LIVESTREAM CFL: Winnipeg Blue Bombers @ Calgary Stampeders, June 30, 01:00 CET (1 am, 7 pm EDT)

Winless and Winnipeg aren’t two words one would typically utter in the same sentence over the past several seasons.

But that’s where the Winnipeg Blue Bombers find themselves as they hit the road to McMahon Stadium on Saturday night for a date with the Calgary Stampeders.

The Stampeders, meanwhile, have had extra preparation following a Week 3 bye.

The Blue Bombers are a veteran group that’s proven they know how to win, so it’s far from time to hit the panic button, but they want to avoid falling too far behind in a competitive West Division.

For that to happen, head coach Mike O’Shea needs a return to form from quarterback Zach Collaros. Collaros ranks sixth in passing yards with 741, just 150 ahead of opposing quarterback Jake Maier, who has played one less game.

Watch live. Winnipeg Blue Bombers @ Calgary Stampeders, June 30, 01:00 CET (1 am, 7 pm EDT)

» Depth Chart: WPG | CGY 
» Game Notes: Winnipeg at Calgary

Without Dalton Schoen and Keric Wheatfall in the pass game (both are out with injuries), it means Nic Demski and Drew Wolitarsky need to step up and make plays on Saturday with the support of Kevens Clercius and Ontaria Wilson.

They’ll look for a breakout performance against a Stamps secondary surrendering 294.5 yards per game.

Defensive back Demerio Houston should be motivated to make a difference facing his former team for the first time. Alongside Houston, Tre Roberson and Rodney Randle Jr. help round out the secondary.

Regardless of who’s in or out, O’Shea just wants his players to make the plays when called upon.

“That’s why we practice, that’s why we meet,” O’Shea told reporters. “What we need is for guys to make the play when it comes their way. We need them to do their jobs in all three phases. If you start going outside the system, trying to do more and make plays and do something outside the system, it doesn’t really work very well.”

A healthy Brady Oliveira will be a welcome sign for a Bombers’ offence looking for a spark. With a full week of practice under him, Oliveira is primed to carry the load on the ground once again.

Facing a Stamps team surrendering a league worst 120 rushing yards per game, watch for O’Shea to utilize Oliveira whenever possible.

Watch live. Winnipeg Blue Bombers @ Calgary Stampeders, June 30, 01:00 CET (1 am, 7 pm EDT)

Stopping Oliveira will be up to defensive lineman Clarence Hicks and linebacker Micah Awe. If they can limit his yardage, it’ll force the ball in the air and require the pass game to find a way to correct their issues.

As for the Calgary offence, it ranks sixth in passing yards per game with 295.5 and fourth in rushing yards at 89.

Under centre, Maier needs to be creative in making his way down the field as no Calgary receiver ranks in the top 15 in receiving yards. So, it’s safe to say spreading the ball around will be key.

Clark Barnes and Marken Michel are two top targets, while running back Dedrick Mills has also shown an ability to jump into the pass game.

Deatrick Nichols returns to the Bombers’ secondary after missing last week with an injury. It’s a needed boost as he rejoins veterans Evan Holm and Brandon Alexander, along with rookie Terrell Bonds in trying to find ways to tighten up coverage and knock down passes.

To diversify their offensive approach, Mills should also see plenty of touches on the ground. He’s averaging 5.5 yards over 25 carries and aims to avoid lineman Willie Jefferson and Devin Adams off the edge and linebacker Redha Kramdi if he finds his way past the line.

Having a bye following a loss, Stamps head coach Dave Dickenson is ready to get back at it against a tough opponent.

“We did lose our last game and I just feel like we want to get back on the winning track as soon as possible,” Dickenson told reporters. “We’re really trying our best to make McMahon a tough place to play. We felt like last game, I thought it was pretty loud. I thought it was a good home field advantage. Winnipeg’s in the house, we need that advantage and hopefully we take advantage of it.”

The Bombers hope their climb out of the West Division basement begins with a win over a rival.

Calgary is trying to keep pace with BC and Saskatchewan with a win.

Watch live. Winnipeg Blue Bombers @ Calgary Stampeders, June 30, 01:00 CET (1 am, 7 pm EDT)

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