LIVE STREAM PPV: CFL – Montreal Alouettes @Toronto Argonauts Aug. 19 @ 4p EDT ( 10p CEST)

TORONTO — While the Montreal Alouettes and Toronto Argonauts will both feel they’ve left wins on the field through the first eight weeks of the 2017 CFL campaign, the two teams enter Saturday’s meeting in Toronto (4 p.m. EDT) with a shot at first place in the East Division.

For the visiting Alouettes, a win at BMO Field would propel them 1.5 games clear in the race for first place; the hometown Argos, meanwhile, are in need of a victory to stop a three-game slide.

The Alouettes’ defense was the story in the front end of the home-and-home series, limiting Toronto to just 142 pass yards en route to a 21-9 win on Aug. 11 in Montreal.

Toronto’s passing game ought to receive a boost on Saturday, however, with the return of veteran pivot Ricky Ray from the injured list.

Last week’s win on home turf was the epitome of grind-it-out football for the Montreal Alouettes.

Jacques Chapdelaine’s squad scored the only two touchdowns of the contest in the first half, then shut things down defensively in the second half; while Toronto racked up 173 yards on the ground, the Als found a way to stop them multiple times in the red zone.

Montreal’s camp understands that the challenge posed this week could be vastly different than last week’s.

Montreal running backs coach Andre Bolduc explained to

“With Ricky Ray back, it’s a game that will be different for us defensively. It’s obviously a four-point game, a super important game, we did good things against them last week, (and) now we have to clean things up offensively to score more points.”

With Brandon Rutley back from injury, the Als’ strong 1-2 running duo of Rutley and Tyrell Sutton is ready to roll this week.

“As a coach, I’m lucky: We can have a game plan that’s identical with one or the other. It’s important to be able to run the ball — we need a better pass-run balance than last week — especially in the fourth quarter to eat clock if you’re ahead.”

The importance of Saturday’s return leg in Toronto is not lost on Sutton, who ran for 66 yards on 15 carries in Montreal’s win last week.

“We have a chance to separate ourselves from the rest of the East Division — we can’t let this one slip. We can’t let this one slip, we have to go out and handle our business.”

Alouettes linebacker Kyries Hebert, currently third in the CFL in tackles (48), credits his team’s total effort for his personal success.

“It’s the play calls, my teammates around me — that’s part of why I’ve been having a good year. We have to have the same attitude as we did in the first game; we can’t feel comfortable after getting the win, we have to continue to build on our success.”

The Argonauts will get veteran quarterback Ricky Ray back for Saturday’s pivotal divisional clash.

That had to be a massive sigh of relief for a team that failed to eclipse 150 passing yards in last week’s loss with the combination of Cody Fajardo and Jeff Mathews.

A bright spot in last week’s loss in Montreal was the Argonaut defense: Corey Chamblin’s defense allowed a solitary field goal in the second half, and stopped both the Als’ running game and aerial attack.

Toronto head coach Marc Trestman spoke with following the loss last week:

“Our defense played tremendously well, limiting them to one field goal in the second half. We’re going to go back to work — we have good systems of football in place, and we know that we have a football team that works.”

Trestman (former head coach of the Chicago Bears) also pointed to discipline as a major difference between the two teams last time out.

“The penalties are what really disrupted our flow, (and) if we can clean that up, we have a chance to be a pretty good football team. The thing we have to do mostly is take care of us, not put ourselves in these positions where we hurt our football team and field position.”

Rookie Qudarius Ford will get his first start at cornerback on Saturday; the South Alabama alum made his first professional start at half back against Calgary in Week 7, recording three tackles in a 41-24 loss.

By The Numbers

6 – Number of quarterbacks to have started for the Als against Toronto since Anthony Calvillo retired (Tanner Marsh, Troy Smith, Jonathan Crompton, Rakeem Cato, Kevin Glenn, Darian Durant)

19.3 – Average points scored by Toronto historically against Montreal, dating back to 2008.

22.7 – Average points allowed by the Alouettes this season, the second-best mark in the CFL.

2,421 – Passing yards for Toronto QB Ricky Ray — third-most amongst league quarterbacks despite Ray’s recent absence.

The Skinny

The return of Ricky Ray is the dominant storyline entering Saturday’s rematch between the two fierce divisional rivals, but other plots to keep an eye on include Qudarius Ford’s debut at corner and what Montreal’s play-calling will look like after struggling through the second half last week.

While Ray’s passing numbers — 2,561 net yards, 10 touchdowns through the air — are stellar, they mask some inefficiencies; the 37 year-old converts just 46 per cent on second down, and his QUAR rating (68.3) is third-worst amongst starters, ahead of only BC’s Jonathon Jennings (55.2) and Hamilton’s Zach Collaros (41.4).

Montreal has some offensive kinks to iron out, too; the Als’ second-half performance left a lot to be desired, and Durant and co. will need to be much better this week to escape with a sweep of the home-and-home series.

– With files from

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 48 hours after the original broadcast.

LIVE STREAM PPV: CFL – Montreal Alouettes @Toronto Argonauts Aug. 19 @ 4p EDT ( 10p CEST)

Today's CFL is more than just our great game of football. It's fans sharing their excitement for what they see on the field, and what they experience off it. Stay up to date on all the non-stop action at