LIVESTREAM CFL: Ottawa REDBLACKS @ Hamilton Tiger-Cats, July 9, 01:00 CET (1 am, 7 pm EDT July 8)

HAMILTON — The Ottawa REDBLACKS will try to make it back-to-back victories as they travel to Hamilton to take on the Tiger-Cats on Saturday night.

The REDBLACKS secured their first win of the season in convincing fashion over the Edmonton Elks last Friday.

After being on a bye week, the Tiger-Cats are eyeing their first win.

» Depth Chart: OTT | HAM

Head coach Bob Dyce announced earlier this week that quarterback Jeremiah Masoli will make his long awaited return exactly one year after suffering a leg injury that cost him the rest of the 2022 season and the first four weeks of 2023.

Masoli’s return comes as the REDBLACKS offence is building momentum.

Jaelon AcklinSiaosi Mariner and Justin Hardy all caught multiple passes against the Elks.

Facing a Ticats defence that has allowed an average of 294.6 passing yards per game, the REDBLACKS should be confident putting the ball in the air.

They’ll also have plenty of confidence turning to the run game. Not only has their opponent surrendered 113 yards per game on the ground, but they may have found an answer at running back as De’Montre Tuggle is coming off a 17 carry, 126-yard performance.

Watch live. Ottawa REDBLACKS @ Hamilton Tiger-Cats, July 9, 01:00 CET (1 am, 7 pm EDT July 8)

Against a defence that has had trouble limiting yards, the REDBLACKS appear to have multiple ways to exploit an opponent that has allowed a league worst 112 points.

Defensively, Ottawa has given up the second fewest points of any team in the CFL.

If the Ticats last game was any indication, the REDBLACKS secondary needs to be ready.

Quarterback Matt Shiltz put the ball in the air 47 times in their Week 3 loss to the Montreal Alouettes and while he threw for 345 yards, he was picked off twice.

Protecting the football will be a priority for Shiltz on Saturday as he faces a pass defence that prides itself on making plays and a defensive front that has routinely shown they can put pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

Defensive backs Brandin Dandridge and Damon Webb, along with linebacker Douglas Coleman II all head into the game after recording an interception against the Elks.

The offensive line of the Ticats has given up seven sacks and will be under pressure again as the REDBLACKS have 12 on the season, led by Coleman’s three.

When Shiltz decides to drop back and throw, which he’ll likely do often, it’ll be Tim White and D’haquille Williams who he looks to first. The pair pulled down a combined 245 yards in their last game.

Williams feels like the bye week may have come at just the right time for his team as they refocus on the task at hand.

“Coming off a bye week, I feel like we needed it to regroup and get our minds right,” Williams told

“Now we have a chance to get in the win column and that’s what it’s about this week. Concentrating, doing our job, coming together as one and correcting the little things. I feel like once we correct the little things everything else will take care of itself.”

It’ll be up to running back James Butler to support his quarterback with a different look on offence. Against the Als, he managed just 14 yards on five carries and the Ticats are averaging a disappointing 58 yards via the run.

The outcome of the game will likely rely on the play of Orlondo Steinauer’s defence.

On paper the talent is there, but they’ve yet to put it together for a full 60 minutes. Not only have they allowed the most points per game, they’re also giving up 386.7 net yards of offence.

If a turnaround is to happen on Saturday, they’ll need defensive linemen Ja’Gared Davis, Ted LaurentCasey Sayles and linebacker Jameer Thurman to lead the way in putting pressure on Masoli as he tries to reacquaint himself in the pocket.

The defence has six sacks and making Masoli move will further test him in his return.

Thurman used the bye week to self assess and expects the defence to come out ready to go against a team hoping to build on their first win of the season.

“It’s not about them, it’s more on us,” Thurman told

“We have to set the tone. We have to come out and improve on the small details and have a complete game to get the win.”

If the front can limit Masoli’s time and space, it’ll give defensive backs Kenneth George Jr.Dexter Lawson Jr. and Richard Leonard the opportunity to make plays in the secondary.

It’ll be a secondary without Tunde Adeleke though as he’s out with a hamstring injury.

The REDBLACKS look to make it two wins in a row and begin their climb up the division standings, while the Ticats are hoping for a better outcome than their previous three games.

Watch live. Ottawa REDBLACKS @ Hamilton Tiger-Cats, July 9, 01:00 CET (1 am, 7 pm EDT July 8)

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