The Storyline: This is, by generally-accepted sports accounting principles, a ‘trap’ game for the favoured Tiger-Cats. After the Argos, the Ticats play Ottawa in a home-and-home series which will decide first place in the CFL East, and it would be tempting to look past a team prematurely excused from post-season consideration and which you’ve beaten twice already. But the Argos, playing for pride and contracts, have also shed the shackles of pressure and will have mobile James Franklin at quarterback. Franklin played only short-yardage situations during the Ticats’ September sweep (scoring three touchdowns), while McLeod Bethel-Thompson directed the offence. Duron Carter should play an active role and the Ticats will have to watch out for Brandon Burks carrying the ball and the always-dangerous SJ Green at receiver. Amanti Edwards a had 112 receiving yards against the Ticats in Toronto Sept. 8.
This game also offers a contrast in expanded practice roster deployment. The Ticats, wanting to bring players up to speed in case they were needed in the stretch drive, chose the CFL’s first four-week window and will have an offensive tackle Kelvin Palmer and DI receiver (Marquay McDaniel) in the lineup because of that. The Argos chose the second window and that should help them identify talent for next year over their final four weeks.
Key Hamilton Roster Notes: The Ticats have signed WR Terrell Sinkfield but he won’t play Friday. Terrence Toliver is the fourth WR to go on the six-game injury list. DE Adrian Tracy won’t play, and neither will DT Jason Neill. Kelvin Palmer likely starts his second game at left OG, National receiver Justin Buren makes his first CFL appearance and will start, and receiver Marquay McDaniel will be the backup International receiver.
Frankie Williams resumes his kick return job while Bralon Addison, who had that role last week, is back on the PR.
Key Toronto Roster Notes: The Argos have just about everybody back from last week’s loss in B.C. but make a significant change will be at quarterback where James Franklin starts ahead of Bethel McLeod-Thompson. Franklin directed two TD drives in four possessions last week in B.C.. Of note to Hamilton fans: former Mac star Declan Cross has caught nine passes in the last three games, out of the fullback spot; Burlington’s Ryan Bomben, a three-time Eastern all-star OG for the Ticats was traded to Montreal in May for the No. 1 draft choice, was traded to Toronto in late July .
Nifty Numbers Worth Knowing
1: Number of games this year the Argonauts have led at half-time. Also the number of times they’ve scored 30 or more points. Hamilton has put up 30 or more eight times
4: Of the Ticats’ 8 projected National starters Friday night have been drafted in the past three years. OG Brandon Revenberg (2016); WR Mike Jones (2016), OG Darius Ciraco (2018) and WR Justin Buren (2018)
6-Number of losses in a row for the Argos, the longest losing streak in head coach Marc Trestman’s CFL career.
8: Number of years since the last three-game regular-season sweep in this rivalry. Hamilton won all 3 in 2010, but subsequently lost the eastern semfinal 16-13 at home to the Argos.
81: Total points by which Hamilton has outscored opponents in the first quarter. However, they are a negative-15 points in fourth quarters.
81.8: Jeremiah Masoli’s Quarterback Rating, second in the CFL to Calgary Stampeder Bo Levi Mitchell’s 83.4, and now above Mike Reilly’s 78.2
84: Receiving yards needed by Luke Tasker to reach 1000 for the third time in four years.
106: Yards needed by Brandon Banks to move past Keith Baker (1981) into the Ticats’ top 10 for most receiving yards in a single season. Banks would need to average 136 yards per game to match Tony Champion’s franchise record of 1656, set in 1989.
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