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5 things to watch for in the first Stampeders-Eskimos game of 2019

Calgary Stampeders quarterback Nick Arbuckle runs the ball during second half CFL action against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Thursday, July 25, 2019. .
Calgary Stampeders quarterback Nick Arbuckle runs the ball during second half CFL action against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Thursday, July 25, 2019. . THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The Calgary Stampeders (4-2) are back at home for Week 8 after escaping Hamilton with a narrow 17-16 win. The red and white now enter a tough middle-third of their schedule facing CFL-leading Winnipeg Blue Bombers (5-1) once and provincial rival Edmonton Eskimos (4-2) three times.

Saturday night the Stamps host the Esks at McMahon Stadium. Here are 5 things to watch for in the Battle of Alberta:

  1. Get back in the zone: The end zone, that is. The Stamps haven’t taken a trip to receiver Eric Rogers’ neighbourhood since midway through the 3rd quarter of the Argo game. You can’t win games with threes instead of sixes — unless the other guy decides to hand you two. Thanks again Rick!
  2. Flip some key stats: Edmonton quarterback Trevor Harris has been sacked once this season. Once. Conversely, the Stamps work-in-progress O-line and Nick Arbuckle’s inexperience have combined for a bad, but not quite Reilly-esque, total of 14. That has to stop, especially with the sack-happy line in green and gold. Also, the Esks have the ball an average of 33:30 per game, 4:30 more than the Stamps average TOP.
  3. Challenge Trevor Harris: Harris and Nick Arbuckle are both topping 70% in completion rate. Both use a lot of high percentage short passes to get the chains moving. Coach Joshua Bell’s merry band of pick pirates need to jump some of those routes.
  4. Flip the field: Running back Terry Williams has been itching to bust a big one on a return. With these two teams almost identical in net punt average, a big return or two could be the turning point in a tight game.
  5. Discipline: The Stamps have been seeing more flags than usual this season, but the Eskimos continue their recent trend of being the most-penalized team in the CFL. If the Stamps can clean up their act, the Esks will hand them plenty of free yards.
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Join me and the entire Calgary Stampeders broadcast crew as the Stampeders take on the Eskimos on Saturday, Aug. 3. Pregame show gets underway at 3:30 p.m. with kick-off at 5 p.m. on the radio home of the Calgary Stampeders — 770 CHQR.

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