Calgary Stampeders at Montreal Alouettes (-3, 53.5)
After allowing 11 sacks in two games, the Montreal Alouettes will need to do more to protect quarterback Anthony Calvillo when they host the Calgary Stampeders on Friday. Calvillo appeared frustrated after being sacked seven times in a Week 2 home loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, calling the performance “disgusting” and raising questions about the offensive schemes instituted by new coach Dan Hawkins and his staff. Calvillo later backtracked on his comments, reiterating his confidence in his coaches and teammates, but the questions will continue to mount unless the 40-year-old pivot sees more protection in the coming weeks.
Calgary has its own problems at quarterback as starter Drew Tate is day-to-day with a forearm strain suffered in a Week 2 road loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Tate, who missed significant time last year because of injuries, left last week’s game in the fourth quarter and was replaced by veteran Kevin Glenn, who completed 4-of-7 passes. With no clear starter for Friday, the Stampeders will need a strong showing from running back Jon Cornish, who was limited to 42 yards at Saskatchewan after running for 172 in the season opener.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, TSN
ABOUT THE STAMPEDERS (1-1): Glenn has more than 36,000 passing yards in his CFL career, including 4,220 for Calgary last year while filling in for an injured Tate. Glenn also started for the Stampeders in last year’s 100th Grey Cup final, when they lost to the Toronto Argonauts. As someone who knows Calgary’s offense well, Glenn should have no problem connecting with wide receivers Joe West (148 yards, three touchdowns) and Maurice Price (77 yards, touchdown in Week 1) if he needs to start. Defensive back Jonathan Hefney leads the team with 14 tackles and will have his hands full with Montreal’s versatile receiving corps.
ABOUT THE ALOUETTES (1-1): Because of the increased defensive pressure, Calvillo has thrown for only 385 yards in the first two weeks, which is concerning for a team without a reliable running back. Noel Devine leads the team in rushing yards with 65 but is primarily a kick returner, posting 296 combined return yards. Calvillo’s favorite target in a new offensive playbook is a familiar face in slot back S.J. Green, who has 150 receiving yards after topping 1,100 in each of the last two seasons. Green, along with slot backs Jamel Richardson and Arland Bruce, form a formidable trio that will be key to getting Montreal’s offense moving after a lackluster Week 2.
* Over is 5-1 in the last six meetings.
* Stampeders are 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings.
* Under is 5-0-1 in the Alouettes’ last six home games.
1. Alouettes’ rookie KR Tyron Carrier, who returned a punt 78 yards for a touchdown in Week 1, was at practice this week after missing last game with a shoulder injury.
2. Calgary was 5-3 against East Division opponents last year, while Montreal went 6-2 against the West.
3. Montreal RB Brandon Whitaker made his season debut in Week 2 after suffering a torn ACL last year, running for 33 yards and adding 23 receiving yards. Whitaker cracked the 2,000 combined yards plateau in 2011.