CFL Preview: Hamilton looks to keep playoff hopes alive against Redblacks

Jeremiah Masoli looks for his first win of the year

Jeremiah Masoli
Jeremiah Masoli, playing in an earlier game, will make his fifth start of the season against Ottawa on Saturday. Hamilton Tiger-Cats

As the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (4-5) try to keep their post-season hopes alive in the CFL’s East Division, they will host the Ottawa Redblacks Saturday at 4 pm ET.

Ottawa (2-8) enters this game one loss away from being eliminated from the playoffs.

In a contest between two teams that have used a total of seven quarterbacks through the first 11 weeks, Jeremiah Masoli (0-4) will try to get in the win column as he gets the start for Hamilton.

The combination of his winless record and Dane Evan’s improving health has drawn questions, but Ticats coach Orlondo Steinauer is not worried.

“We’re confident in Jeremiah,” said coach Steinauer in Thursday’s media availability. “I can’t control how other people view Jeremiah.”

“Inside these walls is really what matters.”

Although the coach is confident in his quarterback, the team’s late-game struggles the last two weeks have resulted in losses. In those games, Hamilton has been outscored 39-13 in the fourth quarter.

For Ottawa, its woes have been amongst the worst in league history. With 0.90 offensive touchdowns per game, the Redblacks are currently on pace to finish with the second worst percentage in CFL history.

As quarterback Devlin “Duck” Hodges makes his first appearance, he is expected to play a role in the offence despite the former Pittsburgh Steeler having to learn the Canadian game quickly, according to coach Paul LaPolice. 

“He can process information,” LaPolice said at Thursday’s practice. “He knows system wise where to go with the ball and what we are trying to accomplish.”

With Hodges on the roster, Caleb Evans is still expected to take the majority of the snaps. As Evans starts the fifth game of his career, the Redblacks are hoping the rookie returns to his debut form where he threw for three touchdowns against Edmonton.

In the three games since, he has thrown seven interceptions and was pulled against Montreal last week.

Hodges’ brief stint in the NFL saw him record 1,063 yards, five touchdowns, and eight interceptions in eight games.

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Posted: Oct 21 2021 8:26 pm
Filed under: CFL Football Sports