GAME #14 | WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS (12-1) at HAMILTON TIGER-CATS (3-9)
Kickoff: Saturday, 3 p.m. CDT, Tim Hortons Field, Hamilton, ON
TV: TSN; ESPN+
Radio: 680 CJOB
Home/Road: The Blue Bombers are 7-0 on the road this season while the Ticats are 3-3 at home. The two clubs met back on June 24th in Winnipeg in what was a 26-12 Blue Bombers victory.
BetRegal.ca odds: The Blue Bombers are favoured by 7.5 points. For more of Bet Regal’s numbers on this game, click here.
Streaks: Winnipeg: 3W; Hamilton: 3L.
Notable: The Blue Bombers were the first CFL team to secure a playoff berth and with – and a loss by Calgary to B.C. later tonight – can lock down at least second place in the West Division a home playoff game.
- Hamilton starts Dane Evans at QB. He is 13-11 all-time and 1-1 vs. Winnipeg in the regular season.
- Winnipeg lines up Zach Collaros behind centre. He is 58-35 in his career and 29-3 in his games as a starter in Winnipeg, including playoffs and two Grey Cup victories.
Winnipeg: Mike O’Shea has a career won-lost record of 79-56. O’Shea’s 79 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).
Hamilton: Orlondo Steinauer is 26-18 as a head coach in the CFL and 2-2 vs. Winnipeg – 2-4 if the last two Grey Cup games are included.
Blue Roster Shuffle
The Bombers depth chart features three changes from last week. Coming aboard are safeties Brandon Alexander and Malcolm Thompson, along with centre Michael Couture
Off are DB Nick Taylor, WR Drew Wolitarsky and safety Noah Hallett, all of whom were moved to the injured list. Alexander will start at safety, while Couture is listed behind Chris Kolankowski at centre. Evan Holm will start for Taylor in the secondary.
BLUE BOMBERS SPOTLIGHT: DB Evan Holm
The University of North Dakota product will dress for his sixth professional game and make his first start Saturday against the Ticats in the difficult halfback spot that had been Taylor’s since 2019.
“He’s an exceptional athlete with exceptional speed,” said Blue Bombers defensive backs coach Jordan Younger earlier this week. “He’s very intelligent… he’s one of these guys that when he does make a mistake, he doesn’t tend to make the same mistake twice. That’s always a confident feeling for a coach – a guy that can apply the information he’s learned on the next play. As far as that’s concerned there’s a certain level of peace that comes along with that as a coach.
“Just believe in what you see. He has great talent, so just believe in yourself first. That’s the most important part first. You can see or do all the film work you want, but if you’re not believing in yourself and trusting in yourself and knowing that we have your back on every play, every down then it wouldn’t even matter. He’s just going to fill in and play the best game he can play.”
- A win today would improve the Blue Bombers road record to 8-0 this season, the best in the CFL since Calgary went 8-1 away from home in 2014. No CFL team has ever gone 9-0 on the road.
- Zach Collaros has gone 10 games in a row throwing at least one TD pass. Last week’s game marked the sixth time he has thrown for four or more TDs in his career and the second time this season.
- The Ticats are 1-0 in coming off a bye – as they are this week – and 5-1 after a bye week under Orlondo Steinauer.
- Zach Collaros needs 20 yards passing to move past Danny Barrett and into 25th place on the CFL’s all-time passing yardage list. Barrett finished his career at 23,419 yards; Collaros is at 23,400.
- Adam Bighill needs six tackles to move past Eddie Davis into seventh place on the CFL’s all-time list. Bighill has 796; Davis retired in 2009 with 801.
- Nic Demski set a career-high for touchdown receptions in a season with his two scores last week, giving him six on the year.
SALUTING DAVE RITCHIE AND DICK THORNTON
Two men with Blue Bombers connections in former coach Dave Ritchie and defensive back/quarterback Dick Thornton were formally inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame Friday night and will be honoured during the game Saturday.
In case you missed it, we spoke to Ritchie earlier this week.
Here’s current Blue Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea on Ritchie’s induction:
“He’s very well deserving. He’s been around our league a long time and coached a lot of good football. I remember my first encounter with him. It was at the CFL Combine and we ended up sitting in the lobby at the Viscount Gort and he sat down beside me, and we had a little conversation. I was very nervous about talking to anybody in his position, but he was very gracious.”
A leftover quote from our conversation with Ritchie this week, and the ongoing college football bet he had with Milt Stegall – Ritchie as a University of Cincinnati alum; Stegall hailing from Miami-Ohio.
“You may not remember, but when I was catching there, we always had something going on the Cincinnati-Miami of Ohio game. If Cincinnati won, Milty had to put on a dress. And if Miami ever won, I’d have to put a dress on. Guess what? He wore dresses than Carter’s got liver pills. There’s my shot at him.”