LIVESTREAM PPV: CFL – Calgary Stampeders @Ottawa REDBLACKS. Thurs., July 25, 7p EDT (1a July 26 CEDT)

OTTAWA – The Calgary Stampeders and Ottawa REDBLACKS seem incapable of playing an uninteresting football game, and they are set to clash in the nation’s capital to kick off Week 7 action on Thursday night.

Although the franchises have only met 11 times since the REDBLACKS started play in 2014, five of those games have been decided in the final three minutes and two ended in ties. Their Week 1 matchup in Calgary was par for the course, as Ottawa stunned the defending Grey Cup champions 32-28.

Although Thursday’s game will be a rematch of the 106th Grey Cup presented by Shaw, the teams have undergone some significant changes since last year… and some significant changes since Week 1.

“I feel they’ve changed a lot defensively,” Head Coach Dave Dickenson told Stampeders.com when asked about the opposition. “They’re kind of taking the memo from everyone else and playing a bit more conservative. We have to prepare for a lot because they’ve changed a lot.”

» Depth Charts: CGY | OTT

The starting quarterbacks to open the season were Bo Levi Mitchell and Dominique Davis, but both will be spectators in Week 7 due to injury.

Davis made headlines in the season opener by throwing four interceptions, yet still guiding his team to the win. A key for the REDBLACKS was the ground game – Mossis Madu rushed for 112 yards on 24 carries, while Stamps running back Don Jackson was limited to a mere 22 yards on the ground. However, Madu hasn’t rushed for 100 yards since that game.

Three of Davis’s interceptions landed in the hands of Tre Roberson. The second-year defensive back’s incredible start to the year has been well-documented, but consider this; Roberson has more interceptions than four CFL franchises this year, one of which is the Ottawa REDBLACKS.

Jonathon Jennings made his debut for the REDBLACKS last week. Ottawa fell short against the first place Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who boast a stellar defence, but putting up a lone point leaves plenty of room for improvement for Jennings.

“I think it’s good for him to get back out there,” Head Coach Rick Campbell told OttawaREDBLACKS.com when asked about Jennings. “He would tell you that he would want to have played better in that game. It’s when our whole offence as a unit clicks together that we’re going to get results, so we need all 12 guys to step up.”

Jennings couldn’t get on the same page as Dominique Rhymes. The wideout was the team’s leader in receiving yards heading into Week 6 and had been targeted 30 times in four games by Davis, but was only thrown to once last week.

For the Stamps, Nick Arbuckle has filled in admirably for Mitchell. The second-year pivot owns a 71.3 per cent completion rate and has won two of his three starts.

Calgary will be without Don Jackson for the third straight game. Ka’Deem Carey has been filling in at running back, but has failed to rush for over 65 yards so far this year. The Stamps have struggled to establish the ground game, as they have the second-fewest rushing yards in the CFL. However, Ottawa’s defence gives up the third most rushing yards per game, meaning Carey could be due for a breakout performance.

The Stampeders knew it would be hard to replace linebacker Alex Singleton when he left for a shot in the NFL. Cory Greenwood is the man tasked with filling Singleton’s sizable shoes, and the Kingston, Ont., product has been doing just that.

Through five games, Greenwood is on pace to record more tackles than Singleton did in 2018. The 34-year-old also accomplished the rare feat of notching an interception, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble in the same game, doing so in last week’s win over Toronto.

“I filled up the stat board, kinda wanted a sack, too,” Greenwood said. “Honestly, plays were just coming my way. When that happens, as a linebacker you just want to make ‘em, get off the field and watch our offence work.”

Thursday night could mark the debut of Ottawa global player Guillermo Villalobos. A native of Mexico, the 28-year-old receiver is listed behind Julian Feoli-Gudino on the REDBLACKS depth chart.

“We finished [practice] and on my way back home, the coaches told me that I’m going in,” Villalobos said after practice. “I’ve been dreaming about this since I was a little kid. Of course, it’s a huge opportunity and I’m going to take advantage of it.”

BY THE NUMBERS

4 – The REDBLACKS franchise has never lost four games in a row. They are currently on a three-game losing streak.

6 – Number of years since an East Division team has swept the season series with the Stamps (Toronto in 2012).

5 – Offensive plays run in Winnipeg territory by the REDBLACKS last week.

.761 – The winning percentage of the Stampeders when defensive back Brandon Smith is in the lineup. He will play his 162nd game on Thursday.

– With files from OttawaREDBLACKS.com and Stampeders.com

AFI, Yare Media and the CFL

American Football International is collaborating with Yare Media and the Canadian Football League to present 2019 CFL games live. This is more than a livestream. This is a stream of the top flight TSN network television broadcast.

LIVE STREAM PPV: CFL – Calgary Stampeders @Ottawa REDBLACKS. Thurs., July 25, 7p EDT (1a July 26 CEDT)

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