Edmonton Eskimos at Hamilton Tiger-Cats (-7, 55.5)
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats will open their home season at their home-away-from-home when the Edmonton Eskimos visit Sunday. Ivor Wynne Stadium was demolished in February to make way for a new stadium the Tiger-Cats will call home in 2014. Until then, Hamilton will play its home games in nearby Guelph, Ontario, at Alumni Stadium - home to the University of Guelph Gryphons, which has a normal seating capacity of 7,600, but is expected to hold 12,000-15,000 for CFL games.
Edmonton finished Week 1 at the bottom of the CFL power rankings after a lacklustre showing at home against the Saskatchewan Roughriders when they recorded one point in the first half. Eskimos quarterback Mike Reilly, who made his debut as Edmonton’s starter and threw three interceptions in the 39-18 loss, vowed to be better in Week 2. The Eskimos’ defense, which was supposed to be their strength, will have to be better as well after it failed to contain a Roughriders' offense that was without Geroy Simon.
TV: 5 p.m. ET, TSN, RDS2
ABOUT THE ESKIMOS (0-1): One bright spot for Reilly was his connection with veteran SB Fred Stamps, who caught six passes for 125 yards and one touchdown in the season opener. Unfortunately, Edmonton’s running game was non-existent, combining for 88 yards - 43 fewer than Kory Sheets recorded for Saskatchewan. LB JC Sherritt was the only member of the Eskimos' defense to record a sack, along with a team-leading seven tackles. DB Donovan Alexander, who missed last week’s game with a muscle strain, will be in the lineup against Hamilton, which should bolster Edmonton’s pass defense.
ABOUT THE TIGER-CATS (0-1): Hamilton QB Henry Burris picked up where he left off after a career year, throwing for 361 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for another 36 yards to open the season. The 38-year-old looked as fresh as ever, connecting with WR Andy Fantuz for 155 yards and rookie WR Greg Ellingson for another 120. But the most surprising performance belonged to rookie KR Lindsey Lamar, who returned a kickoff 104 yards for a touchdown in the first regular-season touch of his career after recording kick return touchdowns in each of Hamilton’s two preseason games.
* The Eskimos are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games.
* The Tiger-Cats are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games in July.
* Over is 7-0-1 in Eskimos last eight games overall.
* The Eskimos are 5-12 ATS in their last 17 meetings.
1. Hamilton scored three touchdowns and a field goal in its first four possessions, but only managed a field goal in the second half of its 39-34 loss to Toronto.
2. Edmonton was 2-7 on the road last year.
3. The only other player in CFL history to return a kickoff for a touchdown in his first career touch is former Tiger-Cat RB Marcus Thigpen, who is entering his second season with the Miami Dolphins.