STREAMING PPV: Hamilton Tiger-Cats @ Edmonton Elks, Oct. 30, 03:45 CET (3:45 am, 9:45 pm Oct. 29 ET)

With fresh legs underneath them coming off a bye week, the Edmonton Elks look to finish their season off strong, starting against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Friday night.

The Edmonton Elks looked to shake things up in their QB room this week after they traded Trevor Harris to the Montreal Alouettes and acquired former Toronto Argonaut quarterback Nick Arbuckle.

With Edmonton slated to have a busy back end of their schedule, and games against the playoff-hopeful Ticats and dangerous Saskatchewan Roughriders coming up, head coach Jaime Elizondo is happy with the depth he now has at the position.

“We have a really good quarterback room right now,” said Jaime Elizondo. “I’m really excited about the three guys we have right now and everything I’ve heard about Nick; good person, good teammate and I think Brock’s initial conversation with him and the things that Brock told him are indicative of that. Really looking forward to bringing him into the quarterback room, I think it’s going to be a good gel.”

» Depth Charts: EDM | HAM
» Hamilton, Edmonton Injury Reports: Stay up to date
» Game Notes: A look at Week 13

On the topics of quarterbacks, Elizondo talked about what this move can do for his current starter, Taylor Cornelius, who threw for 187 yards and a touchdown in the Elks’ loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

“The benefit of having Nick is that he has some CFL experience and Taylor can learn from that,” said Elizondo.

Heading into their game against Hamilton, Elizondo is aware of what that offence, an offence that scored 32 points against the Ottawa REDBLACKS in Week 12, is capable of.

“They’re powerful, explosive, a ton of good receivers,” said Elizondo on what he sees from the Ticats. “They stretch the field, you’ve got to worry about Jeremiah Masoli at all times; he extends plays once he gets outside the pocket. He puts a lot of stress on defences because those receivers do a great job of scrambling for him and finding zones.”

In an effort to halt the Ticats’ offence that racked up 135 rushing yards last week, Elizondo is expecting big things from linebacker Derrick Moncrief.

Moncrief, who is entering his fifth game of the season after returning from his stint in the NFL, has plenty of experience playing against Masoli having spent three seasons with the Riders.

“They can do a bunch of things,” said Moncrief on the Ticats’ offence. “Their quarterback is great. I’ve faced him many times in my career, great guy. Speedy Banks, Masoli, the run game is good. We’ve just got to be ready for whatever, tackle well and get them off the field.”

Going against an offence that recorded 337 of their 472 yards through the air and has averaged over 300 yards per game, Aaron Grymes knows he and the Elks’ secondary will be lining up against some of the league’s best pass-catchers.

“I think we’re going to face some playmakers,” said Grymes. “Those guys, not the biggest in the world, but they’re fast, they’re elusive; once they get the ball in their hands they’re really good in open space and they can stretch the field. They’ve got a quarterback who’s got a cannon, we’ve got to bring our A-game.”

As for the Ticats, they come into Friday’s game looking to replicate their dominant performance from a week ago against the REDBLACKS.

Having a fully-healthy receiving core for the first this season bode well for the Ticats as they set a season-high in total yardage. At the core of that performance was the passing game was Masoli who connected with eight different receivers while throwing just three incompletions.

With a few weeks remaining and a first place finish in the East Division not out of the realm of possibility, head coach Orlondo Steinauer isn’t about to take the Elks lightly.

“I think they’ve been in quite a few games. I think they’ve played well enough to win, they just haven’t found a ways to win,” said Steinauer. “We don’t focus on records, we focus on opponents and we’ll have our hands full.”

Last week, the Ticats rolled out a two-quarterback system; Masoli received the starting nod while Dane Evans saw action in the offence’s short-yardage package. The implementation of both the signal-callers resulted in success on the ground, with a pair of rushing touchdowns from Evans, and through the air as Masoli tossed for a pair himself.

With the success that ensued and the growing health of Evans, Steinauer talked about how he plans to work both players into the system on Friday.

“This week, we’re still working on the plan, but I would not rule out that you would see them both. Jeremiah will start for us though” said Steinauer.

As for Masoli, the now eight-year Ticats’ QB has had to get comfortable being uncomfortable with all of the moving pieces around the team’s offence this season. With injuries to himself, receivers, linemen and running backs, the team has seen a lot of shuffling in a unit that, traditionally, thrives off cohesion. Given all that Masoli has had to deal with this season, he feels that himself and the offence are now starting to settle in.

“I think we’re finding our rhythm, not just myself but all of us,” said Masoli. “We’ve had so many moving pieces that we’ve kind of found our groove in those moving pieces as well. It was a little tough week-to-week figuring out who’s there, who’s here, but now it’s kind of just our thing and we’re good to go with it.”

While last week’s offensive performance was a revelation for the Ticats, one area the team looks to improve on against Edmonton is their efficiency on a shorter field. Having sporadic efficiency in the red zone this season, Masoli is confident that the team can sure it up going forward.

“It was an emphasis for us and also we talked about it a lot as far as an offence, we want to finish drives with touchdowns and not field goals,” said Masoli.

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. Hamilton Tiger-Cats @ Edmonton Elks, Oct. 30, 03:45 CET (3:45 am, 9:45 pm Oct. 29 ET)

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