LIVE STREAM PPV: CFL – BC Lions @Ottawa RedBlacks Aug. 26 @ 3:30p EDT ( 9:30p Aug. 26 CEST)

CFL.CA STAFF
OTTAWA — The Ottawa REDBLACKS (2-6-1) and BC Lions (5-4) find themselves in similar positions entering their meeting on Saturday afternoon in the nation’s capital.

Both are second-last in their division. Both left points on the field throughout the first half of the 2017 CFL season. Both understand the need to step it up in the second half if they want to be in the playoffs.

Saturday’s visitors, the BC Lions, have something of a quarterback controversy brewing: Jonathan Jennings has battled inconsistency in recent weeks en route to a pair of losses, while Travis Lulay won his last start back on Aug. 5.

Saturday’s hosts, the Ottawa REDBLACKS, have just two victories to show for nine close football games; the screws are tightened and the pressure is most definitely on in the nation’s capital.

The Lions’ 21-17 defeat to Calgary last week left a sour taste in the mouths of all involved with the team, most of all Head Coach Wally Buono.

“The missed opportunities obviously were disturbing, the blocked kick was disturbing,. Our quarterback will be better, our offensive line will be better and I think our receiving corps will be better. That should hopefully allow us to score more points; which makes our team better.”

Former REDBLACK and leading running back Jeremiah Johnson is excited to face his former team.

“This is really funny because I want them to be yelling as loud as they can so I can shut them up as fast as I can,” said Johnson, who ran for 11 touchdowns in 15 games with Ottawa over the 2014 and 2015 seasons. “Those fans did me right when I was there so I most definitely want to give them a show, but at the end of the day I want to give them a show and break their back as well.”

The Lions secondary will receive a boost with the return of T.J. Lee from injury; the Eastern Washington product had recorded 17 tackles and two interceptions prior to a Week 6 injury against Edmonton.

Saturday will mark the return of receiver Chris Williams to the nation’s capital; the BC pass-catcher has hauled in 214 yards and a touchdown in three games since returning from an injury that delayed the start of his 2017 season. The New Mexico St. alum caught 15 touchdowns and broke the 1,200-yard mark twice (2015, 2016) during his time with the REDBLACKS.

Last week’s 38-17 win in Hamilton eased some of the pressure in Ottawa’s camp, but not all. The REDBLACKS, after all, are still a 2-6-1 team.

However: They’re a 2-6-1 team in the struggling East Division, meaning they’re only three points out of first.

“It goes to show you that where we’ve come up short is making key plays in the fourth quarter,” Ottawa head coach Rick Campbell told OttawaREDBLACKS.com, referencing his team’s losing record and positive point-differential. “Obviously our record’s not where we want, (but) we do know we can play with anybody — we’ve got to put some wins in the bank, (because) it’s going to be competitive down the stretch.”

The challenge for the REDBLACKS this week is a unique one in the ultra-talented but under-performing BC Lions.

“Typically, you can find a strength (or weakness) in a team’s defence, (but) you can’t with (BC’s) defense, because they’re all strengths,” admitted Ottawa quarterback Trevor Harris. “Their pass rush, their linebacking core — led by Solomon, doesn’t get much better than him — (and) their DBs break on everything, they have length, speed (and) veterans back there.”

REDBLACKS linebacker Taylor Reed believes his defense has to keep it simple against the Lions this week.

“We’ve had some plays, easy touchdown stuff, that could’ve been preventable,” explained Reed. “Guys going for the big play instead of the easy play, and it extended the drive (or) gave up a touchdown — we have to buckle down on defence (and) get the QB down when we have the chance to.”

By The Numbers

3 – Wins in three tries this season for BC against East Division opponents.

41.9 – Difference in QUAR rating between BC quarterbacks Jonathon Jennings (52.1) and Travis Lulay (94.0).

118 – Passes caught by Greg Ellingson (60) and Brad Sinopoli (58) this season, first and second in the league respectively.

2,862 – League-high passing yards for Ottawa’s Trevor Harris.

The Skinny

Now isn’t this a tasty matchup?

Both the Lions and REDBLACKS have an embarrassment of riches at multiple positions, and watching the two battle it out at TD Place should be fun.

How long is Jonathon Jennings’s leash under center, given Travis Lulay’s quality appearances this season? How will Jonathan Newsome look in his REDBLACKS debut? Can Ottawa close out a game on home turf?

– With files from BCLions.com/OttawaREDBLACKS.com

AFI, Yare Media and the CFL

American Football International is collaborating with Yare Media and the Canadian Football League to present 2017 CFL games live. This is more than a livestream. This is a stream of the top flight TSN network television broadcast.

If you can’t watch it live, each game is available for viewing through the remainder of the season.

LIVE STREAM PPV: CFL –BC Lions @Ottawa RedBlacks Aug. 26 @ 3:30p EDT ( 9:30p Aug. 26 CEST)

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