Ottawa-baltimore Tonight

October 01, 1994|By Ken Murray

Site: Memorial Stadium

Time: 7:30

Tickets: 36,000 sold as of yesterday.

Line: Baltimore by 12

TV/Radio: HTS/WJFK (1300 AM)

Records: Baltimore 8-4, Ottawa 4-8

Last week: Baltimore scored two touchdowns off botched punts to beat Ottawa, 42-27.

On the sidelines: In his first year at Ottawa and third overall as head coach, Adam Rita is 20-21 in the regular season. Baltimore's Don Matthews goes for his 100th career regular-season victory (he's 99-57-1) in 10 CFL seasons. Matthews has 104 wins overall in the CFL.

Roster changes: Baltimore--PK Donald Igwebuike replaced waived Charlie Baumann; SB Reggie Perry replaced WR Joe Washington. Ottawa--SB Jock Climie (hamstring) and HB Brett Young (concussion) were activated off injured list.

What Ottawa has to do to win: Protect its punter and quarterback against the Baltimore rush. QB Danny Barrett threw for 306 yards last week and had success throwing deep. But the Rough Riders were embarrassed in the kicking game when they couldn't protect punter Terry Baker. They also must find a way to stop Mike Pringle, who rushed for 176 yards. Ottawa's secondary had a strong game, and Young returns this week. Ottawa's pass rush sacked Tracy Ham three times to further disrupt the Baltimore passing game.

What Baltimore has to do to win: Get Ham's passing game untracked. For that to happen, the offensive line has to protect him better. The three sacks represented a season high. Pringle seems almost unstoppable, with 768 rushing yards in his past five games. On defense, the CFLs have to control Barrett downfield. Not since Matt Dunigan in Week 4 has anyone had that much success throwing deep against them. As usual, they were strong against the run. On special teams, Baltimore will try to create more havoc with Baker's kicking game.

Injury report: Ottawa--OT Jim Mills (knee), OT Nick Benjamin (diabetes), FB Darren Joseph (ankle), OG Bruce Beaton (ankle) and SB Fred Ward (ribs) are out. Baltimore--P Josh Miller (ankle) will play.

Outlook: It's unlikely that the Rough Riders accepted punter Josh Miller's thanks for not rushing him when he was hurt last week in the way it was intended. They're going to come after him. Miller has established himself as one of the league's best -- and flakiest -- punters. The kicking game figures to come up big again this week. But Baltimore can't count on special teams to pull out two in a row. Offensively, the CFLs have to come up with a passing game to match Pringle's production. Defensively, the pass rush has to take Barrett's deep game away. The bottom line is that the CFLs have to make Memorial Stadium a home-field advantage, but at 2-3, that hasn't happened. They are primed for a sweep of their first home-and-home series.

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