July 6, 2023

Game Preview | CGY vs WPG

Scene setter:

The Blue Bombers come home after a workmanlike 17-3 win over the Montreal Alouettes in Quebec on Canada Day and hope to make things right with their fans again after their last game at IG Field, an uncharacteristic and shocking 30-6 loss to the B.C. Lions.

Just so this doesn’t get lost in the wake of that: Winnipeg is still a stellar 28-3 in its last 31 home games, including playoffs.

The Stampeders had a bye last week and, before that, fell to the Saskatchewan Roughriders 29-26 in overtime at McMahon Stadium in Calgary. The Stamps’ lone win to start the season came on the road against Ottawa in a 26-15 in Week 2. They are here in Winnipeg this week and then on the road again to face the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Week 6.

The Basics

Kickoff: Friday, 7:30 p.m., IG Field, Winnipeg
U.S. and International: live streaming
Radio: 680 CJOB
Last meeting: August 25, 2022 at Winnipeg – Blue Bombers 31 Stampeders 29
PlayNow odds: The Blue Bombers are favoured by eight points.

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The QBs

  • Winnipeg lines up Zach Collaros behind centre. He is 64-37 in his career and a ridiculous 36-6 in his games as a starter in Winnipeg, including playoffs and two Grey Cup victories. Collaros is 8-5 all-time in games against the Stamps.
  • Calgary’s QB1 is Jake Maier, who is in his third year with the club and first as the unquestioned starter. He is 7-5 in his career as a starter and 0-2 vs. the Blue Bombers.

The Coaches

Winnipeg: Mike O’Shea has a career won-lost record of 85-59. O’Shea’s 85 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).

Calgary: Dave Dickenson is in his seventh year with the Stampeders and his clubs have all all-time record of 74-31-2 with one Grey Cup title.

Blue Bomber Roster Notes

  • The Blue Bombers have made two roster changes for Friday’s game adding DB Kerfalla Exumé and LB Jared Beeksma for LB Shayne Gauthier and WR Jeremy Murphy.
  • Gauthier was moved to the six-game injured list, joining FB Konner Burtenshaw, DE Thiadric Hansen, DBs Desmond Lawrence, Jamal Parker and Winston Rose, LB Kyrie Wilson and FB Mike Miller.
  • WR Carlton Agudosi and DB Redha Kramdi remain on the one-game injured list.
  • Both Exumé and Beeksma were just added earlier in the week after the game in Montreal. Exumé talks about his return to the club that drafted him in this article.

Blue Bomber Spotlight: Abu Daramy-Swaray, cornerback

The Blue Bombers secondary has seen some bodies shifted to the infirmary since the start of training camp, including those on the six-game injured list mentioned above in Rose, Lawrence, and Parker.

That has created an opportunity for rookie Abu Daramy-Swaray, who is getting more comfortable with each defensive rep. He was attacked on the first drive of his first start by B.C. QB Vernon Adams, Jr. a couple of weeks ago – with Lions receiver Alexander Hollins drawing a pass interference penalty – but settled in with a solid second half that carried into last week’s win over Montreal.

Daramy-Swaray had six tackles, one knockdown and a forced fumble in the the victory.

“I thought we saw what we were going to see initially,” said head coach Mike O’Shea of Daramy-Swaray’s work against the Als. “He played a nice game. He made an unbelievable play punching that ball out, he’s flying around, he’s a hard tackler. He’s doing the things we believe he’ll do.”

Scouting the Stampeders

The Stamps have been crushed by injuries to start the season and it’s impacted, in particular, their offensive weaponry. Receiver Malik Henry recently suffered an Achilles injury that will cost him his season; Reggie Begelton was just pulled from the six-game injured list, but also on six-game are RB Ka’Deem Carey and WR Jalen Philpot. And so all those rushing to condemn QB Jake Maier early in his career might want to pump the brakes on a quick judgement here.

Calgary is 1-2, but one of those losses came in OT to the Riders while they also fell 25-15 to a powerful B.C. Lions squad in the season opener.


  • The Stamps have lost six straight games at IG Field, a streak that dates back to a 29-10 win over the Blue Bombers on July 7, 2017. These two squads played three CFL Classics last season, all won by the Blue Bombers – a 26-19 and 31-29 in Winnipeg and 35-28 in Calgary.
  • Zach Collaros threw for 879 yards with eight TDs against two interceptions in the three wins over the Stamps last season.
  • Sergio Castillo has made all eight of his FG attempts this year and has an active streak of 18 straight dating to September 16 of last season.


Long-time University of Manitoba QB Des Catellier is in his first season as the Stamps Quality Control Coach. A Calgary product, he threw for 51 touchdowns and a Bison record 7,721 yards during his days at the U of M.

Milestone Watch

  • Adam Bighill has 833 tackles in his career which has him tied with former Lions Solomon Elimimian for 6th place on the CFL’s all-time list.
  • Willie Jefferson has four sacks this season, pushing his career total to 61. That has him ranked 41st all-time in CFL history, with his next sack pushing him into the Top 40.