THIS WEEK IN THE CFL – WEEK 4

THIS WEEK IN THE CFL – WEEK 4

Wednesday, July 4, 2018 — Week 4 begins in Regina this week when Jeremiah Masoli leads the surging Tiger-Cats to take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Masoli will be looking to match the record for consecutive games with 300+ passing yards, while the Roughriders try to snap their two-game slide. Tim Hicks will be performing at halftime as part of the Thursday Night Football Concert Series, and kickoff is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET.

Fresh off their first victory of the season, the Montreal Alouettes take on their rivals down the 417, the Ottawa REDBLACKS. Following their victory in Saskatchewan, Montreal will be looking to make it two in a row. Last season the teams met three times, with the REDBLACKS sweeping the series. The game is set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Saturday offers a double-header. First, James Franklin will make his first start as an Argonaut and take on his former teammates on the Edmonton Eskimos at 5:30 p.m. ET at BMO Field. Edmonton will attempt to improve on their 2-1 record following their victory over BC last week.

The final game will take place at 8:30 p.m. ET when Adam Bighill plays against the BC Lions for the first time in his career following his six seasons with the Leos. Both the Lions and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have a victory on the season, making the game at Investors Group Field an important meeting.

MASOLI – 300

  • Following another stunning performance against the Blue Bombers, Jeremiah Masoli is one 300+ passing game away from matching a CFL record.
  • Masoli comes into this week with eight consecutive 300-yard passing games. With one more he can pass Mike Reilly (2015-16) and Anthony Calvillo (2012) and move into a tie with record-holders Sam Etcheverry (1956) and Kent Austin (1991) who each made it to nine games in a row of 300+ passing yards. 
  • Masoli has thrown just four interceptions in his 291 pass attempts during his eight-game run and his 70.5 completion % is well above Etcheverry's and Austin's in their respective streaks.

Masoli stats during his eight-game stretch:

  • Completion Percentage 70.5% | 2,775 passing yards (346.9 yards per game) | 13 TDS | 4 INT | 5-3 record

Sam Etcheverry stats during nine-game stretch:

  • Completion Percentage 60.9% | 3,422 passing yards (380.2 yards per game) | 19 TDS | 20 INT | 7-2 record

Kent Austin stats during nine-game stretch:

  • Completion Percentage 55.8% | 3,637 passing yards (404.1 yards per game) | 28 TDS | 15 INT | 4-5 record
  • Prior to Masoli’s run, Danny McManus held the club record when he went six consecutive games with 300+ yards in 1999.
  • With his current 348.3 passing yards per game, Masoli is on pace for a 6,270 yard season, which would smash the Hamilton club record set by Henry Burris (5,367) in 2012.
  • The 6K mark has been reached just five times in all of CFL history and has not been reached since Anthony Calvillo did so in 2004.
  • This is the first time that Hamilton has been alone in first place in win percentage since Week 17 of 2015.

MENTOR VS. MENTEE
REILLY VS. FRANKLIN

  • Franklin spent his first three seasons with the Edmonton Eskimos sitting behind Mike Reilly. His first start as an Argonaut comes against his former team.
  • Franklin is 2-1 in three career starts while Reilly is 47-34 in 81 starts.
  • Reilly is 2-5 as a starter versus Toronto, one of just two teams he has a losing record against; Calgary is the other.
  • Franklin, prior to joining Toronto, was 2-0 in starts against his current team.
  • During their time as teammates Reilly passed for 13,833 yards – or 314 yards per start – while Franklin passed for 1,449, or 258 yards per start. However, in two of the games Franklin started, he threw for 300+ yards.
  • Franklin has recorded 190 pass attempts. His passing efficiently is 110.8 and his TD:INT ratio is 13:1.
  • Franklin has appeared in 55 games, serving in 52 of them as a backup primarily to Mike Reilly.
  • Reilly had a similar start to his CFL career. In BC he backed up Travis Lulay, who won MOP in 2011 as well as the Grey Cup. Franklin won a Grey Cup as a backup behind Reilly and saw him win MOP last season.

ADAM BIGHILL PLAYS AGAINST THE LEOS FOR THE FIRST TIME

  • Bighill’s first 99 games of his career were all with the BC Lions. This will be his first game against his former team.
  • His last tackle in last week’s game was #600 for his career. He accumulated 579 total tackles with the BC Lions.
  • During his six seasons with BC Bighill recorded 100+ defensive tackles on three occasions: 2012 (104), 2015 (121) and 2016 (108).
  • Prior to becoming an All-Star, during his 2011 rookie season he racked up 22 special teams tackles, which ranked him fourth that season.
  • With his 530 defensive tackles, he ranks 28th in CFL history despite playing only six full seasons.
  • On a per-game tackle basis, he is number 10 all-time at 5.2 per game. All-time leader and former teammate Solomon Elimimian has 6.3 tackles per game.
  • Every year as a starter he has been named a West Division All-Star and on four occasions a CFL All-Star. Bighill also won the Most Outstanding Defensive Player award in 2015.
  • Bighill is tied for the lead in tackles this season with 21 in three games. In two games played, Elimimian sits tied for fourth with 17 tackles.

NATIONAL RBs

  • Hamilton has two national running backs who have recorded 90+ yards so far this season.
  • In Week 2 Mercer Timmis rushed for 133 yards; last week Sean Thomas-Erlington rushed for 92 yards.
  • This marks the third time in 26 years a team has had two national players rush for 90+ yards in a game:
    • 2015 | Calgary | Jerome Messam, Jon Cornish and Matt Walker
    • 2014 | Calgary | Jon Cornish and Matt Walker
  • With 166 yards this season, Timmis ranks #6 in the CFL. He is tied with Mike Reilly for most touchdowns with four.
  • The last time a national player led the CFL in touchdowns was Jon Cornish in 2013 with 14.
  • There are two national players in the top six rushing through three weeks: Andrew Harris (201) and Mercer Timmis (166).

COACH SHERMAN

  • Last week Mike Sherman notched his first victory as a CFL head coach when the Alouettes defeated the Roughriders.
  • Sherman is now 58-41 in his pro football head coaching career.
  • In his six seasons with the Green Bay Packers he went 57-39.
  • Friday’s game versus Ottawa will be his 100th as a pro head coach.

QUICK SLANTS

  • Montreal had 13 two-and-outs against Saskatchewan, the most by a team in almost five years. Winnipeg had 14 in September 2013.
  • In Montreal’s road victory in Saskatchewan, they snapped their road losing skid at 10 games, the last seven of which they lost by an average of under 27 points per game.
  • Calgary has played some very stingy defence to begin the season. They currently average 11.7 points allowed per game. Only two teams have ever allowed under 11 points per game for a full season since 1958 and the formation of the CFL: BC 1964 (10.5 points) and Hamilton 1965 (10.9 points).
  • Boris Bede’s kickoff average this season is 70.8 yards per kickoff. If you remove his one squib kick of 38 yards, he is averaging 75.4 yards per kickoff. His career kickoff average is 68.1 yards, the highest in CFL history.
  • Lirim Hajrullahu has made his last 12 field-goal attempts, three off his personal best.
  • There have been only three field goal attempts of 50+ yards this season: attempts by Hajrullahu, Medlock and Whyte.
  • An Ottawa franchise has not won a game at McMahon Stadium since 2002 when the Ottawa Renegades won 26-12.
  • Week 3 was the first time in 59 games that Jerome Messam dressed and did not get a single carry. The last time that occurred was September 21st, 2014.
  • Edmonton and Hamilton lead the league with rushing touchdowns with five each; both Montreal and Saskatchewan have not yet scored a rushing TD.
  • Despite being 2-1, Edmonton has had the second-most penalty yards with 293.
  • Hamilton is first in the league with 33:37 time of possession. BC has the lowest time of possession with 26:30.
  • Only three teams are +1 or better when it comes to turnover ratio: Calgary (+4), BC (+2) and Ottawa (+2). Saskatchewan is a league-worst -4.
  • Saskatchewan has won three straight games against Hamilton.
  • Charleston Hughes recorded his 103rd sack last week and leads the league with four sacks. He is two short of a tie for #10 all-time.
  • During the 2018 season games are averaging 50.2 points per game, with rushing yards per game up 22%.
  • There have been just 12 challenges in as many games this year, with only four being overturned.