Calgary Stampeders (11-1-1) at Hamilton Tiger-Cats (6-7)
Tim Hortons Field
Sat., Oct. 1
Game time: 4 p.m.
TV: TSN, Radio: TSN 1150
The storyline for Calgary: The Stampeders are reeling after the death of defensive back Mylan Hicks in a nightclub shooting last weekend. The challenge for head coach Dave Dickenson will be to channel that emotion into something productive on the field. Calgary is unbeaten in their past 12 games and considered to be the best team in the CFL right now.
Key injuries: Their offensive line is missing a couple of key pieces, with Dan Federkeil and Pierre Lavertu out of action. Former Ticat receiver Bakari Grant, who was on track for a career year, is on the six-game injured list, but hopes to return late in the season. Hamilton catches a break as defensive end Cordarro Law, repatriated from the NFL this week, isn’t quite ready.
Five funky Calgary stats:
1. The Stamps haven’t lost since Week One and now have the sixth-longest unbeaten streak in CFL history (12 straight.) The record is 22, set by Calgary in 1948 and 1949.
2. Dave Dickenson is on track to set new records for both winning percentage (currently .885, record is .750) and wins (record is 13) for a first-year head coach.
3. Dickenson had his first two successful challenges last week and is now 2-for-10 in 2016.
4. Calgary will be playing back-to-back road games against East Division teams for the first time since 2014.
5. Since July 2012, Calgary is 43-0 when scoring 30 or more points.
The storyline for Hamilton: All the talk this week has been about this past Saturday’s altercation between head coach Kent Austin and an on-field official, which earned Austin a $10,000 fine and got him banished from the field for a game. Austin will still call the plays and be involved in key decisions from the spotter’s booth, but defensive co-ordinator Orlondo Steinauer will run the sideline. The Ticats are still in second-place in the East, but will need some wins down the stretch to secure a post-season berth and a home playoff date.
Key injuries and roster changes: Defensive back Johnny Adams, acquired in a trade on Wednesday, will start at the field corner as Hamilton shuffles its secondary, yet again. Dominique Ellis, pressed into service as the strong side linebacker after a late injury to Rico Murray, goes back to his normal spot at the boundary half, while Brandon Sermons gets a shot at SAM. Guard Pete Dyakowski returns as a backup after missing two games with a calf injury.
Five funky Hamilton stats:
1. The Ticats have been on the winning and losing end of last-second field goals the past two weeks. There have been six “walk-off” wins so far this season (there were eight last year.)
2. Last week’s games were all won by home teams, the second straight sweep in 2016. Home clubs have now won nine in a row and 13 of the past 14 games to even the count after the early road dominance this season.
3. The last time Hamilton beat Calgary was Sept. 25, 2011. The Stamps have won nine in a row and 13 of their last 14 meetings.
4. Quarterback Zach Collaros has averaged 344 passing yards per game since returning from injury, a pace equivalent to a 6,200-yard full season.
5. Hamilton is 4-2 when coming off a loss in 2016, and 19-11 after setbacks since 2013.
TSN play-by-play: Rod Black and Matt Dunigan
Referee: Tom Vallesi
Weather: Cloudy, 17 degrees with 60 per cent chance of rain. Winds from the East at 16 km/h.