By: Santino Filoso
Riding high after last week’s huge home win, the Redblacks headed to Vancouver attempting to do something exceedingly rare in Ottawa’s CFL history, win in BC. Unfortunately with their backs against the wall, they laid a complete egg, coming out flat and getting their ass kicked on both sides of the ball.
– Just in case you were getting over the fact that Ottawa hasn’t had a CFL team for 17 of the last 20 years, the league’s twitter feed did their best to reopen the wound
– The Redblacks arrive at BC Place in style, after doing a quick grocery run
– In a somewhat surprising move, Ottawa dons their slick black home uniforms on the road for the second time season
– Henry Burris (#1) makes his 200th career start while Keith “I like hitting people” Shologan (#74) makes his 100th
– Ottawa receives to start the game and after stringing together a few first downs with strong running from Jonathan “CFL Offensive Player of the Week” Williams (#23) and a beautiful 28 yard catch from Henry² (Marcus Henry #16), the drive stalls when Khalil Paden (#13) can’t hang onto a pass that hits him right in the mitts
– Ex-Redblack and current BC Lion Kevin Glenn hits a wide open Ernest Jackson for a 40 yard gain but goes down hurt as Moton “The Motivator” Hopkins (#95) levels him. Glenn breaks a nail and comes out of the game for a few plays
– Former Rough Rider and 12 time grandfather Paul McCallum opens the scoring for BC with a 30 yard FG
– Burris moves the chains three times with catches made by Roy Finch (#19) and Henry² before back to back drops by Marter (Matt Carter #85) force Brett Maher (#3) to punt
– Eddie Elder (#5) lowers the boom as the defence settles down and forces the Lions to go two and out
– Finch looks quick as he busts a 17 yard run and John Delahunt (#49) picks up 18 yards on a beautiful play actions pass
– A catch by Dobson Collins (#80) is wiped out by a holding call and finding himself all alone on the goal line, a wide open Paden drops a TD. The Redblacks are forced to once again punt
– Heavy pressure forces a quick BC two and out
– Kanneh Abdul (#14) is flagged for pass interference and BC busts a big run as the Redblacks’ secondary realizes shoulder tackles don’t work.
– A second questionable pass interference call, this time on Jerrell Gavins (#24), moves ball to 1 yard line and is quickly punched in
– Scrambles by Burris, a 26 yard catch by Miles and a 7 yard run by Finch lead to Ottawa’s first points of the day as Maher nails a 34 yard FG
– Sloppy tackling lets BC convert a 1st and 20 before Gavins gets torched by Jackson, allowing him to blow by for a 60 yard TD catch and run
– Ottawa responds by going two and out
– 17-3 for not Ottawa after 30 min
– TSN’s panel fawns over Finch and deep in the bowls of BC Place OC Mike Gibson decides to completely abandon the run
– BC receives and marches down the field and scores a TD as a surgical Glenn shreds Ottawa’s defence, going 7/7 for 82 yards on the drive; apparently he passes the ball as well as he passes the blame for his twitter account being “hacked”
– Redblacks go two and out as Mike Gibson ignores Williams and Finch
– Ernest Jackson continues to dominate Gavins, making a 40 yard catch that leads to Paul “Granddaddy” McCallum’s second FG of the night
– Henry² makes a 7 yard catch for a 1st down but the ball is spotted 2 yards short, but instead of challenging the Redblacks come out in a weird ass formation before burning a time out and QB sneaking the ball for a 1st down
– A few plays later Marter lets another pass bounce off his hands, forcing a punt
– Glenn leads BC on another touchdown drive and I hate him that much more and wonder why I’m not in bed
– Down 34-3, Burris is pulled and Danny “Boy” O’Brien (#9) enters the game for Ottawa in time to hand off the ball to Williams who quickly picks up 8 yards though once again the drive stalls
– NFL reject John Beck enters the game at QB for the Lions and I mentally zone out as I no longer care
– The comedy of errors continues when a bad snap snails over Maher’s head on 3rd down, leading to a massive loss and setting the Lions up on the Redblack’s 13 yard line. Predictably they score
– O’Brien is picked off but the Lions fumble and the ball is recovered by Scott “Why Am I So Low on the Depth Chart When I Actually Catch the Ball?” Macdonell (#83)
– Nothing else worth mentioning happens
Final score: 41-3 for BC
Burris went 12 of 21 for 143 yards with 0 TDs and INTs
Williams had 10 carries for 42 yards
Henry² made 3 catches for 52 yards
Travis Brown made 7 tackles
Maher punted 9 times for 343 yards
While this might not be our most frustrating loss, though we’ve had our fair share of those, it might be our most disappointing, especially after the promise we showed last week. In a game that Ottawa simply had to have and one in which many thought positive momentum from last week would carry over against a banged up Lions squad, the Redblacks simply shit the bed. This was a statement game for Ottawa and they came out without a pulse and proceeded to embarrass themselves and their fans.
On the offensive side of the ball Burris was simply pedestrian, not having a stellar game but also not losing it for his team. As we’ve come to expect, he had a few throws he’d like back but at the same time his receivers dropped a number of easy passes, including a few that could have swung momentum in Ottawa’s favour. Khalil Paden dropped a pass at the goal line and Miles and Marter looked terrible with drops of their own. In an extremely telling stat, no wide receiver made more than two catches, other than Henry² who had a whopping three. The CFL’s reigning offensive player of the week, Jonathan Williams, was MIA though through no fault of his own. You can’t pick up 5 yards at a time (as he was) when you’re never even handed the ball. Newcomer Finch showed good burst and also averaged a healthy yards per carry but was also ignored from the middle of the 2nd quarter on. Williams finished with 10 carries but that’s deceiving as he had two carries to run out the first half and also two in garbage time late in the 4th. Which means that Mike Gibson put the ball in his hands six times when it mattered. Ignoring the run game when playing a strong defence such as BC’s is simply criminal. Looking back the Redblacks will be frustrated as they actually did move the ball early on, but drops and flags killed any chance they had of scoring.
On the other side of the ball, the defence blew, showing no spine and getting pushed around all night long, giving up 548 yards of net offence. The front seven failed to put any kind of pressure on the QB, which allowed Glenn and his band of scrub receivers to torch the secondary. Stats don’t lie; Glenn racked up 345 yards and 3 TDs and completed 74% of his passes. Ernest Jackson alone accounted for 195 of those yards yet the Redblacks never switched their man coverage, even as he continued to haul in gains of 40+ yards. Ottawa’s lost a lot of games this season but it’s rare to see their defence pushed around the way it was last night, they even gave up 170 yards on the ground.
Special teams coverage was fantastic containing the league’s most dangerous returner and Maher made his one FG attempt with ease. Some incredibly weak PI calls helped the Lions sustain a few early drives and lead directly to points but that’s pretty much come to be expected as CFL referees continue to influence games with bad calls.
With the loss the Redblacks season will officially finish their season in Toronto on November 7th. After one brilliant game Mike Gibson was right back to his usual inept and incomprehensible self, ignoring the run game and failing to call plays that play to his players strengths. With the Redblacks now out of the playoff race he should be unemployed ASAP. Head Coach Rick Campbell will have to find a way to motivate his players for the remaining 4 games because they simply cannot have another game like this. Next up is a date with the Ticats at Tim Horton’s Field, where they are currently undefeated. The game will be a real test of the character of the guys on the team, as R-Nation will easily be able to see who mails it in and who still gives it their all. Expectations need to be realistic for an expansion team, but there’s no way fans will tolerate the team laying eggs like this.
One thing that drove me nuts last night was the fact that Chris Cuthbert and Glen Suitor kept mistakenly saying Ottawa didn’t want Glenn and so he was motivated to prove a point, which is completely wrong. As we’ve covered before here on the Defend the R, Glenn wanted the starting job handed to him on a silver platter, despite the fact that Marcel Desjardins said he’d add competition from the day he picked Glenn in the expansion draft. It’s understandable that Glenn felt upset but it’s wrong for anyone to paint him as some wrong done by QB who got his revenge against the team who didn’t want him.