Last week, the Montreal Alouettes honoured BC (Ben Cahoon) at Percival Molson Stadium. Thursday evening, they will look to destroy BC (British Columbia) at Percival Molson Stadium.
Once again on a short week, the Alouettes will defend the nest as they welcome the Lions to town. Montreal is feeling good after pummeling the Saskatchewan Roughriders 41-3 while B.C. lost a heartbreaker in overtime to the Calgary Stampeders. Both teams will want this win badly as they still have a lot to prove to the other teams in this league.
The eyes will be focused heavily on the Alouettes offense, as the questions remains on just how cohesive they are. As great as they looked last week, they did play a Riders team that is filled with rookies and rife with injuries. Alouettes QB Kevin Glenn is going to have to be on point again this week and his O-Line better be prepared for Team 100; Adam Bighill and Solomon Elimimian.
Bighill remains one of the most dangerous defenders of this league and Elimimian doesn’t look like he’s missed a step after missing the majority of the 2015 season with a ruptured Achilles. Much like Montreal’s D-Line, these two can make life miserable for opposing quarterbacks. Simply put, guys like Jacob Ruby and Phillipe Gagnon will have to stay ready for anything and keep Glenn upright.
Former Alouette Chris Rainey will be looking to break off a huge return or two against his former teammates. Since being cast aside at training camp last season by Montreal, Rainey has found a new home in BC and has been extremely hard to stop. Interesting to note that both returners became household names while playing for the other team; Rainey got his CFL start in Montreal while Stefan Logan was a force of nature for the Lions.
The big keys for BC in this game is starting fast and holding on the lead. The Lions have played outstanding football in the first quarter, only surrendering 12 first quarter points all season long. But they have had trouble finishing off opponents and it’s come back to cost them victories. Even last week versus Calgary, they led TWICE and still let the Stamps hang around to tie the game and go in into OT.
The Lions have a stud QB in Jonathan Jennings, who has looked great at times and has fully assumed the leadership role on this BC team. But he’s also looked shaky and many are starting to wondering if the young pivot has been figured out already. The last thing Jennings wants to do is give head coach/GM Wally Buono any reason to turn back to veteran Travis Lulay, who has accepted his role as backup QB and stays ready to go.
As always, I expect the Alouettes defense to give a lot of different looks to this young QB. With a shiny new contract in hand, John Bowman will be looking to feast on young Jennings. As will others like Kyries Hebert and Bear Woods, who has been on fire in recent weeks despite Montreal’s losing efforts. A healthy Woods is instant trouble for any team, as his play in the middle will cause quarterbacks to make throws they likely shouldn’t.
Last week, Kevin Glenn made good use of all of his receivers and he’ll be looking to do that again, as he was extremely solid in stretching the field. I also expect Brandon Rutley and J-C Beaulieu to get plenty of checkdown looks, as both Duron Carter and Nik Lewis will have numerous defenders on them at all times.
The Alouettes have done a tremendous job this season in keeping points off the board for the most part, but they still have to score. Allowing an average of 21 points per game is great but when you can only muster an average of 20 points yourself, it’s easy to see why this team sits 2-3 and still has a myriad of doubters.
Montreal also has to ensure that Boris Bede is not left with the task of putting points on the board, because the sophomore kicker still has a ways to go in getting out of his funk. The Alouettes have still yet to find another kicker to keep even if to put a bit of fear in Bede. If Montreal is in a tight game and it comes down to the ability of the France-born kicker to split the uprights, I’m not liking the odds of success.
I do think Montreal has learned a valuable lesson last Friday and will be eager to prove themselves in front of their die-hard fans. If they do, they’ll be at .500 and will be making a lot of early doubters look foolish for writing off this team so early.
Thursday’s game is also the annual White-Out, as the players will be wearing their road uniforms and white helmets. Fans in attendance are also encouraged to wear white as well, so if you’ll be at the game, be sure to wear as much white as possible.
I would have preferred that this event be featured later on in the season, as I have my doubts that a Thursday night game in the summer is going to have the same impact as a game in, say, late September. I still stand by my belief that if you are going to do a white-out style game like this, that the team should be providing the white t-shirts in order to produce the desired effect. Hopefully one day a sponsor will step up and help make this dream a reality.
Until then, we fans wait and wonder what if as this promotion simply isn’t going away anytime soon. By hook or by crook, the Alouettes front office is determined to make this a thing.
That’s all for now. As always, follow along on Twitter for any last-minute news and thoughts. Don’t forget to download the latest edition of the Alouettes FlightDeck on Podbean, iTunes and Google Play Music.
The Alouettes are determined to kick off August on a winning note. Perhaps playing a familiar foe as they often do this time of year could be what is needed to get that first winning streak of 2016. I don’t believe last week was a fluke for Montreal; here’s hoping that I am right.
Enjoy the game tomorrow, regardless of where you watch it.