LIVESTREAM CFL: BC Lions @ Winnipeg Blue Bombers, June 22, 02:30 CET (2:30 am, 8:30 pm June 21 EDT)

WINNIPEG — The start of the season hasn’t played out how either team drew it up.

When BC visits Winnipeg on Friday night, the Lions will be trying to get above .500 for the first time and the Blue Bombers are searching for their first win.

For two teams with Grey Cup aspirations, it makes for an intriguing Week 3 showdown between a pair of storied rivals.

Bombers’ quarterback Zach Collaros has yet to find the end zone through the air while throwing three interceptions. In order for his team to get going offensively, his play needs to improve. With Brady Oliveira dealing with an injury and set to be the back up at running back, the pressure continues to mount and falls squarely on the right arm of Collaros.

Watch live. BC Lions @ Winnipeg Blue Bombers, June 22, 02:30 CET (2:30 am, 8:30 pm June 21 EDT)

» Depth Chart: BC | WPG
» Game Notes: BC at Winnipeg

Top target Dalton Schoen missed time in practice earlier this week, meaning Nic Demski and Drew Wolitarsky need to be prepared for more targets.

If there’s a positive in the pass game, it’s been the play of Keric Wheatfall, who had 111 receiving yards against Ottawa last week.

The talented Lions’ secondary hasn’t been its usual self through two games, giving up an average of 296.5 yards, including 339 a week ago.

It’s a secondary without an interception but plenty of skill to turn things around in any given game. Ciante Evans, Adrian Green and Garry Peters have to lead the way in shutting down Collaros and ensuring his breakout game doesn’t come at their expense.

With Oliveira likely limited, Johnny Augustine once again will be relied on to carry the ball with consistency.

Blue Bombers’ offensive coordinator Buck Pierce isn’t worried about the team’s offence but isn’t glossing over the fact work needs to be done to improve.

Watch live. BC Lions @ Winnipeg Blue Bombers, June 22, 02:30 CET (2:30 am, 8:30 pm June 21 EDT)

“It’s work. You just work,” Pierce told reporters. “I told the guys, ‘I don’t know how to do a lot of things in life, but I know how to put my head down and work.’ We’ve got a lot of workers in our room. Our guys are excited to get on to the next week, learn from what we’ve done and go out there and execute again.”

While BC’s pass defence hasn’t performed quite as expected, the same can’t be said for the Lions defensive front.

The Lions held the Stamps to 61 yards on the ground and made their way through the offensive line for four sacks.

Defensive linemen Joshua ArchibaldChristian CovingtonMarcus Moore and Pete Robertson have all played well. If they can close gaps on the ground and make Collaros move in the pocket, it’ll help the defence as a whole.

It’s no secret who Lions’ quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. looks to first downfield, as Alexander Hollins and Justin McInnis continue to guide the success of the pass game.

With Ayden Eberhardt having big play ability, Adams Jr. will look to find creative ways to spread the Bombers’ secondary.

Keeping the Lions from making game changing plays is the goal of Evan Holm and Brandon Alexander.

Redha Kramdi has also shown promise when the ball goes in his direction and he’ll need to be ready again as Deatrick Nichols is listed as out.

Having played last Saturday and coming back Friday night, Adams Jr. isn’t about to let a shorter week of preparation be an excuse.

“Every team has to go through it,” he told reporters. “We can’t focus on that. We need to focus on just doing what we need to do to beat a good team this week. Don’t look at their record or anything like that, that’s a good team with a good system over there. It’s always a battle when we have to go over there.”

With enough responsibility on the shoulders of Adams Jr., running back William Stanback hopes to continue to improve the Lions’ ground game.

Stanback is averaging just four yards per carry but is set to go head-to-head with a Bombers’ defence that allowed 129 against the REDBLACKS in Week 2.

Lineman Willie Jefferson has been his usual self and linebacker Adam Bighill will play in his second game of the season. The pair of veterans should be leaned on heavily again to stabilize the defence and get their offence back on the field.

A win for the Lions would make it two straight and move them to 2-1

A loss for the Bombers would put them in unfamiliar territory at 0-3; a path they plan to avoid.

Watch live. BC Lions @ Winnipeg Blue Bombers, June 22, 02:30 CET (2:30 am, 8:30 pm June 21 EDT)

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