What we learned from Hamilton’s embarrassing 60-1 loss to the Stampeders


That is not a typo. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats went into McMahon Stadium, where they have not won since 2004, and lost by a score of 60-1.

I joked on Twitter about the Stampeders’ lead being safe when the score was 3-0 in their favour, but I didn’t know how right I was.

I am not sure I have seen a Ticats loss this bad in my life. I mean, I know I haven’t since a score this lopsided, but it wasn’t just about the score, the team looked listless from about the second series onward. And I say the second series, because they didn’t look all that bad on their opening possession.

C.J. Gable, inserted into the lineup after being benched the last three games, touched the ball on the team’s first three offensive plays picking up runs of seven and five yards, and catching one pass for 14 yards, and it looked like the offense was going to find a rhythm and actually use the running. Yeah, not so much. Gable saw the ball just nine more times during the game and the idea of running the football was all but abandoned by the middle of the second quarter. A second quarter, I might add, where the Stampeders exploded for 30 points and essentially ending the game before the teams went to break.

It was as thorough a beating I have seen any team take, and as the Ticats could muster just on measly point in the second quarter, that 3-0 lead the Stamps had with about three minutes left in the first quarter was indeed safe.

Here is what else we learned (I guess).

Justin Rogers is bad at defending
After gambling, and missing, on Edmonton’s game-winning score last week, Justin Rogers once again had a rough night. It seemed like every time Calgary made a big play through the air, No. 19 was the man in coverage. And how many near interceptions is this guy going to lose? He had another pick in his hands that somehow went for a Calgary touchdown to Marken Michel. It just seems like Rogers, who played 39 games in the NFL, just has not found his footing in the Canadian game. Will he ever? I don’t know, but the first few weeks have not been kind to him.

Zach Collaros looks lost
Because the backup quarterback is always a town’s favourite player, the calls for Jeremiah Masoli to start the next game will be loud. These calls aren’t entirely unreasonable, but they are still very premature. Zach Collaros has looked bad and there is no way to sugarcoat that. There is clearly something wrong with him. He is skittish on his throws, his confidence looks shot and he just isn’t the player he was pre-knee injury. Whether it is scheme, the talent around him or a combination of the two, Zach Collaros just isn’t the Zach Collaros we saw in 2014 and 2015. But he has done enough over his career to earn the right to get himself out of this funk, and there is no way he isn’t the guy under centre to start the next game and every game after that.

Calgary is pretty good
We can talk about how poorly the Ticats played, but let us not forget that the Calgary Stampeders are a darn good football team. They do not excel in any one area, but they do everything with an efficiency that is incredible to watch. So while Ticats fans lament the beating the team took, let it not be forgotten that the Calgary Stampeders are really good at this football thing.

There really isn’t all that much we learned
The Ticats offensive line only gave up one sack, so that is something, but that’s not to say they were all that good. Calgary had nine quarterback pressures — to contrast, Hamilton had three — and even late when the game was well in hand and Calgary had backups in, they were able to get to Jeremiah Masoli.

Abdul Kanneh left the game with an injury that Kent Austin said “did not look good” and it seems as if Kanneh’s first season in Hamilton could end at one game. So much for that revamped secondary.

Brian Tyms had his worst game against the Stamps. Zero catches on three targets, and a drop on a bad, albeit catchable, throw in the first quarter that ended Hamilton’s second drive. Everyone, myself included, was excited to see what Tyms could do over a full season after his stellar play late last season, but he has been invisible most of the season.

Looking ahead
Leg one of the Alberta road trip could not have gone any worse, but leg two is still happening and the Ticats will look to end their season-opening losing streak in Edmonton on Friday night. Hamilton played its best game against the Eskimos, but still came up short. Now they have to go on the road and try to topple the last remaining undefeated team in the CFL. Not exactly an easy task.

But if you are a Ticats fan who is looking for something to grasp onto there is this: the Ticats are 3-1 in Edmonton since Kent Austin became head coach. They won 30-29 in 2013, 49-20 in 2015 and of course last year’s thrilling 25-point comeback that ended with the Ticats on top 37-31. So it can be done, and maybe, just maybe, the Ticats will find their first win of the season at Commonwealth Stadium.

Josh Smith has been writing about the Ticats and the CFL since 2010 and was sporting his beard way before it was cool. Will be long after, too.