News, notes and rosters ahead of Ticats v. Alouettes

News, notes and roster changes before the Hamilton Tiger-Cats game against the Montreal Alouettes on Friday.

Game 18
Montreal Alouettes (3-13) at Hamilton Tiger-Cats (5-12)
Tim Hortons Field
Fri., Nov. 3
Game time: 7 p.m.
TV: TSN Radio: TSN 1150

The storyline for Hamilton: The Ticats will enter the off-season with plenty of questions, including the fate of the front office and head coach June Jones as well the future of a number of key on-field contributors, but are trying to finish a disappointing 2017 on a positive note. With another win, Jones will improve his coaching record to 6-4 after taking over an 0-8 team from Kent Austin in late August.

Key roster notes for Hamilton: Local boy Kevin Malcolm will take over the long snapping duties from the injured Aaron Crawford while defensive tackle Davon Coleman returns after a one-game absence due to injury. Akeem Whonder comes on the roster as the team loses special teams stalwart Nick Shortill.

Five funky Hamilton stats:
1. Brandon Banks has registered five consecutive games with at least 100 yards receiving and can become one of just four players with six in a row if he manages it in the season finale joining only Hal Patterson (1956), Terry Greer (1983) and Jamel Richardson (2011.)
2. Luke Tasker needs three catches to reach 100 and five to break the club record set by Andy Fantuz last season. Tasker’s 97 catches this season is already third all-time behind Fantuz and Darren Flutie’s 98 receptions from 1998. Tasker has been targeted 147 times this season, second only to Toronto receiver S.J. Green (163.)
3. The Ticats have zero in their last two games and are plus-nine over that time. It is Hamilton’s first set of back-to-back turnover free games since July 2012, a span of 102 games.
4. Hamilton was plus-five in turnover ratio last week but yet lost to Ottawa. The last time a CFL team was plus-five or better but did not win was 2013.
5. Running back Alex Green had 237 yards on 33 carries (7.2 yards per attempt) in his first two career CFL games, bus has just 134 yards on 35 carries over his last three games, an average of 3.8 yards per carry.

The storyline for Montreal: While the Ticats are playing their veteran starters in the final game of 2017, the Alouettes are clearly looking ahead to next season. Quarterback Matt Shiltz will make his first career start after seeing action in relief of Darian Durant and Drew Willy. The 25-year-old has thrown for 289 yards on 62.2 per cent passing with one touchdown and one interception while taking seven sacks. Hamilton saw him briefly in their 43-16 win on Oct. 22 and pressured him relentlessly.

Key roster notes for Montreal: Durant has been moved to the one-game injured while Willy is listed at the No. 3 quarterback behind Shiltz and fellow rookie Antonio Pipkin. The Alouettes are starting an almost unheard of four American offensive lineman. This could be the last start in defensive end John Bowman’s hall-of-fame career.

Five funky Montreal stats:
1. Since Anthony Calvillo played his last game on Aug. 17, 2013, the Alouettes have had a CFL-high 12 different starters at quarterback, including Shiltz.
2. Of the 225 quarterbacks who have started at least 15 games in a season since 1950, only two have a worse record than Darian Durant’s 3-12 in 2017.
3. This is the first year in Durant’s career that he has thrown more interceptions (16) than touchdown passes (15).
4. The Alouettes come into this week on a 10-game losing streak, having been outscored 388-152, an average margin of minus-23.6 points. The club record losing streak overall is 11 in a row across 1967-68.
5. Montreal has now lost five games this year by 25 or more points and that is the most in their club history back to 1946. For the year, the Alouettes have now allowed a club record 547 points.

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

Referee: Tim Kroker

Weather: Partly cloudy, eight degrees, winds out of the Northwest at 20 kn/h.

Other things to know about this game: It’s fan-appreciation night at Tim Hortons Field and the team is giving away a number of prizes including a trip to the 105th Grey Cup in Otttawa, a pair of 2018 Ticats season seats and team autographed jerseys. There is also a stadium-wide 30 per cent off sale on all jerseys, merchandise and accessories.

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