonton’s linebacker JC Sherritt. To be honest calling him immovable really isn’t fair. Sherritt flows from sideline to sideline better than anyone in the CFL, most likely in the history of the game.
By the time this season ends, there could be more broken records than the Chicago White Sox “Disco Demolition Night”.
Harris has already surpassed the mark for yards by a Canadian and Sherritt has his sights on setting the single season tackle record. In the last matchup Harris gained over 180 yards and Sherritt recorded 7 tackles.
If the Lions hope to secure a win, the BC Running Back must evade the far reaching grasp of the Edmonton Linebacker.
The Game Changer
Even with the outstanding year Harris is having, and Lulay being more reliable than old faithful, the key stat man this year could be Kicker/Punter Paul McCallum. BC has the fewest punt attempts this season, a clear indication of the efficiency of Jacques Chapdelaine’s Offence, and McCallum is the league leader in kicking points.
If this game is to be any reflection of their last meeting with Edmonton, which I’m sure it will be, the right foot of #4 will play a vital role.
- Due to a racial slur on his Twitter account, the BC Lions have benched DT Khalif Mitchell for one game.
- DT Eric Taylor is also not expected to play for the Lions. Brandon Jordan will start instead.
- Lions G Jon Hameister-Ries will miss his 3rd consecutive game. Patrick Kabongo will be his replacement as he has been playing exceptionally well.
- October 19th is a CFL pink night. Show your spirit by donning the colour and raise awareness for Breast Cancer.
- The only team category that Edmonton leads BC in is turnover ratio. Eskimos are tops in the league while the Lions sit third. This may be a deciding factor in the outcome of the game.
They say inspiration and motivation is what makes a room full of athletes a team, and right now Coach Mike Benevides has his team playing at its optimum level.
Due to the moves caused by injury, Coach Bene may need to find some additional motivation for his young replacements but all he really needs to say is Edmonton is coming to get what BC already has, a chance to play for the 100th Grey Cup.
Cheers, The Bartender