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:
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.