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BC Lions (0-1) Week 2 Preview vs Calgary Stampeders (1-0): Prediction, Depth Chart, Injuries, Odds

The BC Lions look to bounce back from a loss in week 1 on the road against Calgary in their season opener. The game is expected to be the most attended CFL game since 2011. Tickets have been selling at rapid speeds since BC announced that 50 Cent would be the performer for the concert kickoff. The team announced on June 2nd that they had sold over 50,000 tickets to the game.

Game Details:

Date/Location: Sunday, June 15 /BC Place, Vancouver, BC
Kickoff Time: 7:00 PM ET, 4:00 PM PT (50 Cent Concert Begins 1 Hour Before)
Channel: TSN (Canada), CBS Sports Network (USA), CFL+ (Global)

Spread: B.C. +7.5 (-104), Calgary -7.5 (-118)

Moneyline: B.C. +320, Calgary -420

Over/Under: 50.5 (Over -105, Under -105)

B.C. Lions: The Lions are coming off of a tough loss to the Toronto Argonauts in which the offensive line struggled to slow the Argos pass rush. By my count, Vernon Adams Jr. was pressured 12 times in addition to the 6 times that he was sacked. Despite the frequent pressure VA still managed to put together a strong game as he completed 25 of his 33 passes for 363 yards and 2 touchdowns. BC was not able to quite get the run game going in week 1 as William Stanback was held to 35 yards on 11 carries as the offensive line was at times overwhelmed by Toronto’s defensive play.

Calgary Stampeders: The Stampeders defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 32-24 in week 1 in a game that saw Bo Levi Mitchell make his return to Calgary for the first time since joining the Tiger-Cats ahead of the 2023 season. Jake Maier played exceptionally as he completed 21 of his 26 passes for 263 yards and 2 touchdowns. Maier made some nice plays in particular when rolling to his right.

Calgary’s defense did allow some chunk plays and narrowly avoided some deep passing plays due to some Hamilton drops in week 1. Additionally, Hamilton’s running back was able to rush for a whopping 9.2 yards per carry in week 1 on 13 rushes as he accumulated 119 yards. If Calgary is unable to do a better job plugging holes against the run then we may see BC’s running back William Stanback cut loose like it’s footloose.

Lions Keys to the Game

Protect the Passer

As mentioned I counted 12 plays in which Vernon Adams Jr. was pressured last week in addition to the 6 sacks allowed. Saturday will be an opportunity to do better. It was a rough game for all the starting offensive linemen outside of left tackle Jarell Broxton.

Run the Ball

BC has allowed 11 sacks in the last 2 games. A great way to improve pass protection is to do more run plays. Let the offense get into attack mode and avoid playing on their heels. In my opinion, BC Desperately needs to make like the opening of Shrek and play some Smashmouth.

Get to Jake Maier

Jake Maier had a great game last week. BC will want to get some pressure on him and make life more difficult. In their meetings last year Mathieu Betts did a great job getting to him and limiting him from playing his game. With Betts now in the NFL others will need to elevate their game.

Stop Dedrick Mills

Last week Dedrick Mills did a great job in the run game. BC will want to limit the run support provided to help make life difficult for Jake Maier. Last year in the regular season BC held Mills to 3.4 yards per carry over 10 carries in their meeting in August.

5 Lions to Watch

#18 WR Justin McInnis

McInnis caught 7 passes for 103 yards and a touchdown last week.

#13 WR Alexander Hollins

Last week Hollins caught 8 passes for 90 yards.

#2 LB Josh Woods

Woods had 6 tackles last week. He also had a solo run stop and was in on 4 shared run stops.

#46 LB Ben Hladik

Last week Hladik led the team in tackles with 9. He also had a QB hurry and was in on 3 shared run stops.

#49 DT Tibo Debaillie

Debaillie scooped up a fumble last week and ran it back for a touchdown making him the first Belgian player to score a touchdown. He was a reliable run-stopper for the Lions last year and will be important in slowing Dedrick Mills down.

5 Stampeders to Watch

#14 WR Clark Barnes

Led the tam in receiving in week 1 with 6 catches for 61 yards and a touchdown.

#26 RB Dedrick Mills

Mills rushed 13 times for 87 yards in week 1, 6.7 yards per carry.

#6 CB Demerio Houston

The ex-Blue Bomber led the team in tackles in his debut as a Stampeder with 7 and also had an interception.

#95 DE Julian Howsare

Howsare was a problem in week 1 for Hamilton as he pressured the quarterback 6 times. He also had 3 tackles and was in on a shared run stop.

#98 DT Kwadwo Boahen

Boahen had a tackle and 2 QB hurries in his CFL debut playing as a 2nd string. Boahen had 29 total tackles, 5 for a loss, 3.5 sacks, and a forced fumble last year over 10 games with Alberta.

Injury Report:

Depth Charts:

Score Prediction:

I am predicting a 34-17 win for B.C. I think the 13th man is going to play a big part in this game as BC has over 50,000 fans cheering them on.

@JonathanClink on Twitter

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Jonathan Clink Reporter
Jonathan Clink joined CFL News Hub in early April of 2023. His primary responsibilities are covering the BC Lions and Montreal Alouettes. He self awarded himself the CFL Rookie Journalist of the Year in 2023 following the 2023 CFL season. He also proclaims himself to be a "really cool guy". He was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and lived a large portion of his childhood in Northwest Ontario. He currently lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan and misses being being able to have 4 months of skating every winter. Clink has written over 240 articles for CFL News Hub. He was the publication's boots on the ground at the 2023 Grey Cup in Hamilton. Clink has always had an obsession for sport and has a background in other sports as well having played hockey all his life and soccer, basketball, and lacrosse in high school. As a young child he used to log his hockey statistics after every game which is either an indication that he was destined for the role or perhaps and indication that he is rather strange.
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