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Game Day: Argonauts at Roughriders

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TORONTO ARGONAUTS (2-2) at SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS (4-2)

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Sunday, 7 p.m.; Mosaic Stadium

TV: TSN3/4/5; Radio 1050 AM

Line: Argos by 1.0

Weather: 24C, mostly sunny, wind gusting to 30 km/h

STATISTICAL PACKAGE

Tor… Saxon

Points for

18.8 (9th) …. 27.0 (3rd)

Points against

27.5 (7th) … 21.5 (2nd)

Rushing

82.0 (6th) …. 125.7 (2nd)

Passing by

265.8 (5th) …. 261.8 (7th)

Pure crime

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325.0 (7th) …. 361.7 (3rd)

Against

384.5 (8th) … 298.8 (2nd)

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH

1. GALAFAIR

All eyes will be on Roughriders third-year QB Jake Dolegal, who will be under center for the first time. “It’s a dream to start at professional level,” said the 25-year-old. “It will be very cool. I’m just looking forward to the opportunity.” Dolegala played at Central Connecticut and signed with the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent in 2019. He joined the Riders this offseason after spending time on five NFL practice rosters.

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2. THE BIG MAC

It’s also a first for McLeod Bethel-Thompson, who has never started at Mosaic. He came in for an injured James Franklin in the 2019 Canada Day game, but the game was out of reach and the Argos ended up losing 32-7. Last year, Nick Arbuckle lost to the Argos 30-16; Ricky Ray was Toronto’s starter when the Argos visited the new Mosaic in 2017 and 2018.

3. FLAG FOOTBALL

When the teams combined in Nova Scotia last Saturday, they committed a combined 25 penalties for 285 yards. No one expects, at least one hopes, that so many flags will be thrown, but discipline must be maintained. Keep in mind that both teams have had moments this season where discipline has been an issue.

4. KICK THE CAN

The Argos kicking game can’t afford any more lapses during a stretch that saw a late one-point loss to Winnipeg followed by a game-tying missed field goal against the Riders. The Argos defense sacked Boris Bede last week as Wynton McManis made a pick six as the Argos won 30-24.

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5. RAISING THE ROOF

Crowd noise flooded the Argos during their practices at Lamport Stadium this week. They will experience the real deal in a place that can best be described as hostile. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, but the COVID epidemic forced a rescheduling and the home team changed their roster a lot.

KEY MATCHUP

Argos LB Henoc Muamba vs Riders RB Jamal Morrow

Veteran Muamba played in Regina and will have his hands full trying to bring down the elusive Morrow. During a visit to Toronto in 2021, Muamba injured his hamstring. He has two playmaking LBs by his side in Wynton McManis and Chris Edwards. Morrow is a quality back who can run out of the backfield and be used in the passing game, a multi-purpose, multi-talented player who is among the very best at his position.

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NOTABLE

Andrew Harris is 75 yards rushing to reach 10,000, a rushing milestone no Canadian running back has ever accomplished. If he does, Harris will become just the sixth player in league history to do so. As an Argo, Harris rushed for 264 yards while averaging 4.3 yards per attempt. He reached 100 yards once this season when his former team, Winnipeg, visited Toronto. Harris replaced the Bombers, who received great Milt Stegall for the league’s fourth-highest career tally from last week’s game list. Harris enters the game with 15,228 scrimmage yards … Used primarily in the return game during his rookie season, Jamal Morrow continues to shine in his second season with the Riders and is on pace to record his first 1,000-yard season. Morrow is also on pace to record 3,156 combined yards, which would be the second most by a rusher behind Corey Holmes (3,455) … Mississauga native Kian Schaffer-Baker is on pace for 1,000 yards, which would mark the second year the receiver first Canadian by Brad Sinopoli in 2018 who reached the milestone. The Guelph product hauled in seven receptions for a season-high 96 yards last week against the Argos … Kikop Riders Brett Lauther has made all three of his field goal attempts 50-plus yards this season, but the Nova Scotia native missed his first. short-range attempt last week on Saskatchewan’s series opener … The Argos are eyeing the Riders’ first season sweep since 2015.

OUR WAY: Riders 19, Argos 18

All indications are that the Argos won and the visitors could very well have played a complete game in all three phases. Until proven otherwise, it’s hard to believe in a team that has yet to play at a high offensive level. The riders will play hard, sometimes after the whistle, and as always will be cheered on by the crowd. This has all the makings of a defensive battle, and the team that wins the turnover battle is likely to win.

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