What you need to know about the Ticats rematch vs the Argos

Hamilton Tiger-Cats (5-5) at Toronto Argonauts (4-6)
BMO Field
Sun., Sept. 11
Game time: 4:30 p.m.
TV: TSN Radio: TSN 1150

The storyline for Toronto: The Argonauts may be playing for their season without their starting quarterback. Already a game back of the Ticats and having lost the season series, a loss this week would make Hamilton very difficult to catch in the standings. Plus, West Division teams are threatening to once again cross over into the East come playoff time: if the post-season started right now, Edmonton would be in, the Argos out.




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Key injuries and roster changes: Starting quarterback Ricky Ray will miss four-to-six weeks with a rib injury suffered in the Labour Day loss so former Ticat Dan LeFevour will get his first start as an Argonaut after signing with the team in August. Left tackle Josh Bourke is also out, as is starting middle linebacker Marshall McFadden. Look for former Ticats defensive tackle Bryan Hall to get the start this week after sitting out Labour Day as a healthy scratch.

Five funky Toronto stats:

1. during their current four-game losing streak, the Argos have led in three of them after the first quarter. But they’ve been  outscored in the second half in all four by a total of 75-25.

2. Toronto quarterbacks have thrown 12 interceptions in the last five games, resulting in 44 opposition points. That represents 27 percent of the 165 total points allowed in that span.

3. the Argos are the least-penalized coverage-return unit in the CFL with just 17 flags in 10 games thus far. Overall they rank No. 2 in fewest penalties with only 8.1 per game.

4. Hamilton gained 345 yards on 35 first down plays last week for a 9.9 yard average. That kept them out of second-and-long, contributing to a season-high 70 per cent second down conversion rate.

5. the Argos have started only 24 drives in opposition territory compared to 39 by their opponents. On average they have started at their own 35 versus opponent’s starting out at their 38-yard line. That 3-yard gap translates to about 45 or 50 yards of field position per game.

The storyline for Hamilton: The Ticats can stick a fork in division rival and take over first place in the East Division with a win, moving past the idle Ottawa Redblacks. Quarterback Zach Collaros has been spectacular since his return and the team featured an unusually balanced attack last week with running back C.J. Gable racking up a career high 135 yards on the ground. Concerns remain on defence, where the secondary was shaky early on Labour Day, and on special teams where the team has had punt blocked in two straight games.

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Key injuries and roster changes: Starting centre Mike Filer returns after missing six games with a high ankle sprain while Brandon Sermons is expected to take over as the starting field corner, replacing Chris Davis, in the latest shuffle of the Hamilton secondary. Canadian running back Mercer Timmis has been added to the roster, as has Canadian defensive back Elory Douglas. Both were 2016 draft picks. Canadian defensive back Jay Langa, a key special teams cog, has been added to the six-game injured list, while linebacker Mitch Barnett heads to the practice roster. Canadian offensive lineman Landon Rice moves to the one-game injured list to make room for Filer.

Five funky Hamilton stats:

1. In last week’s win over the Argos, the Ticats overcame a 20-point deficit for the second time in 2015. They are the only team in CFL history to have two comebacks of 20-points or more, having also done it in 1962.

2. on Labour Day, Hamilton turned the ball over on four consecutive possessions which Toronto turned into 24 of their 30 first half points.

3. Collaros has thrown 14 touchdown passes in the four games since returning from a knee injury. That is the most by any CFL quarterback in a four-game span since then-Ticat Henry Burris threw 15 touchdown passes in a four-game run in July 2012.

4. at his current pace, Collaros would throw 63 touchdown passes over the course of a full season. The CFL record is 48 (Doug Flutie, 1994.)

5. Chad Owens, Luke Tasker, Terrence Toliver and Andy Fantuz are all on pace for 1,000 receiving yards. The Ticats have never had three 1,000-yard receivers in a season, never mind four.

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

Referee: Dave Foxcroft.

Weather: Sunny, 23 degrees with light winds out of the northwest at 15 km/h.

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