LIVESTREAM PPV: CFL – Hamilton Tiger-Cats @Toronto Argonauts, Sat. June 22, 4p EDT (10p CEDT)

TORONTO – One of the CFL’s most storied rivalries heads to the shores of Lake Ontario, as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats pay the Toronto Argonauts a visit at BMO Field Saturday afternoon.

While the Ticats look to start their season 2-0, the Argos play their 2019 season opener, with plenty of intrigue on both sides of the ball.

Two newly-minted head coaches are set to square off – Orlando Steinauer won his CFL head coaching debut in Week 1, while Corey Chamblin is at the helm of a CFL franchise for the first time since 2015.

There is no shortage of similarities between Steinauer and Chamblin – both head coaches are regarded as defensive gurus, both had stints as the Argos defensive coordinator, and both helped Toronto to Grey Cup victories while the DC.

“We let the men know it’s going to be a hostile environment,” Steinauer told Ticats.ca. “I love the road trips, it’s a chance to bond and overcome some adversity, be in an unfamiliar situation and territory.”

» Depth Charts: HAM | TOR

Hamilton Tiger-Cats quarterback Jeremiah Masoli has had success in the past against the Argos. Fresh off being named his team’s nominee for Most Outstanding Player and cementing himself as a dependable option under centre, Masoli owns a 5-1 career record against Toronto.

The Tabbies offence was largely limited by a stingy Saskatchewan Roughrider defence last week. Hamilton notched a mere 232 yards of total offence in Week 1, with Masoli passing for 169 of them. That was his lowest total in a single game since he became the Hamilton starter midway through 2017.

The Tiger-Cats were able to pull out the victory against the Riders by a 23-17 score. They were aided by Saskatchewan starter Zach Collaros being knocked out of the game after the first play from scrimmage.

The man who delivered the hit that ended Collaros’s night, linebacker Simoni Lawrence, is in the lineup against Toronto. The eight-year veteran was handed a two-game suspension for his hit on Collaros, but has appealed the suspension and will suit up for Week 2.

Saturday afternoon will be the first opportunity for Argos fans to get a look at off-season acquisition Derel Walker. The 27-year-old receiver arrives in Toronto after spending four years with the Edmonton Eskimos. Walker struggled with injuries last season, but the Argonauts are hoping to see him return to the form that saw him earn back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2015 and 2016.

“I’m ready to get it rolling,” Walker told Argonauts.ca. “It’s going to be an exciting year. We’ve been putting in a lot of preparation, so we get to go against another opponent. I’m looking forward to this year and playing with this new team – we’ve got a lot of great guys on the team.”

Walker’s day won’t be an easy one, as he is expected to be matched up with Delvin Breaux, widely regarded as one of the best shutdown corners in the CFL. The Argos have a number of weapons at wide-out though, was Walker joins a receiving core that already includes S.J. Green and Armanti Edwards.

Charged with getting Walker the ball is James Franklin, who is looking for a statement season in 2019. Franklin was named the starter after Ricky Ray went down for the season in Week 2 a year ago, but failed to hang on to the gig, with McLeod Bethel-Thompson taking over.

While Franklin did regain the starting role in the back half of 2018, Bethel-Thompson is still lurking as QB2.

With both teams having well-established aerial attacks (on paper), the game may well be decided on the ground. James Wilder Jr. of Toronto will match up with Canadian Sean Thomas Erlington of the Tiger-Cats.

Thomas Erlington was limited to 68 yards rushing in Week 1, but the entire Ticats offence was quiet as well. This is the Université de Montréal alum’s first year as a starter, and he’ll be looking to prove he belongs among the league’s best rushers, while playing against one of the league’s best rushers.

Wilder Jr. is coming off a disappointing 2018 by his lofty standards. The 27-year-old rushed for over 100 yards only once. That was in Week 4 against Edmonton, which was also the only game in which he was handed the ball more than 20 times. With Chamblin at the helm, Wilder Jr.’s workload could increase.

The Tabbies offence will face the Argos on Saturday without dependable receiver Luke Tasker, who is on the one-game injured list. Canadian offensive lineman Mike Filer will get the start at centre for Hamilton, after last week’s starter Demetrius Rhaney missed a week of practice for personal business.

Saturday afternoon will be the CFL debut of Argos lineman Shane Richards. The first-overall pick in the 2019 CFL Draft is slated to start at right guard for the Boatmen. He is one of two 2019 draft picks making their debut, the other being Hamilton full-back Nikola Kalinic.

BY THE NUMBERS

232 – Total yards for the Tabbies in their win over the Riders; the fewest of any CFL team in Week 1.

0 – Wins in three tries for the Argos against Hamilton last year, including two defeats at BMO Field.

13 – Games with over 300 passing yards for Jeremiah Masoli in 2018, three of which came against the Argos.

875 – Derel Walker’s receiving yards at the time of his injury last season – third at the time in the CFL.

The Argos will honour CFL legend Ricky Ray prior to kickoff. Ray announced his retirement this off-season and remains the CFL’s fourth all-time leading passer.

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: CFL – Hamilton Tiger-Cats @Toronto Argonauts, Sat. June 22, 4p EDT (10p CEDT)

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