Winnipeg-baltimore Today

October 29, 1994|By Ken Murray

Site: Memorial Stadium.

Time: 2 p.m.

Line: Baltimore by 2.

TV/Radio: HTS/WJFK (1300 AM)

Tickets: 18,000 still available yesterday.

zTC Records: Winnipeg 12-4, Baltimore 11-5.

Last week: Winnipeg overcame a 34-7 deficit to beat Hamilton, 46-44. Baltimore beat B.C., 48-31.

Last meeting: Winnipeg overcame a 25-10 deficit to beat Baltimore, 39-32, on July 28 in Winnipeg. QB Matt Dunigan threw for 435 yards and four touchdowns to put both teams at 2-2 in the East.

On the sidelines: Winnipeg's Cal Murphy is 69-30-1 in his seventh CFL season. Baltimore's Don Matthews has a career record of 107-64-1 in 10 CFL seasons.

Roster changes: Winnipeg -- OG Ed Kucy replaced David Black, OL Jim Smyrl replaced C Kevin Robson, WR Alfred Jackson replaced WR Jamie Holland, DE Tony Hill replaced DE Kelly Rush. Baltimore -- WR Joe Washington replaced WR Mike Alexander, RE Grant Carter replaced DT Malcolm Showell.

What Winnipeg has to do to win: Neutralize Baltimore's top-ranked running game and force QB Tracy Ham into a passing duel with Matt Dunigan. The Blue Bombers have the firepower to win those shootouts. Stopping Mike Pringle is not easy, though. Winnipeg also must keep Baltimore's improved defense off balance. Dunigan went from frigid to on fire when the two teams played last July, throwing for 312 yards in the second half. When he's as hot as he was then, it's almost impossible to beat the Bombers.

What Baltimore has to do to win: Disrupt Dunigan's passing game, either in the backfield or the secondary. The big matchup pits halfbacks Ken Watson and Charles Anthony against slotbacks Gerald Wilcox and Gerald Alphin. Last time, Wilcox was the big winner with 11 catches for 146 yards and two TDs. Baltimore's offense is at its best when it diversifies. It's no coincidence that when Pringle ran for 216 yards last week and Ham threw for 246, Baltimore scored a season-high 48 points. But the key for the CFLs is to stop Dunigan.

Injury report: Winnipeg -- OG David Black (broken tibia), C Kevin Robson (eye) and DE Kelly Rush (shoulder) are out. Baltimore -- FS Michael Brooks (hand), NT Jearld Baylis (calf) and LB Ken Benson (ankle) will play.

Outlook: Winnipeg has tradition and a seven-year East dynasty to uphold. Baltimore has Grey Cup expectations to meet. In what could be the first in a series of Winnipeg-Baltimore showdowns, the CFLs are attempting to prove they belong with the league's elite. Winnipeg must find a way to corral Pringle. Baltimore must find a way to contain Dunigan. In either case, the burden is on the defense. And special teams, as always, will be big. Since their July meeting, the CFLs have installed Pringle as the featured back, and added Elfrid Payton to the defense. That very well may make the difference.

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