CALGARY STAMPEDERS AT B.C. LIONS, 8 P.M., B.C. PLACE, TSN, QR77
The Stamps are still reveling in their best performance of the season, a 44-18 whipping of Saskatchewan Saturday at McMahon. The Lions have yet to stumble this season but have had some close calls, including last week's 28-22 victory over winless Hamilton.
The Stamps haven't beaten the Lions at B.C. Place since Aug. 2, 2002 (23-15). All-time record against the Lions is 85-63-4. The Stamps last defeated the Lions Sept. 24, 2004 (22-21) at McMahon Stadium as Scott Regimbald plunged into the endzone for a TD on the final play of the game. The Stamps are 3-6-0-1 in the last 10 meetings.
CALGARY -- Stamps head coach Tom Higgins, thanks to a healthy roster and a strong performance last week, is able to start the same lineup that defeated Saskatchewan. Although OL Jamie Crysdale and Jeff Pilon are both banged up, they will take to the field at centre and right tackle, respectively.
B.C. -- The Lions have added veteran non-import RG Bobby Singh, back from a one-game suspension, while Moe Elowinibi moves to the IR. Backup non-import LB Kelly Lochbaum returns from injury, replacing Scott Plummer (groin).
WHEN CALGARY HAS THE BALL -- Stampeders RB Joffrey Reynolds should be a key weapon tonight against a Lions squad that has struggled against the run. Although the Lions have statistically the second-best defence in the CFL this season, it has also allowed the highest gain per rush (6.4 yards) through four games. Reynolds is tied for second in league rushing with 394 yards but boasts the best average at 6.9 yards per carry. Stamps QB Henry Burris will need to establish the run before launching the ball downfield as the Lions have a vastly improved pass rush with 14 sacks through four games.
WHEN B.C. HAS THE BALL -- Lions starter Dave Dickenson has a ridiculously impressive efficiency rating of 112.9%, best in the CFL, while completing 74.4% of his passes. His eight TD tosses and the Lions' average points per game (28) are both second-most in the CFL. This, despite often being provided with weak pass protection as the former Stamps pivot has been sacked 20 times this year, second- most in the league. B.C. has a talented receiving corps that includes team leader Geroy Simon (23 catches for 356 yards) Ryan Thelwell and Jason Clermont.
Stamps rookie K Sandro DeAngelis has split the uprights on all 11 field-goal attempts this year. Most CFL observers assume it's a record for a first-year player, although the league does not keep such stats ... Lions DE Brent Johnson is tied for the CFL lead with six sacks while the Lions are tied for third in that category with 14, behind Calgary (16) and Edmonton (20).