Joseph's problem 3-fold

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:41 AM ET

It took three weeks and three quarters, but Kerry Joseph was finally pulled last night.

The reason? Too many threes.

Not so much just the three interceptions he threw in a 61-27 ass-kicking from the B.C. Lions, but also for the fact the Joseph-led offence far too often has to settle for field goals when it needs six points.

Joseph, who was erratic in 38-17 and 41-18 losses the past two games, suffered too much more of the same in the first home game in almost a month and second since July 21. He overthrew too many receivers. He under threw too many receivers. He couldn't complete much of anything, including his mission to lead the Renegades back on track.

Joseph's numbers were downright ugly. Along with the three picks, he threw 22 passes, completing just 10 for a total of 175 yards.

As has been his primary problem, Joseph again came up short in attempts to get the Renegades into the end zone. All three of Ottawa's touchdowns came on Josh Ranek runs, the first not until there was 52 seconds left in the third quarter.

Finally, mercifully, Darnell Kennedy replaced Joseph on Ottawa's first series in the fourth quarter, with the score 50-13 and the game well out of hand.

"We were going to pull him after one, then he asked to take one more .... ," said coach Joe Paopao on why he left Joseph in as long as he did. "I think he was off on some. It's hard to evaluate until you see the film. But we have to look at all three phases of the game."

Joseph might be this team's best quarterback, but right now he's struggling big time, and as he goes, so go the Renegades.

And with three straight blowouts having erased another hope-lifting start to the season -- combined with the stirring to life of the Hamilton Ticats -- they appear to be going nowhere fast.

High and Outside:

The Renegades only had nine weeks to figure out a way to give their punter time enough against the Lions rush, which blocked two Pat Fleming attempts in Week 2. Clearly, they needed longer. Mark Washington could've sifted through Matt Kellett's wallet before throwing up his arms to block Ottawa's first try of the night, giving B.C. a 7-0 lead 79 seconds into the game ... Paopao confirmed that after the game that QB Brad Banks has slipped to No. 3 on the depth chart, primarily because of a shoulder injury he suffered at camp that is still only "95%" healed. Knew there had to be a reason why the Renegades haven't given him a chance to recapture the magic he displayed in Hamilton and Montreal late last year ... Aaron Lockett had his blowtorch on the Renegades' cover team again, too, returning a 91-yard punt for a TD in the second quarter. Lockett, who was cut by Ottawa in favour of Jason Armstead at last year's camp, burned the same Renegades on a 75-yard major in that July 8 game ... You gotta admit, blaring Tom Jones What's New Pussycat on the sound system when the Lions take the field for the start of the game is kinda funny ... Mardi Gras Madness was a great idea. The Toga Party is stupid. Hey Lonie, 1978 called. They want their bedsheets and Animal House videos back.

Over The Middle:

Testament to how the big play killed the Renegades last night -- they actually had more first downs (19) than the Lions (18) ... The Renegades had to be disappointed when only 19,013 showed up for the game after pre-sales indicated attendance would be closer to 23,000. As for the southside upperdeck, well, it was obviously less populated than it has been all season. Guess folks were objecting Mardi Gras Madness -- oh wait, this was the first game since that offensive promotion was canceled, wasn't it? ... First sign that it was going to be another off night for Joseph came on Ottawa's second possession. On a second down play from the B.C. 13, he overthrew Markus Howell in the end zone when nary a Lion was within 10 yards of the Renegades receiver.

Late Hits:

On another day, Ranek's performance would have earned him player of the week honours. Along with the three TDs he rushed for 125 yards on 23 chances. ... The ball spot was as clear as day -- in the first quarter, the B.C. Lions were penalized four yards on an offside call ... One Lions coach -- presumably special teams co-ordinator Mike Benevides -- was out of his mind with anger when a blocking-from-behind penalty cost Lockett another punt-return TD. The score was 50-13 at the time, and somehow you just wish a hand would have appeared out of midair to cuff Benevides.


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