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June 17, 2022

Game Preview | Week 2 at OTT

WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS (1-0) at OTTAWA REDBLACKS (0-1)

THE 4-1-1

Kickoff: Friday, 6:30 p.m. CT, TD Place, Ottawa, ON
TV: TSN; ESPN2
Radio: 680 CJOB
Home/Road: The Blue Bombers were 4-3 on the road in the regular season last year; Ottawa was 1-6 at home.
BetRegal.ca odds: The Blue Bombers are favoured by 2.5 points. For more of BetRegal’s numbers on this game, click here.
Streaks: Winnipeg: 1W; Ottawa: 1L
Notable: The RedBlacks are 4-1-2 in their home openers since Ottawa’s return to the league in 2014, the best winning percentage across the league.

The QBs

  • Ottawa will start veteran Jeremiah Masoli. He is 27-25 in career starts, including a 3-5 record vs. the Blue Bombers.
  • Winnipeg lines up Zach Collaros behind centre. He is 47-34 in his career and now 18-2 in his games as a starter in Winnipeg, including playoffs and two Grey Cup victories.

The Coaches

Winnipeg: Mike O’Shea: 68-55. O’Shea’s 68 wins as a Blue Bombers head coach ranks third on the club’s all-time list, behind only Bud Grant (102) and Cal Murphy (86).

Ottawa: Paul LaPolice: 19-40, with 16 of those wins coming during his days as Blue Bombers head coach from 2010-12, including an East Division crown and Grey Cup berth in 2011.

Blue Roster Shuffle

The Bombers depth chart features three changes from a week ago in the season opener. Coming aboard are all-star defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat, Global defensive back Souleymane Karamoko and quarterback Joe Mancuso.

Off this week are quarterback Dakota Prukop, linebacker Jesse Briggs and linebacker Malik Clements. Clements and OL Liam Dobson are now on the one-game injured list, while Prukop and Briggs have been moved to the six-game injured list.

Blue Bomber Spotlight: SB Greg Ellingson

As debuts go, Ellingson’s first game in blue and gold was an A+ as he finished with six catches for 74 yards and a TD. There’s a sense that’s just the start of things, too. Here’s Collaros on the veteran receiver:

“Greg has a very high football IQ. He’s played in a lot of different systems. He’s played in this league for a long time against different defences. He really understands where we’re trying to attack and what we’re trying to do and when things do break down he’s got great knowledge of where guys are on the field and where he should end up. I can’t say enough good things about Greg. It really starts with how smart he is and how much he understands what we’re trying to do.

He’s seen a lot of different things, I’ve seen a lot of different things, so it’s really easy to communicate with him, as it is with a lot of our guys because we have a lot of experience. He’s a great football player, not just with his tangible things, but his intangibles he brings to the ring as well. It’s been a pleasure having him around”

FYI

  • The 380 yards Jeremiah Masoli threw for last week was the seventh highest total in his career and his 32nd 300-yard performance. Among active QBs, that ranks behind only Trevor Harris (38) and Bo Levi Mitchell (35).
  • All four home teams won in the CFL’s opening week: Winnipeg, B.C., Saskatchewan, and Calgary, marking the first time that has occurred since 2006.
  • The RedBlacks announced Thursday that fewer than 2,500 remain for their home opener against the Blue Bombers. Capacity at TD Place in Ottawa is 24,000.
  • Marc Liegghio was two-for-two in his field goal attempts last week. Winnipeg managed to be perfect in the field goal department just once in their final 10 regular season games last year.

Milestone Watch

  • LB Adam Bighill needs 17 more tackles to pass former Blue Bombers LB Greg Battle and move into eighth place on the CFL’s all-time list. Bighill is at 750, Battle retired with 766 career tackles.
  • Rec Greg Ellingson extended his current reception streak to 71 games in a row last week and also surpassed the 8,000 mark in career receiving yards.

Rally Time

This from CFL stats guru Steve Daniel: Dru Brown’s work in helping lead the Blue Bombers to the game-winning drive last week marked the first time the No. 2 QB had done so since Robert Marve came off the bench for a win at Calgary on November 1, 2014. The six other fourth-quarter game-winning drives led by No. 2 Blue Bomber QBs dating back were authored by Justin Goltz (2012), Alex Brink (2011), Steven Jyles (2010), Ryan Dinwiddie (2008), Pat Barnes (2002) and Troy Kopp (1998)

ICYMI

The CFL fined RedBlacks DB Sherrod Baltimore an undisclosed amount for his high hit on Winnipeg receiver Dalton Schoen.

Buckling Down

Winnipeg’s defence surrendered 243 yards, 12 first downs and 11 points in the first half of last week’s win. In the second half, they forced Ottawa into five two-and-out possessions and three turnovers in seven possessions, just six first downs while yielding just two field goals.