Home field definitely an advantage for Mitchell, Calgary Stampeders

By The Canadian Press
June 13, 2018 - 1:00pm

Home field is definitely an advantage for the Calgary Stampeders.

Calgary (2-0) hosts the Ottawa Redblacks on Thursday night having complied a stellar 40-6 record at McMahon Stadium over the last six seasons. The next-closest team over that span is the Edmonton Eskimos (27 wins).

The Stampeders kicked off the 2018 season with a 28-14 home victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on June 16. Surprisingly, Calgary is 2-0 for the first time since 2014 and just the second time in the last eight years despite having posted a 96-32-2 record (.758 win percentage) over that time.

Calgary is coming off an impressive 41-7 road win over the Toronto Argonauts on Saturday night. Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell was 20-of-22 passing for 324 yards and three TDs before being replaced by Nick Arbuckle in the fourth quarter.

Mitchell, who's just 30 yards shy of 20,000 for his career, improved his all-time regular-season record to 58-10-2 and is 27-3-2 versus East Division rivals. What's more, Calgary is unbeaten in its last five games versus Ottawa (3-0-2).

The Stampeders' defence has also been stellar, allowing just 21 total points. And running back Terry Williams returned a punt 102 yards for a touchdown against Toronto.

Ottawa comes off an impressive 40-17 season-opening win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders as starter Trevor Harris finished 26-of-36 passing for 345 yards with two TDs and an interception. The Redblacks had a record-tying three two-point converts in the contest and earned their fourth straight regular-season win dating back to last year.

And the Redblacks' defence did its part, forcing four turnovers.

However a key for Ottawa will be not allowing Calgary to storm out to an early lead. The Stampeders are 65-12 since 2011 when leading after the first quarter.

Prediction: Calgary.

 

Winnipeg Blue Bombers versus Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Friday night)

At Hamilton, two of the CFL's hottest quarterbacks square off. Rookie Chris Streveler was 22-of-28 passing for 246 yards and three TDs while rushing for a team-high 98 yards and a touchdown in leading Winnipeg (1-1) past Montreal 56-10. Streveler has six TD passes, the fourth-highest total over a quarterback's first two starts in league history. Jeremiah Masoli threw for 332 yards and three TDs while rushing for another as the Tiger-Cats (1-1) beat Edmonton 38-21. Brandon Banks and Luke Tasker both had 100-yard receiving games and scored TDs while Canadian Mercer Timmis ran for 133 yards and two touchdowns.

Prediction: Hamilton.

 

B.C. Lions versus Edmonton Eskimos (Friday night)

At Edmonton, B.C. (1-0) comes off the bye for its first road game of the season. The Lions haven't played since a season-opening 22-10 win over Montreal on June 16. In that game, starter Jonathon Jennings was 20-of-24 passing for 183 yards and two TDs while the defence registered five sacks. The Eskimos (1-1) allowed 528 offensive yards in their loss to Hamilton, including 196 yards rushing. Quarterback Mike Reilly was 20-of-30 passing for 286 yards with a touchdown and interception while running for another.

Prediction: Edmonton

 

Montreal Alouettes versus Saskatchewan Roughriders (Saturday night)

At Regina, Canadian Brandon Bridge starts for the Riders (1-1) with incumbent Zach Collaros (head injury) sidelined. Bridge won't have Duron Carter in the receiving corps as Carter remains on defence. It's been a miserable start for Montreal (0-2) under first-year head coach Mike Sherman. The Alouettes struggled mightily in last week's lopsided loss to Winnipeg, accumulating just 195 offensive yards while the Bombers rolled up 588 yards offensively. Canadian linebacker Henoc Muamba had 11 tackles but was also fined for by the CFL for spearing Streveler.

Prediction: Saskatchewan.

 

Last week: 1-3

Overall: 5-3.

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press

GUID: 
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updated_date: 
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 17:19:12 -0400

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