LIVESTREAM PPV: CFL – Ottawa REDBLACKS @Toronto Argonauts, Sat., Oct. 26, 4p ET (10p CET)

TORONTO — The Ottawa REDBLACKS and Toronto Argonauts play for pride Saturday afternoon at BMO Field.

Neither team will make the playoffs this year and both are treating their last handful of games as auditions for next season.

Ottawa has trotted out Will Arndt at the quarterback position for the last two weeks. He made his debut against the Argos two weeks ago, passing for 288 yards and nearly leading the REDBLACKS on a furious comeback.

Three interceptions were ultimately Arndt’s downfall versus Toronto. Although he was underwhelming last week against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, he didn’t throw a pick.

“We’ve got to go out and play football,” Rick Campbell told OttawaREDBLACKS.com. “In fact, I look at it as we get to play football for two more games. This off-season will be a long time, so I’m looking forward to getting out here every day to practice and play games because I know it’s going to be over soon.”

It was a night to remember for the Argos when the teams met at BMO Field two weeks ago. Toronto emerged 28-21 victors, with S.J. Green enjoying a 170-yard performance. Green also went over 10,000 receiving yards for his career in the contest, while Armanti Edwards hauled in two touchdown passes.

This is the third meeting of the season between the teams. The first took place in Week 13, when Toronto outscored the REDBLACKS 28-4 in the second half. James Wilder Jr. found the end zone three times in the victory.

McLeod Bethel-Thompson finds himself third in league passing yards, despite playing one less game than both Mike Reilly and Cody Fajardo, who occupy first and second, respectively. Bethel-Thompson is first in touchdown passes with 24 and is making a case for a job next season.

While the passing game might be working on paper, the run game hasn’t been for the Argonauts. Wilder Jr. has yet to rush for 100 yards this season, and on Saturday the Argos’ veteran will be out of the lineup — along with Chris Rainey — as A.J. Ouellette makes his first career start.

The REDBLACKS have struggled to stop the run all year, allowing the second most rushing yards in the league.

“I think those guys are evaluating their roster and seeing what they have for next year,” Head Coach Corey Chamblin told Argonauts.ca. “At the same time, they’re still trying to find ways to win a game. They’ve been playing with the roster they’ve had for the past three weeks. For us, we’re starting to tweak our roster, so we need to make sure we don’t give them the opportunity to get up on us.”

Rumours were swirling last week that Canadian pivot Michael O’Connor might see some playing time. He didn’t throw a pass against the Alouettes, but Chamblin has said Toronto will have a plan for the Orleans, Ont., product to most likely finish the game.

“I’ve been working all year for this opportunity, and I’m just looking forward to getting some live reps come Saturday,” O’Connor said. “Not many [rookie quarterbacks] are fortunate enough to have played the Canadian game for four years in college and earlier on in life as well, so I think I bring a certain knowledge that rookie quarterbacks probably don’t have at this time in their careers.”

There are four quarterbacks listed on the Argos depth chart for the second straight week; Bethel-Thompson, James FranklinDakota Prukop and O’Connor.

Ottawa’s defence was a strong point during a 2018 Grey Cup run, but just simply hasn’t been as effective this year. A bright spot in recent weeks is the play of defensive back Randall Evans. The Miami, Fla., product has recorded eight tackles in each of his last two games and is one of a number of REDBLACKS looking to make a good impression heading into next season.

“We’re still in season and never worried too much about individual stats,” Evans said. “We’re just worried about making plays for the team. We still have to play for the name on our backs and the name on the front. We’re still playing for next year, so you’ve got to give it your all.”

The loser of this game will, in all likelihood, guarantee themselves the first overall pick in the 2020 CFL Draft.

BY THE NUMBERS

3 – The largest lead for the REDBLACKS over their last five games.

9 – 300-plus yard games for McLeod Bethel-Thompson – the most in the league despite starting just 12 games.

49.0 – The average punt of Richie Leone this season. It’s the sixth-best punting season in CFL history.

25 – Special teams tackles for Frank Beltre, the most in the CFL.

– With files from OttawaREDBLACKS.com/Argonauts.ca

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 – Ottawa REDBLACKS @Toronto Argonauts, Sat., Oct. 26, 4p ET (10p CET)

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