Thursday 9 August 2012

Preview: Stampeders at Tiger-Cats


After a week off, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats are back in action hoping to extend their league-high three-game win streak to four when they take on the Calgary Stampeders.

At first glance, this game looks like it will be a shootout. These are the two top offenses in the league, according to points-per-game, with the Ti-Cats averaging slightly over 32 points in their five games and the Stamps not far behind at 31. We could be looking at 80 combined points in tonight's game.

With the weapons on both sides, the defenses are going to have to step up. For the Cats, that means finding a way to minimize perhaps the league's best receiver, Nik Lewis. With his size and skill, it is impossible to stop Lewis, but with the hard hitters in the Tiger-Cat secondary, they might be able to slow down the league's best receiver.

Calgary will try to put the clamps on speedster Chris Williams and the reliable hands of Andy Fantuz. But as was shown in the Week 5 win over Saskatchewan, Hamilton has a plethora of pass catchers that will need to be contained. Rookie Onrea Jones caught two touchdown passes, veteran Dave Stala hauled in one of his own, and first-year Tiger-Cat Sam Giguère helped with a big 50-yard catch and run. The Calgary secondary is going to have their hands full with the talented Tiger-Cat receiving corps.

With the possibility of rain in tonight's forecast, both running backs could see a lot of work. Calgary's Jon Cornish has been a disappointment so far this season and will look to bounce back from a minus-one-yard performance against BC two weeks ago. While the big plays have gone away, Hamilton's Chevon Walker is the league's third-leading rusher and is due for a big game.

Of course, the main storyline of the game is Burris and Glenn leading their new teams against their old ones. Both players have downplayed the revenge angle when asked about it, but there has to be a little motivation for each player as they go up against the team that deemed them expendable.

With two high-scoring offenses and both teams coming off a week's rest, this should be an exciting and entertaining contest. The game starts at 7:00PM at Ivor Wynne Stadium.

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