Game Notes: Ticats look to break four-game losing streak versus Riders

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats host the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Thursday night in the second half of a bye-interupted back-to-back. Here’s what you need to know:

Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2-2) vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders (2-2)
Thursday, July 19, 7:30 p.m.
Tim Hortons Field
TV: TSN Radio: TSN 1150

The Storyline: The Ticats have been a trifle green: hexed lately, losing four straight to Saskatchewan – three of them by eight points or fewer : since a 53:7 victory back in August of 2016. This is a rematch not only of the pre-bye-week game in Regina, won by the Riders 18-13, but of  Jones vs. Jones, as in offensive coordinator June against defensive coordinator Chris. First-round winner: Chris Jones.

The Riders, unwilling to settle solely upon either Brandon Bridge or David Watford since Zach Collaros was hurt, have trouble scoring offensive touchdowns—CFL individual leader Andrew Harris has one more than Saskatchewan’s entire offence–but they had just enough (one) to win against Hamilton two weeks ago. The Ticats had five field goal attempts and no TDs. Hamilton’s task is to get better starting field position for its offence, through either the bend-don’t-break defence bending a little less, creating more position-impactful turnovers, or unleashing a few good runbacks of punts and/or kickoffs. And the offence has to be better and more creative inside the Riders’ 20-yard line. Much of that will lean on the ability of the Ticats’ extra blocker(s) to anticipate and read, Chris Jones’ unpredictable pressure points.

And watch to see if the Riders continue to employ converted receiver Duron Carter straight-up on Terrence Toliver, and defensive half Ed Gainey guarding Brandon Banks.

Key Roster Notes from Hamilton: DB Richard Leonard returns from injury to field side halfback for the first time since June 22. That moves Frankie Williams to fulltime returner, meaning WR Brandon Banks doesn’t have to share those duties. DE Adrian Tracy will miss a second straight start. Julian Howsare starts again, with Connor McGough getting lots of rotational action at end too. Receiver Luke Tasker is a game-day decision for June Jones, so both he and potential replacement Rashad Lawrence both had to be included on the 46-man roster. Backup SAM linebacker Mariel Cooper comes off the game roster, partly because of the receiver situation and partly because rookie Canadian Jackson Bennett is back from injury. Jerome Couplin III, who played in 16 NFL games, backing up at WILL linebacker, will get a chance to play in his first CFL game and first regular-season game of any kind since 2015.


Key Roster Notes for Saskatchewan: Like the Ticats, the Riders came out of the first game of this back-to-back set fairly healthy and had a bye week to heal various nicks. Their 24-man starting units are intact. One small change: DB Tristan Doughlin (a former Ticat) in for fellow National Makana Henry. Marcus Thigpen, who scored the game-winning TD against the Ticats two weeks ago, played here in 2010-11 and became the first CFL player to score a touchdown in five different ways in the same season, and the Ticats have generally had incredible returner-receivers since then. “It was an honour and privilege to be given the opportunity to play running back, receiver and returner and to watch those guys too,” says Thigpen. “I actually played with Chris Williams here. And now to watch Speedy (Banks) doing his thing, is a definitely a blessing.”

Notable numbers

0: players not from Edmonton or Hamilton among CFL’s top five in receiving yardage. Eskimos: D’haquille Williams (1), Derel Walker (2) Kenny Stafford (4); Tiger-Cats: Brandon Banks (3), Jalen Saunders (5). Also the number of Ticat offensive drives started on the other team’s side of centre field.

5: consecutive Ticat games against CFL West teams, the most they’ve ever opened a season with.

5: interceptions Jeremiah Masoli has thrown during his CFL-record-tying 9-game streak of 300 passing yards or more. He’s thrown for 13 touchdowns in that time.

15: number of times Kent Austin was intercepted during his 1991 nine-game streak. He had a whopping 28 touchdown passes.

20: interceptions Sam Etcheverry threw during his 1956 nine-gamer. He threw for 19 touchdowns.

27: the yard-line (their own) at which the average Hamilton offensive drive has started this year. The league average is a team’s own 41-yard line.

31: two-and-outs forced by the Saskatchewan defence, tops in the CFL

38.8: per cent of combined (both teams) second down conversions made in the four games involving the Roughriders this year. In all other CFL games, the conversion rate has been 48.5 per cent

79.1: length in yards of the average Ticat scoring drive, highest in the CFL. The league average is 68.7 yards.


Steve Milton

Steve Milton

Steve Milton is a long-time columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame media wing in 2012.
Steve Milton
Steve Milton
About Steve Milton (244 Articles)
Steve Milton is a long-time columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame media wing in 2012.

37 Comments on Game Notes: Ticats look to break four-game losing streak versus Riders

  1. Stampeder Summer // July 18, 2018 at 3:58 pm //

    I can’t see how this streak doesn’t end at 4.
    It would appear Jones is putting Carter back at boundary!
    More questions than answers.

  2. Wideout // July 18, 2018 at 4:01 pm //

    Ho Hum. Another team Riders totally own. Mickey Mouse Ticats Yup Yup Yup.
    Similar to their dynasty over Stamps in playoff matchups.

  3. Wideout's World // July 18, 2018 at 4:15 pm //

    Well, technically he’s correct. In his warped mind; the Riders have not lost a playoff game to the Stamps in over 5 years, the fact that they haven’t face the stamps in that last 4 years is immaterial.

  4. So what is wrong with Tracey? Can’t find any answer!

    • dangnabbit // July 18, 2018 at 4:29 pm //

      Shoulder injury while tackling Andrew Harris in the second quarter of their match against Winnipeg.

  5. Hoping for a better Ticat effort and a great game.

  6. fannotacoach // July 18, 2018 at 4:53 pm //

    Well Drew, while it is true the Riders have been having trouble scoring offensive touchdowns it was the Riders offense that scored in their last matchup and not the Cats.

  7. Why is Thomas-Erlington listed as a backup? He had that great game in the home opener and appears to have taken a step back.

    If I recall he wasn’t a factor in the loss in Saskatchewan.

    Anyone have some insight?

  8. MR. Green // July 18, 2018 at 5:34 pm //

    I just want a good game. To have that Bridge needs to carry the confidence over from the last drive and keep Hamilton’s offence on the sidelines as much as possible, giving our D some extra rest. If this happens, which must happen, Riders have a great shot. If Bridge continues to be bad, it could be a long night.

  9. This one will be over by the 1st half…Bridge chased or carried off the field…TC’s by 20.

    • Easy there Philski – league doesn’t need any more QB’s injured.

      • Who said anything about being injured? He may just be so overwhelmed by the TC D and the “sulphur” permeated air (according to another poster) he may just raise the white flag and claim surrender – invoking the assistance of his mates to carry him away. Oskee Wee Wee!

    • I agree. I think the Cats will have this game in hand 19 minutes and 99 seconds into the first half.

      • Hmmm…this isn’t the loser Argo post…I can only logically conclude that you obviously must be infatuated with my comments…following me around like a little puppy…LOL!

        • I can’t comment on Cat posts, but you can when it relates to the Argos? Do you ever think your comments through before posting?
          Really just makes your puppy and lol’s extra embarrassing this time. It’s almost like you want to control my thoughts, like the book 1984. 1984, wasn’t that close to a year that the Cats won another of their many (cough, cough) Grey Cups. Loser argo posts? The current grey cup champions and winner of many more cups than the Cats are losers? Hamilton math at its best. Insert lol?

  10. Philski…agreed.
    Pulling for the Cats. Green isn’t even a colour. Green stands for mold, mildew, algae, snot and LOSER.

    • You’ve summed your personality up quite well, especially your last two words.

    • Wideout // July 19, 2018 at 9:40 am //

      Let me remind you of one of the most recited proverbs of our time. “The grass is always GREENER on the other side”. LOSER.

  11. Ron Tuthill // July 19, 2018 at 1:32 pm //

    If a lot of you guy’s are harping on the past then what about the Ti-cats. The mid fifties to early seventies- 10 trips, 4 rings; mid eighties- 4 trips, 1 ring; 1998-1999- 2 trips, 1 ring; 2013-2014- 2 trips. Be proud of your past and build on it but it is now time for the here and now and building for the future.

  12. Rider4life // July 20, 2018 at 2:48 pm //

    MVP I always thought green was the color of money lol. Oh and did the Riders win last night HELL YAH. So anything in the CFL can happen but with guys like you mvp and stamper lol your predictions are failing you these days. The Riders may only have a province with a million people and fell there stadium of 30000 plus every home game not like cities of a million plus that cant get 20000 fans to a game. We support our team win or lose and so does all the fans world wide. So as rider fans we support the CFL and teams not ditch them and their fans like a few do here. To bad you ain’t a football fan of all teams just a troll like stamper 2 peas in a pod you 2

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