After finally getting onto the win column for their first victory in 2023, the Edmonton Elks (1-9) took a big step on the road last week in Hamilton. They will now host the Ottawa REDBLACKS (3-7) tomorrow at Commonwealth Stadium in a game that is a much-needed win for both respected clubs.
The Edmonton Elks have finally overcome their first obstacle.
Obtaining a win.
The Elks appeared to be a lot more focused vs. Hamilton last week resulting in a 24 – 10 road victory at the confines of Tim Horton’s Field. A few things that stood apart that have not been witnessed this season was better play at the quarterback position. With his first start of the 2023 season, quarterback Tre Ford made the most of his opportunities when he was finally given the duties of being the signal-caller. He would conclude the game with 13 passes completed on 18 pass attempts, 172 passing yards, 2 touchdown passes, and 0 interceptions. He also displayed his dual-threat ability in obtaining 60 yards on the ground in 5 attempts. His 12 yards per average carry was huge for the Edmonton Elks in finally being able to inject some life into a stagnant Edmonton offence this season.
And it did not stop there.
Running back Kevin Brown was a key figure in controlling the clock for good long drives at key moments of the game. He would contribute with 89 yards on the ground on 16 carries, for an average of 5.6 yards per carry.
When the ball was in the air, Stephen Dunbar Jr. chipped in with 93 receiving yards on only 4 receptions. He would also be part of most of the offence in scoring with 2 touchdowns.
The one thig that was the most impressive about the road win in Hamilton was the fact that the defence was finally given much-needed rest for the first time this season thanks to the help of the Edmonton offense. They would allow 0 points in the 1st Quarter, 9 points in the 2nd Quarter, 0 points in the 3rd Quarter, and only 1 point in the 4th Quarter. Without a doubt, it was the best defensive game they played in the 2023 season.
The Ottawa REDBLACKS, they are a team that has encountered a lot of roadblocks since the first game of the 2023 CFL season.
Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli would not be ready on opening day as he was still nursing the aftermath of his ACL surgery in 2022. Inconsistencies with Nick Arbuckle, along with an injury to Tyrie Adams with an ACL injury at week 4 vs. Edmonton, it was 4th string quarterback Dustin Crum who would take the reins as the starter and displayed a lot of promising signs of life for the Ottawa offence.
Fast forward to week 6, and Jeremiah Masoli was given the green light to start his first game of the 2023 season. Unfortunately for Jeremiah Masoli, he would get hit with the injury bug again with a season-ending injury in the form of a ruptured Achilles tendon. Since then, it has been up to Dustin Crum to obtain as many victories as they can in 2023 to have any chance of making a shot at the postseason.
Date / Location: Sunday, August 27th, 2023 / Commonwealth Stadium / Edmonton, Alberta
Kickoff Time: 7:00 PM EST
Channel: TSN / TSN+ / CBS Sports Network
Temperature: 26 Degress Celsius. Will feel like 30 Degress Celsius. Sunny.
Wind Gust: 21 Kilometers per hour.
Percentage of Precipitation: 10%
Spread: Edmonton Elks -1.5 (-105) Ottawa REDBLACKS +1.5 (-125)
Moneyline: Edmonton Elks (-115) Ottawa REDBLACKS (-110)
Over / Under: Over 45.5 (-115) / Under 45.5 (-115)
Edmonton Elks Week 12 Depth Chart vs. Ottawa REDBLACKS
Ottawa REDBLACKS Week 12 Depth Chart vs Edmonton Elks
Note: This is not indicated on the Edmonton Elks Injury Report, but DB / LB Loucheiz Purifoy will be listed on the 6-game injured list. This will be a big blow for the Elks when they take on the REDBLACKS.
Players to Watch
Dustin Crum: In football, sometimes you just have to wait for your opportunity to showcase your value to your organization. In the case of Dustin Crum, this is not different. Through the process of elimination with both inconsistencies at the quarterback position, and most notably the stockpile of injuries at the position, Duston Crum is experiencing a fairytale season. He is a quarterback who still has a lot of work to do in regards to his overall game. However, he makes this up in the case of never letting the game slip away from him. He might not have all the flashy passing yards. But when the game is late in the 3rd quarter, and going into the 4th quarter, he has been brilliant in managing the clock and carrying the team on his back. He approaches the game with a lot of resilience, and the Edmonton Elks’ defence will have their hands full if they can not contain him enough for him not to break the game open when it matters most with long-run capability.
Lorenzo Mauldin IV: He might not be as dominant as he was the last two seasons in the sack department, but Lorenzo Mauldin IV is still a key figure on the Ottawa REDBLACK defensive line. He still has the talent of making it difficult for a left tackle to contain the pressure he displays on every play. He might only have 3 sacks entering week 12, but that’s not to say he cannot have a breakout game. Edmonton Elks LT Martez Ivey will have his hands full in getting the most in this one-on-one battle. It will be a key for the Edmonton’s O Line in winning the battle over Lorenzo Mauldin IV regarding the running game of the left side of Edmonton’s offensive line.
Tre Ford: Tre Ford did whatever you can ask for in a quarterback for his first start of the 2023 season with a win in Hamilton. Keep within striking distance of the game, control the clock, and eliminate any costly mistakes that will harm the football team. And Tre Ford did just that. He might not have had that 300-yard-plus passing game. But what he did do was focus on an always hostile environment on the road in the Hammer. Tre Ford will have to be at his best as possible against a stingy REDBLACKS defence.
Nyles Morgan: He is the anchor of the Edmonton defence leading the team with 59 tackles. He is currently 3rd in the league in this statistical category. He will be an important figure in both the pass rush and dropping back into coverage defending the pass. He is very capable of disrupting a lot of passing lanes that Dustin Crum with throw at him. Moreover, he is capable of winning this one-on-one battle vs. Dustin Crum throwing the ball in his lane.
Both the REDBLACKS and Elks could have potentially the same approach regarding the play at both quarterbacks respectively. You have both quarterbacks that don’t throw too much. But when they do, they both have solid arms. When the pocket has collapsed, they can both extend drives with their natural talent and instincts in running the ball.
The key figure will be what offense can control the clock the most, and avoid multiple two-and-out drives that will translate into multiple punts in the game. This then transitions to having a defence play the majority of the game with very few breaks in between series. Both teams know this all too well as it has been the norm in 2023.
For both teams, they have to protect their quarterbacks at all costs. For the REDBLACKS, it will be an absolute nightmare if Dustin Crum gets rattled in the game and cannot continue. This will be no different with the Elks. Yes, we can say that maybe Taylor Cornelius has more experience. And that is true. But the fact of the matter is that he has been sub-par this season.
Edmonton Elks: 29
Ottawa REDBLACKS: 23
The curse is over. Edmonton finally wins a home game.
The overall factor in this game is that the Elks’ running game supersedes the display of the REDBLACKS’ running game. Kevin Brown will be effective in continuing long drives and absorbing a load off the shoulders of Tre Ford.
Both teams will give up big plays on the defence. But Edmonton wins the turnover ratio, along with putting up more points from the turnover battle.
One of the most electrifying players who have donned the Green and Gold will be added to the Edmonton Wall of Honour.
Photo Via Edmonton Elks
Terry Vaughn will get the nod and will be added to the existing list of some past Edmonton greats who have played for the City of Champions.
Terry Vaughn CFL career highlights via goelks.com:
- 2003 Grey Cup champion with the EE
- First player in CFL history to eclipse 1,000 career receptions
- CFL record for 1,000-yard receiving seasons with 11
- Voted No. 45 on the CFL’s Top 50 Players of All-time (2006)
- 2011 Canadian Football Hall of Fame inductee
- Franchise records:
- Most consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons (6 from 1999 to 2004)
- Tied for most career 1,000-yard receiving seasons (6)
- Most receptions in a season (106 in 2003)
- Most receiving yards in a game (275 on August 13, 1999 at Winnipeg)
- Notes from the EE record book:
- 2nd in career receptions (545)
- T-4th in single-season receptions (106 in 2003)
- T-8th in single-game receptions (12 on October 28, 2000, vs. Saskatchewan)
- 10th in single-season receiving yards (1,558 in 2003)
- Other notes from the EE:
- 106 career regular season games with the EE (211 CFL)
- 545 receptions with EE for 7,681 yards
- 38 receiving touchdowns with EE
- CFL honours with EE:
- Five-time CFL West All-Star (1999-03)
- Two-time CFL All-Star (2001, 2002)
In the wake of the wildfires in the Northwest Territories, the Edmonton Elks are offering free tickets to the game vs. the Ottawa REDBLACKS. It’s estimated that there are more than 3,000 residents from the Northwest Territories that have registered at the Edmonton Expo Centre as an evacuation centre. Further details can be seen here.
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