Ticats tab Masoli Labour Day starter

HAMILTON — The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are making a change at quarterback as Jeremiah Masoli will get the start over Zach Collaros on Labour Day.

The announcement came from June Jones on Tuesday as the Ticats prepare for their annual Labour Day bout with the Toronto Argonauts on Monday, Sept. 4.

Masoli came into the game for Zach Collaros during a 37-18 loss to the Ottawa REDBLACKS in Week 9. The Ticats have been off ever since, going on the bye in Week 10.

“I had a very professional talk with him and Zach is a great kid and very competitive,” Jones told reporters Tuesday after practice.  “I told him, ‘I’m a new head coach because we are 0-8.  Quarterbacks and coaches are expendable when these things happen so you just need to sit down for a few weeks and see what happens and make sure you are ready to play like you always do.'”

Monday’s game vs. the Argos will signal drastic change for the team, with Masoli starting at quarterback and Jones coaching his first game since the exit of Kent Austin. Austin, who remains in charge of football operations, resigned from his post as coach following the team’s 0-8 start, placing Jones in control of the Ticats’ sideline.

For a team that was expected to contend for the East, 2017 has been a struggle for the Black and Gold. The Ticats rank last in the CFL in points (18.5), net offence (269-yard average) and time of possession (25:54). Going into Mark’s Labour Day Weekend, they’ve lost 12 straight starts with Collaros as their starting quarterback — one loss short of a Canadian Football League record.

This season, Collaros has completed 62.7 per cent of his passes for 1,743 yards, eight touchdowns and seven interceptions.