Tiger-Cats Stalk BC Place searching for victory
Friday July 6th, 2012 7:00PM PT
The BC Lions are cruising right along already, after dusting off Winnipeg they now host the shabby Tabbies, who are looking to rebound after being handed a beat down by the Roughriders.
Two weeks ago this game would have billed as a Grey Cup preview as both BC and Hamilton ranked 1 and 2 as the pre-season favourites to play for the championship.
BC looked every bit the part last week-end but Hamilton, well Hamilton got run over by a wayward combine.
The hyped up, re-jigged Ti-Cat offense brings Henry Burris and Andy Fantuz to town, but it’s the yellow and black D that needs to earn their stripes this week.
BC is hoping to claw through their guests, seeking revenge for a late season loss to Hamilton before entering the playoffs last year.
So without any more fanfare I give you this week’s
5 Top Shelf Keys to the game.
1.) Lions Aerial Attack
Hamilton’s Defence gave up close to 500 yards last week. I feel as though Travis Lulay and his arsenal of receivers should go off for numbers equal to that. Akeem Foster will be favoured in either match up he faces on the outside. He’s got size over Geoff Tisdale and experience over Matt Bucknor.
Kierrie Johnson just has speed over everybody.
2.) Hamilton’s Offense
Like a fine red wine maybe the Tiger-Cats O just needed some time to breathe. They may have lost but Black and Yellow fellows still put up some solid numbers. Burris finished with 284 yards, WR Chris Williams ended with 109 yards for the Tabbies.
This unit could just be hitting stride as they waltz into Vancouver.
3.) Big Cats up front
The Leo’s O-line finally received some good news as Jon Hamiester-Ries participated in some practices this week. He may be a game time decision though. And until they prove me wrong I’m still gonna put the Lions D-Line as one of my top 5 keys.
These gents are ruthless, unwavering, fierce, and downright unstoppable.
Eric Taylor and Keron Williams each had a pair of sacks last week.
4.) Avon Cobourne
He was brought into Hamilton as a last minute replacement for the injured Martell Mallett. He did not participate in the game against the Riders, although their starting RB, Chevon Walker, blasted his way to lead the league with 132 rushing yards.
Cobourne will spell off Walker in what appears to be the most dynamic duo in the CFL.
5.) A-B III
Last year Arland Bruce was cast aside from his place with the Tiger-Cats. The Lions quickly stepped in and signed the ultra-talented receiver.
Now more comfortable with the playbook and his teammates around him, Arland will be looking to laugh the loudest in the face of his doubters and former brothers in the Canadian Steel town.
It’s not like Bruce will need any additional motivation but I’m sure he’ll be a little more amped up than usual.
- Get to BC Place early. The Lions are going to officially honor Geroy Simon before kickoff.
- Stick around. Former Lions Nick Hebeler and Rick Klassen will be enshrined on the Ring of Honor. These two Canadian DL’s solidified a legendary defense and earned Grey Cup rings in 1985.
- Star Gaze. Aside from Hebeler and Klassen you will actually be able to see real stars on Friday, early reports is that the roof will be open.
- Jason Aragki suffered a fracture and will be sidelined this week. Lions signed LB Justin Conn from Bishop’s University to fill in for the injured captain.
- Road Woes. Hamilton has lost 4 of 5 roadies.
Both of these offensive units are chocked full of talent with skill all over the field and we could quite possibly see these two teams meeting in the playoffs. But this game will be won on the strengths of the D.
BC is loaded at Line and Secondary and Hamilton boasts a Linebacking corps which is tops in the CFL.
Look for these old foes to go at it like Kapp and Mosca during Grey Cup Week, as each team looks to sink in their claws.
Cheers, The Bartender