November 28, 2014 6:25 pm
Updated: November 30, 2014 3:41 pm

A beginner’s guide to Grey Cup 2014

Hamilton Tiger-Cats' wide receiver Brandon Banks runs across a Grey Cup logo painted on the field at BC Place.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
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VANCOUVER – Each year the Grey Cup is one of Canada’s most-watched sporting events. That means many Canadians (and a few Americans) who don’t normally follow the CFL will be tuning in on Sunday.

For casual CFL fans heading to a Grey Cup party this Sunday, here is a guide to the 102nd Grey Cup.

The Basics

What time is the Grey Cup 2014?
The Grey Cup start time is 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.

What channel is the Grey Cup on?

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Global News The game will be broadcast on TSN and RDS in Quebec and on ESPN2 in the U.S. Information on how to watch the Grey Cup online can be found here.

Who will be performing at halftime?
American rock band Imagine Dragons will be the halftime performers.

Who is playing in the Grey Cup?
The Calgary Stampeders (15-3) will face the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (9-9). The two teams met twice during the regular season with the Stampeders winning both games. Those games did take place earlier in the season and both teams have considerably different rosters. Stampeders star Jon Cornish didn’t play in either contest nor did current Ticats quarterback Zach Collaros.

GALLERY: 2014 Grey Cup players to watch

Storylines

Jon Cornish vs. the Ticats defensive line – Cornish, the CFL’s leading rusher, will be going head-to-head against a Ticats defence that allowed fewer rushing yards than any team in the league. If the Ticats D-line can contain Cornish and prevent him from making his way upfield, they may have a chance at containing one of the league’s most potent offences.

“He’s a strong, hard runner,” said Stampeders coach John Hufnagel of Cornish. “You know, if we can get him into the second level, it can be a long day for the defence. Unfortunately, it’s going to be very difficult to get to second level against Hamilton.”

Inexperienced quarterbacks Both Mitchell and Collaros are in the Grey Cup as first-year starters. Hamilton’s offence is more potent with the versatile Collaros, who is an accurate passer but also mobile enough to escape pressure and buy himself time to pass or head upfield. Mitchell helped lead Calgary to a league-best 15-3 record and his eight interceptions were the fewest among CFL starters.

Grey Cup Drought Both teams will be looking to end Grey Cup dry spells. The Stampeders last won a championship in 2008, Hufnagel’s first with the club. The Ticats have to go all the way back to ’99 for their last CFL title, which coincidentally came against Calgary at Vancouver. Both teams also lost in their last Grey Cup appearance, with Calgary falling to Toronto in the 100th Grey Cup at Rogers Centre in 2012 and Hamilton dropping last year’s contest to Saskatchewan at Mosaic Stadium.

So who’s going to win the 2014 Grey Cup?

Predict the result of a sporting event is a mug’s game, but if someone asks you to pick a Grey Cup winner, the Stampeders are the safe pick. They’ve been the best, most well-rounded team all season long and oddsmakers have them as a clear favourite over the Ticats.

READ MORE: A team of destiny? Stampeders all business ahead of 2014 Grey Cup

That being said, the Ticats have everything you want in an underdog: game-breakers like Banks and Collaros, a feisty defence, and a head coach who is one of the smartest play-callers in the league.

-with files from Canadian Press

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