Game day - Eskimos at Stampeders

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:33 PM ET

HEAD-T0-HEAD:

Each team won two of four Battles of Alberta last season, although the Eskimos took the one that counted. Edmonton won the West semifinal in Calgary en route to a Grey Cup victory. The all-time season series is 115-69-4 in favour of the Eskimos.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH:

1. CENTRE-QUARTERBACK EXCHANGE -- Sophomore Godrey Ellis had a hard time putting the ball in Henry Burris' hands during the pre-season, making life miserable for the entire offence.

2. RIGHT SIDE OF THE LINE -- The Eskimos had three retirements on their offensive line this off-season and will start a mishmash of players on the right side. C Tim Bakker came over in the Jason Maas trade, while RG Glen Carson and T Patrick Kabongo are next to him. They will have a challenge protecting Ricky Ray.

3. GEORGE WHITE'S REPLACEMENT -- Newcomer Khalid Abdullah starts at linebacker for Calgary because of George White's off-season Achilles injury. The younger brother of Stamps defensive lineman Rahim Abdullah won the job over Cornelius Anthony and Hakim Akbar.

4. RETURN SPECIALIST -- The Stamps are hoping someone emerges as a special-teams threat this season. They will start with DB J.R. Ruffin, RB David Allen and WR Ken-Yon Rambo in the position.

5. PUNTER RODNEY WILLIAMS -- The Eskimos are starting an import at punter in what is considered a strange move with veteran Canadian kicker Sean Fleming still on the roster.

KEY STAT:

79.2 -- Yards rushing the Eskimos defence allowed per game last season. However, the group will be without LB A.J. Gass for the season-opener.

KEY MATCHUP:

Stamps DL Rahim Abdullah vs. OT Patrick Kabongo. It's a huge battle at the line of scrimmage as the veteran Abdullah will try to school the first-year starter.


Videos

Photos