HAMILTON -- There was close to a full house at Ivor Wynne Stadium to kick off a home schedule billed as 'Hammer Time' for the CFL team.
By the end of a long night and a 30-5 loss to the rival Argos, there was little doubt who was doing the pounding.
"We're just a non-functioning unit right now," frustrated first-year Ticats coach Charlie Taaffe said. "We've got no consistency, no identity. It looked like we hadn't practised, to be honest with you. It hurts me to have to say that, but I'm responsible for it."
The identity two weeks into the season for this rebuilding team with 23 new faces is quite visible in the standings. Now 0-2, the pussycats have yet to record a touchdown and have been outscored 67-14.
In the process of silencing the near-sellout crowd, the 'Cats had just nine first downs and 190 net yards. The defence came out strong, but with the offence flat, it quickly became worn down.
"We've gone two games without scoring a touchdown," said quarterback Jason Maas, who got the hook with five minutes remaining in the second quarter and was replaced by quick-footed Timmy Chang. "It doesn't look like we can consistently do anything right on the field."
Maas was picked off in the first half, giving him 12 interceptions against the Argos in their past five meetings. Jesse Lumsden was held to just 15 yards on seven carries.
"If I knew that, we'd fix it," Taaffe said when asked what ails his team's offence.
Meanwhile, on the other side, it was a rough night for Argos kicker and NFL veteran Steve Christie, who replaced injured Noel Prefontaine on placekicking duties.
The Oakville native, who was playing his first game since 2004, missed his first field-goal attempt, a 40-yarder in the first quarter, that fell short and wide right. His second attempt, from 47 yards, was seven yards short and a third was thwarted when holder Michael Palmer bungled the snap.
Christie did hit a 32-yarder in third quarter and a 10-yard chip shot in the final period in what was likely the only CFL game in his career.