Game Day: Redblacks at Argonauts

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RED and BLACK FROM OTTAWA (2-5) to TORONTO ARGONAUTS (4-3)

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Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. BMO Field

Television: TSN1; Radio: 1050 AM (Toronto), TSN 1200 (Ottawa)

Line: Toronto by 8.5 points

Weather: Partly cloudy, 16C; 20% chance of rain; wind 10 km / h

STATSPACK

TOROTT

AVERAGES PER GAME

(LEAGUE RANKING)

POINTS FOR

20.3. (6th) 17.3 (9th)

POINTS AGAINST

24.6 (6th) 29.0 (9th)

LAND RUSH

89.6 (5th) 77.1 (7th)

PASS

276.7 (3rd) 211.1 (8th)

NET LAND

347.9 (4th) 270.6 (8th)

AUTHORIZED LAND

351.0 (6th) 384.0 (9th)

FIVE THINGS TO LOOK FOR

DOUBLE D

Ottawa returns specialist DeVonte Dedmon is the Redblacks’ most explosive player, a dynamic returner who is used in every facet of the second leg. Every time he touches football, there is potential for a great game. Toronto’s special teams, while improved, allowed Hamilton’s Frankie Williams to return a punt for a major in the game. Labor Day. Boris Bede’s directional punt will be key for the Argos.

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Worthy of attention

Chandler Worthy of the Argonauts hasn’t produced a major comeback, but he’s more than capable, a speedster whose ability to make downline plays has allowed the Argos to expand their playbook. Worthy has a good chemistry with the quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson, both signing with the Argos in 2017. MBT teamed up with Worthy for a late score in the first half of Toronto’s 30-27 win over Montreal on September 24.

QB2

This will be the second straight start for Redblacks quarterback Caleb Evans, who got the call last week in his CFL debut. Ottawa needed a spark, and Evans delivered with three touchdown passes, while throwing no interceptions. However, there is now a movie about athlete Evans, who can make coins out of his pocket. Defensive consultant Chris Jones will make the calls for the Argos, who will have to keep Evans content in their pocket.

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A REAL PIP

Antonio Pipkin will dress for the second time as a replacement for Bethel-Thompson. MBT are making their second straight start in hopes of leading the Boatmen to a second straight win, which would be a first this season. Pipkin can put pressure on Ottawa’s defense due to his running ability. MBT completed just two assists in the second half against Montreal.

MASTER SPIRIT

Mike Benevides frequented Central Tech and always enjoys his trips back to Toronto. This time, he’ll be back as Ottawa’s defensive coordinator. Ottawa’s defense has been the strength of the team, but it has been on the court for too long. This will likely put a strain on MBT, which is not known for its mobility.

REMARKABLE

Toronto’s 1991 Gray Cup team will be honored at a night where the first 2,000 fans in attendance will receive a replica of the club’s championship jersey. Current team members will wear the “A” helmet design… MBT was under center in 2019 when the Argos finished their home schedule with back-to-back wins over Ottawa. He is aware of the challenges that Ottawa’s defense will present; “I’ll tell you what, (they have) a really good defense. They’re full defense, solid front, back end playing pretty consistently, then (Micah) Awe at WILL and 42 (Avery Williams) at MIKE sort of steal, especially Awe is pretty quick. We’re not sure exactly what we’re going to see on Wednesday, which is concerning. We have to show up with our A game… Awe played for the Argos in 2019, an injury-ridden season… Cleyon Laing and Anthony Coombs both broke into the CFL with the Argos; During his six-year run, Laing recorded 33 sacks, which is quite impressive considering he plays tackle, while Coombs played five seasons in Toronto, claiming a Gray Cup victory in 2017 when the Argos upset Calgary in Ottawa.

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THE KEY MATCHUP

Redblacks LB Don Unamba vs. Argos RB DJ Foster

Unamba is a defensive playmaker who always seems to be around football. He recorded a high of nine tackles in Ottawa’s win over Edmonton, registering a special teams tackle and forcing a fumble. He’s very aggressive, sometimes too aggressive, but he’s a player the Argos have to take into account, especially in passing. Foster is very efficient in the passing game. It will need to be fine-tuned when Unamba is used in blitz packages. The key for Ottawa is to stop the Argos racing game and make them one-dimensional.

OUR OPINION: Argos 29, Redblacks 16

Ottawa quarterback Caleb Evans’ lone movie game will serve Toronto defensive consultant Chris Jones well as he plots to reach inexperienced quarterback and force quick throws; if Ottawa can’t throw the ball, Jones will throw all kinds of cover looks; as long as the Argos don’t produce explosive games, they should win. What the Argos cannot do is take Ottawa for granted. It’s a big game for the Argos as they try to create a split in the East standings.

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