The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are paying a visit to a venue on Saturday Night that they intend to return to for Grey Cup Week. However, winning at McMahon Stadium will be a challenge for the Blue and Gold, as evidenced by their 5-25 record in the Foothills City – going back to Winnipeg’s last Grey Cup victory in 1990.
Bob Irving and Doug Brown will be joined by Ed Tait on the 680 CJOB pregame show starting at 4 p.m. to cover all the key elements leading up to the 6 p.m. kickoff. But in keeping with our weekly schedule, here are “five things” you should know for that game- courtesy of the Director of Digital content for bluebombers.com
1. The Bombers are in Calgary for the first of back-to-back meetings with the Stampeders, and with a home playoff game at stake. Winnipeg is 10-6 and trails the Stamps and Saskatchewan Roughriders — both 10-5 — in the West Division playoff race.
The Bombers are up 1-0 in their three-game season series with the Stampeders, but have lost their set with the Riders. That means Winnipeg would likely need to sweep both of these upcoming games and then get some help to have a shot at first place in the West. Even a split might not be enough to finish first or second, as the Stamps and Riders do have a game in hand on the Bombers.
Winnipeg has a bye in the final week of the regular season, while Calgary will be in B.C. to face a Lions team now without quarterback Mike Reilly due to a wrist injury. Saskatchewan’s remaining three games come against the Lions and then two straight against the Edmonton Eskimos, who are currently without their No. 1 quarterback in Trevor Harris.
2. Andrew Harris is coming off a career game in last Saturday’s win over the Alouettes. Harris finished with a career-best 166 yards rushing on 24 carries and continues to lead the CFL with 1,261 yards.
He is attempting to become the first Bombers running back to capture three consecutive CFL rushing crowns.
3. The Bombers forced five Montreal turnovers last week — four interceptions and one on downs. Winnipeg leads the CFL in forced turnovers with 43 and is first in forced fumbles and interceptions. The Bombers turnover ratio of +9 is second overall, with both Calgary and Hamilton at +10.
4. Nobody pounds the football along the ground more effectively in the CFL than the Bombers. Winnipeg averages a league-best 148.9 yards rushing per game — a number which was boosted with the 240 yards along the ground in last week’s win.
The Bombers have two players in the CFL’s Top 10 rushers — Harris at No. 1 and quarterback Chris Streveler, who is sixth at 641 yards. Streveler has already set a new Bombers record for rushing yards by a quarterback, breaking Ken Ploen’s old mark of 541, set in 1960.
5. New quarterback Zach Collaros, acquired last week in a trade from the Toronto Argonauts, has practised this week for the Bombers — his first real on-field work since being injured in Week 1. Head coach Mike O’Shea has indicated Streveler will make his eighth-straight start for the Bombers since the injury to Matt Nichols in mid-August. The Bombers are 3-4 in games Streveler has started this season.
Next: The Bombers are home for their final regular-season game on Friday, Oct. 25, 7:30 p.m., when the Stampeders pay a return visit.
Fans seeking tickets should call 204-784-7448 or visit bluebombers.com/tickets.