Bowled over

Edmonton Eskimos' Troy Davis. (SUN/Darryl Dyck)

Edmonton Eskimos' Troy Davis. (SUN/Darryl Dyck)

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 12:17 PM ET

HAMILTON -- Welcome to the strangest regular-season game of the year for the Edmonton Eskimos.

On one hand, tonight's Hamilton-Edmonton match-up at Ivor Wynne Stadium is being billed as the Toilet Bowl.

And on paper, this game is about as appealing as a port-a-potty in 35C heat on the prairie. In last place in their respective division, Edmonton hasn't won on the road this year, while Hamilton hasn't scored a touchdown at home in two months.

But on the field this is the most intriguing tilt of the season for the Green and Gold.

There are the obvious storylines: Edmonton's trying to claw into the playoffs, Jason Maas is facing his old team for the first time and Troy Davis is returning to his old home.

But there's much more to this meeting.

In fact, within the three keys to the game there are players who were dumped by Edmonton and are now looking for payback.

1. HAMILTON MUST LIMIT RICKY RAY'S ABILITY

Since being cut by the Eskimos on the final day of training camp, defensive end Anthony Collier has been waiting for today. "It is all I have been thinking about," he said.

"When I was at home (in Texas after being released) I knew I was going to get picked up somewhere and I was like: 'I can't wait until I play Edmonton.'"

Hamilton eventually picked up Collier and starts him tonight.

"I'm going to do everything in my power to help put up a loss in Edmonton's column.''

2. EDMONTON MUST LOCK DOWN HAMILTON RECEIVERS

Nearly every football reporter in this city seems to be digging for the reason why Maas is struggling.

Hamilton coach Ron Lancaster threw out a theory yesterday: "It seems when he holds that ball for a long time he doesn't get it delivered the way he wants."

Lancaster drew a possible comparison to former Ticat pivot Ken Hobart.

"If (Hobart) held onto that football, you could see his shoulder getting tighter and tighter and then he would throw the ball and you would have no idea where it was going. So we need to get (Maas) to get (the ball) out of his hands. That means we have to get the receivers on the same page."

Enter ex-Eskimo wide receiver Brock Ralph, who was dealt to Hamilton last fall.

"To say that there isn't a little motivation to have a good game and remind (Edmonton) of what they let go would be a lie," said Ralph.

3. SHUT DOWN JASON TUCKER

Although he was invisible for the first 59 minutes last week, Tucker still burned Calgary with the winning touchdown.

The job of containing him tonight falls to halfback Tay Cody - who was traded with Brock to the Tabbies.


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