News, notes and roster changes for Ticats v. Redblacks

Hamilton Tiger-Cats (1-8) at Ottawa Redblacks (4-6-1)
TD Place, Ottawa
Sat., Sept. 9
Game time: 6 p.m.
TV: TSN Radio: TSN 1150

The storyline for Hamilton: What a difference a win makes. Coming off their first victory of the season in last Monday’s Labour Day Classic, the Ticats have received a much-needed boost of confidence. Still, this is a team that’s woefully thin on Canadian content and playing with just four days between games while the Redblacks have had a full eight days to prepare.

Key injuries and roster changes: The Ticats have been ravaged by injuries to their Canadian contingent this season, losing receiver Giovanni Aprile as well as running backs Mercer Timmis and Sean Thomas-Erlington last week against Toronto. Enter newcomers Mitchell Baines (receiver), Frank Renaud (linebacker) and Tristan Doughlin (defensive back) who were signed this week and will be forced into the line up with two days of practice. Look for fullback C.O. Prime to get more action in situations where the Ticats want to get four American receivers into the game while Felix Flaubert-Lussier starts for Aprile. Defensive back Don Unamba returns from injury and Damarr Aultman is into the line up for Brian Tyms, likely to give Brandon Banks a break in the return game. Starting SAM linebacker Dominique Ellis is also out with rookie Cariel Brooks getting the start in his place.

Five funky Hamilton stats:
1. Hamilton has run the ball just 95 times this season and is on pace (190) for the second-lowest total for an 18-game season in CFL history. Only the now defunct Birmingham Barracudas had less than that when they registered just 171 runs compared to 814 passes, a ratio of just 17 per cent in 1995. Hamilton’s current run to pass ratio is 22.7 per cent.
2. Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli threw deep only three times last week with one completion, but that went for 64
yards and a touchdown to Brandon Banks.
3. Larry Dean and Richard Leonard combined for 14 tackles, an interception, a pass knockdown, one QB pressure and a tackle for loss in last week’s win. For the season, they lead the Tiger-Cats in defensive plays with 62 and 56, respectively.
4. C.J. Gable has 91 yards on just 13 carries over the last two game, a 7.0 average with four runs of 10-plus yards. Last week, he added two catches for 12 yards and 47 kickoff return yards.
5. With last week’s win by June Jones, the Ticats are now 5-4 in their first game after their nine in-season head coaching changes. Al Bruno (1983), John Gregory (1991), Don Sutherin (1994) and Ron Lancaster (2006) were the previous winners.

The storyline for Ottawa: After a rough start, Redblacks have won three straight, including a convincing 32-4 victory over Montreal last week. A win over the Ticats on Saturday would give them the season series and make it all but impossible for Hamilton to have any chance to catch them in the standings.

Key injuries and roster changes: Return man Quincy McDuffie (a former Ticat) is still a week away and so won’t go, joining running back William Powell on the sideline (another former Hamilton player, Mossis Madu, gets the start.) National defensive lineman Ettore Lattanzio and American linebacker Kevin Brown have been added to the roster with J.P. Bolduc and Mike Wakefield coming off.

Five funky Ottawa stats:
1. Greg Ellingson leads the CFL in receiving with 1,033 yards in 11 games with 155 of them coming in the first game against Hamilton three weeks ago. He leads the CFL with 13 receptions with gains of 30-plus yards and is No. 2 behind teammate Brad Sinopoli in second down catches.
2. Trevor Harris leads the CFL in passing yards with 3,531, 435 attempts, 309 completions and with 22 touchdown passes. He also leads the league with seven fumbles and has fumbled at least once in four of his last five games.
3. Ottawa is 0-5-1 in games decided by 4 points or less this season after going 7-5-1 in similar contests last season.
4. The Redblacks lead the CFL with 86 quarterback pressures but are fifth in sacks with 21.
5. Diontae Spencer has 679 combined yards in the last three games, most of any player in the CFL, and is now third in the league with 1,482 on the season.

TSN play-by-play: Rod Black and Duane Forde

Referee: Tom Vallesi

Weather: Partly cloudy, 10 per cent chance of rain, 16 degrees with winds out of the north at 12 km/h.

Other things to know about this game: At halftime, the Redblacks are honouring former quarterback Henry Burris, who retired after leading Ottawa to a championship last season. Burris also played for the Ticats in 2012 and 2013, leading them to a Grey Cup appearance. Fans have been encouraged to express their gratitude by using the hashtag #ThanksHank – a message that is also enshrined on the inside of the team’s Grey Cup rings.

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
Drew Edwards
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Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1162 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

14 Comments on News, notes and roster changes for Ticats v. Redblacks

  1. Hopefully the cats can pull a win out by some God given miracle like a hurricane there going around right now lol.looking forward to seeing Masoli and banks work some majic again but also for the other guys to step up and get things done for the cats .

  2. I am surprised that Masoli only went deep three times. My impression was that the offence was much more vertical than in previous games.

  3. Mike Jones will be the guy to watch against Ottawa.If Jones,with a number of steady starts,can have a major breakthrough game scoring repeatly, against the Redblacks, the Cats could have an upset victory.

  4. Two Words: Offensive Line. If the O Line steps up like it did against Toronto, and the Defence continues to improve, it should be an entertaining matchup.

  5. The fact that Henry Burris sat on a committee to design the Redblacks Grey Cup Ring and allowed them to engrave his name on the inside sickens me…all these guys ever talk about is team team team, it’s the ultimate team sport. Except for Hank. He’ll take all the individual recognition he can possibly garner. Fakes a sore knee in pregame just to add some drama to the game too…gimme a break with this guy.

  6. Yes, the O-line needs a huge game…Masoli has to challenge Ottawa’s defense with his running and I’m glad Aultman is in….hopefully they get the ball to him.

  7. Time for win #2 of the season and the opportunity to even the season series with the OTTRBs!

  8. Guess the Tiger-Cats are requesting the same officiating crew from the Labour Day game. Brutal, brutal officiating!!!

    • Why would they want their nemesis extraordinaire Proulx back for more punishment? That was quite the anomaly last game (albeit I’m still trying to figure out that Illegal Interference nonsense at the end). Wow, the TC’s actually get a break or two re officiating, first time since, what, they used the single-wing formation? TC’s have been screwed so many times over the past years re bad calls I’ve just desensitized myself to the whole thing fully expecting it every game.

      • Loved the CFL for decades, but this officials thing is pushing me to the edge. So many bad calls game after game. The worst part is, I’ve heard many suggest Prouix is one of the best officials. Wow, just wow. Honestly, what frustrates me the most – the Comedy Centre (sorry, Command Centre). It’s one thing to miss a call at full speed, it’s another to see it again and again and still get the call wrong.

  9. put both speedy receivers in at the same time. Ottawa can’t double them both. I predict 3 long bombs 50 plus. Daryl “the Mad bomber” Lamonica from the Raiders in the 60’s will love this team.

  10. Not even close game. Redblacks by a whole bunch while Cats come back from dreamland with tail between their legs. Toronto had a bad day. It amazes me that people believe this is a good team after one shaky win. This is a bad team no matter which way you look at it and Masoli is not a starting QB. I like the guy but he is not a starting QB and the offense line is still extremely weak. Defense looked better but was it because Ray and the Argos had a bad game?

    • Marc Antony // September 9, 2017 at 8:29 am //

      To be realisitic, Ottawa has a much better football team. Ottawa is very good at those 10 – 15 yard pass plays and it could be tough-going trying to stop them from marching. If the Cats’ Defense falters they could get blown out and I really hope that doesn’t happen. On the other hand, anything can happen in a football game. At the very least I hope that it’s entertaining football…

    • Hope your hungry thems alot of words to eat lmaso… oh by the way they won 🙂

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