Baltimore-ottawa Today

September 25, 1994|By Ken Murray

Site: Frank Clair Stadium, Ottawa

Time: 1:30 p.m.

Line: Baltimore by 6

Radio: WJFK (1300 AM)

Records: Baltimore 7-4, Ottawa 4-7

Last week: Baltimore beat Saskatchewan, 35-18; Ottawa beat Toronto, 40-32

On the sidelines: Baltimore's Don Matthews has a career regular-season record of 98-57-1 in 10 CFL seasons. Adam Rita is in his first season as coach at Ottawa, but he has a 20-20 regular-season record and won the 1991 Grey Cup while at Toronto.

Roster changes: Baltimore -- MLB Earnest Fields replaces waived DT Brent White; FB Robert Drummond replaces injured WR Mike Alexander. Ottawa -- FS Brian McCurdy replaces injured FS Remi Trudel.

What Baltimore has to do to win: Unleash RB Mike Pringle to soften up the Rough Riders' defense, then go over top to finish Ottawa off. The Ottawa defense will pressure Baltimore from a variety of angles, which makes recognition the important factor for the CFLs' offensive line. It was a big theme in practice all week. Defensively, Baltimore will have to contain QB Danny Barrett, one of the league's better scramblers, and RB Michael Richardson, one of its best backs.

What Ottawa has to do to win: Mix Richardson's running game with an efficient Danny Barrett passing game. That's the only way to keep the pass rush off Barrett, and the CFLs' pass rush has been picking up of late. With its injury-ravaged secondary, Ottawa's defense cannot give QB Tracy Ham too many free shots. Ottawa needs a near-perfect game -- or a lot of Baltimore turnovers -- to stay with the CFLs.

Injury report: Baltimore -- WR Mike Alexander (sternum) is out. Ottawa -- HB Brett Young (neck), Remi Trudel (elbow), and Patrick Burke (shoulder) are out.

Outlook: Ham and slotback Chris Armstrong should have a field day with Ottawa's tattered secondary. Same with Pringle, who is fast closing in on CFL rushing leader Cory Philpot of the B.C. Lions. Baltimore is looking at a sweep of the Rough Riders in the next two weeks to keep at least a tie for first in the East. The CFLs have been an excellent road team this season, winning five of six, while Ottawa has been terribly erratic. Matthews gave Rita his coaching start with the B.C. Lions, but there will be no mercy today.

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