Game Day

IAN BUSBY

, Last Updated: 8:04 AM ET

TONIGHT, 8 P.M. MCMAHON STADIUM TV: CH. 6 (SUBJECT TO BLACKOUT) RADIO: QR77

HEAD-TO-HEAD

The two teams split the season series last year, with Calgary squeaking out a 23-22 win at McMahon Stadium, while the Ticats earned their first victory of the season two weeks later 20-17. The Stamps lead the all-time series 44-29-0.

KEY STAT

3 -- The number of new starters on the Stampeders defensive line this season, as Terrence Patrick, Anthony Gargiulo and Keron Williams replace Rahim Abdullah, Demetrious Maxie and Sheldon Napastuk. The new group has a lot of speed but is short on experience.

KEY MATCHUP

Stamps RB Joffrey Reynolds vs. Ticats LB Zeke Moreno -- In his first CFL game, the Ticats linebacker draws a tall task: Trying to keep an eye on the league's second-leading rusher from a year ago. If the Stamps get a lead, Reynolds will get a chance to run the clock out.

3 KEYS TO VICTORY

1. Spread the ball around -- Quarterback Henry Burris has plenty of weapons to choose from and will need to get everyone involved in the season-opener because it often sets the tone for the year.

2. Eliminate the two-pronged attack -- Hamilton's offence will rely heavily on the contrasting styles of running backs Jesse Lumsden and Corey Holmes. The former can dishing out blows while the latter has the elusiveness to turn a small hole in a huge gain.

3. Overcoming changes -- The Stamps are dressing five new starters on defence and there will be some youthful mistakes.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Calgary -- If free-agent signing Marc Boerigter picks up where he left off -- the receiver's last CFL game that mattered was the 2001 Grey Cup -- the Stamps could expect some more momentum.

Hamilton -- Last year, the Ticats only had one all-star in East Division voting and defensive back Tay Cody returns to where he left off. Cody created plenty of turnovers in the pre-season.


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