Baltimore-winnipeg Tonight

July 28, 1994|By Ken Murray

Site: Winnipeg (Manitoba) Stadium

Time: 8:30

Line: Winnipeg by 6

TV/Radio: No TV/WJFK (1300 AM)

Records: Baltimore, 2-1 in Eastern Division; Winnipeg, 1-2 in Eastern

Last week: Baltimore beat Shreveport, 40-24, and Winnipeg was routed by Calgary, 58-19.

On the sidelines: Cal Murphy, in his 12th year with the team, is coach and general manager. He has a career record of 74-46-3, and the Bombers have won three Grey Cups under his leadership. Don Matthews is in his 10th season as a CFL head coach, first in Baltimore, and has a career record of 98-60-1.

What Baltimore has to do to win: Absolutely must not let Winnipeg QB Matt Dunigan get in a groove. When he's on a roll, it's virtually over. Getting a pass rush against him without getting burned on dump-off passes to the backs will be a key. Dunigan can run, too. Baltimore's best defense might be a ball-control offense. QB Tracy Ham, coming off his best game, will look for the big-play strike but may be content in a game of keep-away.

What Winnipeg has to do to win: Give Dunigan time to throw against a defense that got five sacks last week. The running game with Blaise Bryant will be important, too. But the most deficient aspect of the Winnipeg game is its defense. The Bombers have given up 93 points in their past two games, much of it on poor coverage in the secondary.

Injury report: Baltimore -- LB Alvin Walton (hamstring) is out; LB Malcolm Goodwin (shoulder), RE William King (thumb), and RB Mike Pringle (knee) will play. Winnipeg -- WR Alfred Jackson (hamstring) is questionable; RB Blaise Bryant (charley horse) and OLB Del Lyles (rotator cuff) will play.

Outlook: Winnipeg, last year's Eastern Division champion, is tough to beat at home. The Bombers do not want to fall too far behind the upstart CFLs in the division race. Throw in the fact that they lost big last week, and the Bombers figure to be in a nasty mood. How successful Baltimore is early in the game may dictate whether the mood changes. Baltimore needs another big game from Ham to have a chance. Beating Shreveport at home, though, is not nearly the same as beating Winnipeg on the road. Winning there in July may be too much to ask of a team that's been together nine weeks.

MEET THE BLUE BOMBERS

History: Founded in 1930, Winnipeg became the first team west of Ontario to win the Grey Cup Trophy, in 1935. Originally called the Winnipegs, the team became known as Blue Bombers in 1936 when a young reporter, Vince Leah, coined the name from a Grantland Rice description of Joe Louis as the Brown Bomber. In a five-year stretch from 1958 to 1962, the Blue Bombers won four Grey Cups under Bud Grant, later to become coach of the Minnesota Vikings.

Ownership: The team is community-owned. Reg Low, president of Sound Concepts Canada Inc., began serving a two-year term as club president this year. He heads an 11-man executive committee.

Key players: QB Matt Dunigan, a 12-year CFL veteran, leads the league with 1,379 passing yards, 713 of which came in a July 14 victory over Edmonton. Wide-outs Alfred Jackson and David Williams are the deep threats, averaging 30.2 yards and 20.3 yards per catch, respectively. Dunigan has two outstanding slotbacks in Gerald Alphin and Gerald Wilcox, as well. The offensive line features bookend tackles Miles Gorrell (6-8, 325) and Chris Walby (6-7, 325). Troy Westwood is one of the CFL's best place-kickers.

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