LIVESTREAM PPV: Toronto Argonauts @ Winnipeg Blue Bombers, August 14, 02:30 CET (2:30 am, 8:30 pm ET August 13)

WINNIPEG — Riding high on a dominant home win, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers roll out the welcome mat to the Toronto Argonauts who visit IG Field on Friday night.

Friday’s matchup will see the collision of two extremely talented defensive units. One that has had many of their pieces in the fold since 2019 in Winnipeg’s, compared to a revamped Argo defence that gave Calgary a litany of issues just a week ago.

Looking ahead to Toronto, Bombers’ head coach Mike O’Shea expects a similar defensive performance from the Argonauts, led by his former teammate and colleague, Glen Young.

» Depth Charts: TOR | WPG

“I’m excited for Glen,” said O’Shea. “I’m glad he got the opportunity he got, but in terms of anything more than that, we’re pretty well focused in this building on what our task is at hand. Besides the pleasantries and a laugh before the game and maybe a handshake after, it’s pretty well business.”

Young, 52, spent four seasons (2016-2020) with the Blue Bombers organization serving as a linebacker and defensive line coach. In 2020, Young was named the new defensive coordinator of the Toronto Argonauts where he and O’Shea played during the 1998 and ‘99 seasons.

On the topic of Young’s defensive performance against Calgary and the matchup his unit would present, O’Shea told the media that “they looked good.”

“They’ve gone through some wholesale change and brought in veteran guys, especially up front, their linebacking core, their D-line. They brought in leaders, I guess, in those areas, so I imagine, you know me, that’s our recipe. I like to keep our veterans and I like the veteran leadership so it’s probably a good start for them,” he added.

O’Shea is not the only member of the Bombers who had an eye on what the Argos did against Calgary as Bombers’ quarterback, Zach Collaros took notice as well.

“It’s going to be a challenge for us,” said Collaros. “They played really well against Calgary. They’re physical up front, they get to the passer. On the back end, they do a great job of route reading, just a very talented group.”

Similar to O’Shea, Friday’s game will also have a deeper personal significance for Collaros as he faces a Toronto team that traded him in 2019. When asked if the game would be another chapter of the “Zach Collaros Revenge Tour” written given that he was traded to Winnipeg mid-season, Collaros laughed and said, “I don’t think so.”

“Pinball trading me to Winnipeg here was definitely a blessing for me and my family and he gave me an opportunity to come and play for a great organization. Obviously, things worked out for us here and worked out for me and my family. I love Pinball, love a lot of people in that organization, so no ill will for sure,” he added.

As for Toronto’s current starting quarterback, it will be Week 1 passing leader, McLeod Bethel-Thompson getting the nod for the second consecutive week.

Bethel-Thompson completed 26 of 37 passes for 352 yards and a pair of touchdowns as part of a comeback win against the Stamps. With Winnipeg on the horizon, Bethel-Thompson knows he’ll have to be great again against the Bombers.

“Against Calgary, we got the win,” said Bethel-Thompson. “The bad part was the execution at times; way too many two-and-outs there in the third quarter, we kind of stalled there for a while. We didn’t have a lot of points on the board so we like to get the ball in the end zone more, keep our defence off the field, ball possession is going to be huge, especially against a good offence like Winnipeg. We’re very excited about the challenge and we want to rise up and play better than we did last week.”

To minimize the impact that Winnipeg’s offence will have on the game, Argos’ head coach, Ryan Dinwiddie is going to have to lean on the strength of his defence.

“Their identity is we want to get after the passer, control the line of scrimmage and force teams into passing downs and that’s where I think our secondary really shines,” said Dinwiddie.

One key piece in that Argo defence that is poised to have another great outing is Henoc Muamba who finished Week 1 with seven combined tackles.

This week, Toronto will face another handful of weapons with Winnipeg’s backfield and their talented receivers.

“Winnipeg is a very well-balanced team,” said Muamba. “They play well offensively, defensively and on special teams. We’ve got to bring our A-game. As far as the run game is concerned, we know they can run the ball well, we saw that displayed last week.”

AFI, Visaic and the CFL

American Football International is collaborating with Visaic and the Canadian Football League to present 2021 CFL games live. This is more than a livestream. This is a stream of the top flight TSN network television broadcast.

Watch the game live here. Toronto Argonauts @ Winnipeg Blue Bombers, August 14 02:30 CET (2:30 am, 8:30 pm ET August 13)

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