THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012
BY THE NUMBERS
Labour Day games at Ivor Wynne — every year since 1950, when the Tigers of the ORFU and Wildcats from the Big Four merged and the “modern” era of Hamilton football began.
Ticat record in Labour Day matchups with seven different CFL teams: Toronto (29-13-1), Ottawa (6-1), Edmonton (0-0-1), Baltimore (0-1), Montreal (7-0-1), Winnipeg (1-0) and British Columbia (1-0).
Number of Labour Day games not played on Labour Day Monday. In 1995, the Cats hosted Baltimore on Saturday of Labour Day weekend (losing 41-14).
29.5 22.1 (1st) (7th) OFFENCE
382.4 362.4 307.0 290.5 (2nd) (4th) (2nd) (3rd) 90.2 90.0 (5th) (7th)
32.6 23.9 (8th) (4th) DEFENCE
138.2 100.2 (8th) (4th)
429.8 322.6 303.8 233.8 (8th) (2nd) (6th) (2nd)
Argos special-teams coach, Hamilton public enemy No. 1 Mike O’Shea vs. the Ivor Wynne faithful
This is the last trip to Ivor Wynne for O’Shea, bottom left, (barring a post-season matchup). A favourite target of Ticat fans since leaving the club to join the Argos as a player, O’Shea now gets it as a member of the Argonauts coaching staff. But O’Shea’s likely more concerned with stopping Ticat kick returner Chris Williams, top left.
HAMILTON SPECTATOR FILE PHOTO
Brockleigh said: Casey Creehan’s job is safe, and so should it be. Look, for as much flak as Creehan has taken, “his schemes aren’t working, he’s getting outcoached,” what have you ... a coach’s schemes can’t work if your personnel aren’t performing. … Much was made about how this defence was a “Rush four, drop eight” type of unit. The four rushers aren’t getting it done. The coaches don’t need to be fired, the GM doesn’t need to be fired, the players who can’t perform the required task need to be replaced. Gubs Calgary said: Wow ... you … bloggers would throw your own Mother under the bus ... Not one positive thing to say ... I thought the Cats played a pretty good game. D messed up not stopping the last drive ... but ... it is a game of inches. … Remember ... B.C. started 0-5 and won the Grey Cup last year. msd said: Right now it’s hard to imagine anyone else in the running for the most outstanding special teams player (and MOP is a definite possibility) but Chris Williams will have to continue his impressive play to seal the deal. … What Chris has accomplished in 8 games is simply amazing ...
1. Second-half woes
Hamilton’s inability to close out games during its current losing streak is well-documented — the Ticats held second-half leads in all three games — and the underlying numbers aren’t much better: The Ticats have outscored their opponents by 35 points in the first half of games while posting a point differential of minus-60 in the second. Meanwhile, Toronto has been outscored in the first half (minus-16) while posting a small gain in the second (plus-2). Quite simply, the Ticats must learn how to finish.
Points allo ed
Yards allo ed
THINGS TO WATCH
“It being my first season here, I haven’t thought about it being the last anything. I read the sign that tells us how many games are left, but I’m worried about the game right now more than that aspect. But it’ll be a sad day when the stadium’s gone. There are a lot of people who have seen a lot of games here.” Ticats coach George Cortez on Labour Day “I know it’s a big deal with the players, but this is the first time that I’ve experienced a Labour Day Classic as a coach facing Hamilton. I experienced it when I was with Calgary when we played Edmonton. This is a crucial game for us. The players know what’s at stake.” Argos coach Scott Milanovich on Labour Day “History matters to me, it matters to fans and anyone who understands the league. The longer you play here, the more you understand the importance of the Labour Day game.” Former Ticat kicker and current coach Paul Osbaldiston
2. Turnover troubles
The six-turnover debacle against Winnipeg notwithstanding, the Ticats have done a relatively good job of looking after the football this season. Henry Burris’s five interceptions is a reasonable number and the six times the team has turned the ball over on downs can be attributed, in part, to late-game desperation. What’s killing the Tabbies is the inability to generate turnovers: Their 11 take-aways and three interceptions are both league lows. Hamilton is 2-0 when they win the turnover battle and 1-5 when they have an equal or greater number than their opponents.
3. Ricky’s happy feet
Argos quarterback Ricky Ray did not look comfortable in the pocket in last week’s home loss to Edmonton when he was sacked four times, bringing Toronto’s season total to 18 sacks, tied for the third-worst mark in the league. Unfortunately, Hamilton’s defence has only mustered 10 sacks on the season and must get pressure on Ray to be successful.