Week 8 begins with Toronto hosting the West-leading Winnipeg Blue Bombers at BMO Field. The Argonauts are back home following a three-week road trip across Western Canada. Toronto is looking to split the season series with Winnipeg after a Week 5 48-21 loss at Investors Group Field. The Blue Bombers are coming off their first loss of the season – last week’s 23-15 setback in Hamilton. The Thursday Night Football Concert series continues with Canadian hip-hop artist, Classified. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.
On the same night, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will head to Regina to take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET. The game will be Hamilton’s first of the season without Jeremiah Masoli and Dane Evans will make his second career start. Both teams will attempt to extend two-game winning streaks and Saskatchewan is looking to climb above .500 for the first time this season. Canadian country music artist, Chad Brownlee (a former Vancouver Canucks draft pick) will perform at halftime as part of the Thursday Night Football Concert series.
Friday Night Football kicks off at 7 p.m. ET with the Montreal Alouettes playing host to the Ottawa REDBLACKS. Montreal is coming off a bye and is in the midst of a three-game win streak. Ottawa is hoping to snap a four-game losing streak while evening its season series with the Alouettes. Montreal took their first matchup 36-19 in Week 5.
Saturday features the season’s first installment of The Battle of Alberta with Edmonton traveling south to take on the Calgary Stampeders. Both teams sit second in the West Division with a 4-2 record. The game marks the first Battle of Alberta with the Esks’ Trevor Harris and the Stamps’ Nick Arbuckle as starters for their respective teams. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. ET.
TSN’s Live Mic game will be Edmonton/Calgary game this week.
ESPN2 will air the Winnipeg/Toronto game ESPN+ to air Hamilton/Saskatchewan, Ottawa/Montreal and Edmonton/Calgary games this week.
Montreal is looking for its first four-game winning streak during a single season since 2014 when Jonathan Crompton was starting at QB.
A victory would also give Montreal its first four-game home winning streak since the end of 2014.
The Alouettes are the only team in the CFL that have reduced their opponent’s net offence week-over-week:
Week 1 vs. EDM: 607 yards
Week 3 vs. HAM: 526 yards
Week 4 vs. HAM: 436 yards
Week 5 vs. OTT: 365 yards
Week 6 vs. EDM: 320 yards
The Alouettes have recorded seven interceptions in their past four games – Greg Reid (3), Tommie Campbell (2), Taylor Loffler (1) and Glenn Love (1).
Boris Bede leads the league with an average of 69.6 yards per kickoff and has only missed two field goals this season (10-for-12).
William Stanback leads the league with 504 rushing yards. He is on pace for 1,814 and an average of 6.7 yards per carry. He has seven rushes of 20+ yards this season.
BATTLE OF ALBERTA
The Battles of Alberta will take place on Weeks 8, 12 and 13.
This week’s affair will be the 229th time they have played against each other in the regular season. Edmonton is 127-98-3 in the series.
Trevor Harris and Nick Arbuckle will be making their first starts in a Battle of Alberta.
Since 2012, the teams have played each other 20 times with Calgary taking 16 matchups.
The last time that neither Mike Reilly nor Bo Levi Mitchell started the game between the provincial rivals was in 2012.
Switching Sides: Notre Dame product, DaVaris Daniels played his first three-seasons with Calgary Stampeders compiling 148 receptions, 2,375 yards and 20 TDs. Saturday will be his first game against his former team.
Long-time Edmonton Eskimo, J.C. Sherritt, will be on the Calgary sideline as their linebackers coach. During his eight seasons with the Eskimos, he totalled 507 tackles, 15 sacks and 14 interceptions in 109 games.
KICK RETURNS TDS
Last week, Ryan Lankford became the second BC Lion to score two kick return TDs in the same game.
It was the 19th time in the past 70 years of Canadian Football that the rare feat has occurred, and the first time since 2015.
This season there have been 11 kick return touchdowns (2 Punts, 6 Kickoffs and 3 Missed field goals).
One more kickoff return touchdown would tie the single season record of seven (1994 and 2003).
Loucheiz Purifoy is averaging 30.2 yards per kickoff return. He is on pace for the highest kickoff return average since 2003 (Bashir Levingston 30.4).
Brandon Banks has two missed field-goal return touchdowns this season – one more would set a new record. He is currently tied with seven others.
PUNT: Richie Leone (51.7) and Jon Ryan (50.2) lead the league in punting average. Only two players have ever averaged 50+ yards per punt in a single season: Jon Ryan (2005) and Lui Passaglia (1983).
The record for punting average in a season is 50.6 set by Jon Ryan in 2005.
In Week 7, no receivers reached the 100+ yard mark. Derel Walker led all receivers with 85 yards.
Calgary defeated Ottawa last week without scoring a touchdown. The last team to accomplish the feat was Ottawa on July 28, 2018 when they defeated Hamilton 21-15.
Ottawa’s Lewis Ward has now recorded 64 successful field goals in a row.
The Blue Bombers’ Mike Miller and Kerfalla Exume lead the league in special teams tackles with 12. Miller needs two more to tie Roger Reinson (174) for 6th all-time.
Canadian linebacker Cory Greenwood leads the league with 43 tackles this season. He is on pace for 129 which would set a new club record for Calgary.
Last week in Nick Shortill’s fourth career start, he recorded a team-high nine tackles against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The Canadian’s best career performance came in 2015 when he tallied 11 tackles against Edmonton.
At 210, Hamilton is currently the only team to have scored 200+ points this season; Toronto (75) is the only team that has not yet scored 100 points.
Montreal has the fewest 2-and-outs this year (19), while surprisingly, Winnipeg has had the second most (37).
Montreal has the fewest sacks this season (4). Edmonton leads the league with 23, while Saskatchewan has 20.
Calgary has scored 65 points off turnovers which accounts for 39% of their scoring output.
Winston Rose has notched an interception in four consecutive games, and five in total during that stretch. Only two other players since 1994 have recorded a four-game streak of interceptions: Weldon Brown (EDM, 2011) and Chris Thompson (EDM, 2010). Neither player made it to five-straight games.
Since 2016, Winnipeg is 36-3 when committing fewer turnovers than the opposition; when they make more, like they did last week versus Hamilton, they are 0-16.
Toronto is looking to avoid an 0-7 start. They last hit the dubious mark in 1981.
SJ Green needs 45 yards to surpass Hal Patterson (9,473) and move into the Top 25 all-time.