HAMILTON — The Hamilton Tiger-Cats will take the field this Friday night with a new starting quarterback, Jeremiah Masoli.
Head coach Kent Austin announced after Monday’s practice that the team will be going with Masoli against the Calgary Stampeders, replacing the injured Zach Collaros.
Austin also said that we could also see Dan LeFevour, who entered the Ticats week 2 loss in Edmonton as a short-yardage and change-of-pace option.
“We feel we could go either way right now. But just based on what’s happened through camp and preseason, and just analyzing last week. It’s close call, but we feel we have two guys who can play,” Austin said of his decision to start Masoli.
Collaros was officially ruled out for the game after practice on Sunday due to injury.
Masoli finished the game with five of 15 passes completed for 118 yards, including a touchdown and interception.
The third-year former Ole Miss and Oregon star was especially exceptional in his lone preseason appearance, where he completed nine of 12 passes for 137 yards and three passing scores in addition to 28 yards gained on six rushes.
“I’m just here to do my job,” he stated on Monday.
“We’re definitely honed in on Calgary and what they’re trying to do. They’re a good defence, they play well together, they fly around and we’ve got a good job ahead of us,” he added.
Austin expanded on what made him swing in Masoli’s favour as the starter.
“Jeremiah understands the offence, he can get rid of the ball and he understands his [hot reads], he can throw in to crowds and make plays on his feet when he needs to. He’s typically pretty calm under all circumstances and pressures,” he said
Masoli said he learned some valuable lessions during his experience at the helm of the Ticats offence two weeks ago.
“I just have to be more mentally focused as far as taking care of the ball. Obviously cutting down on turnovers, that’s the main key right now for us.”
Austin did not say how much LeFevour would be used on Friday night but he would be featured in some packages. And while he’s backing up a different quarterback, LeFevour is doing what he will normally would in case his number is called.
“I prepared as a number two the last few weeks. I prepared all last year as a number two.
I’m one snap away so you have to prepare like you’re a starter. Regardless, you have to be ready to play at all times,” he said.