October 27, 2023

Argos, REDBLACKS cap 2023 regular season in Ottawa

OTTAWA — The Toronto Argonauts and Ottawa REDBLACKS put a bow on the 2023 regular season when they meet at TD Place on Saturday night.

It’s the third meeting between the teams, with Toronto coming out victorious in both meetings including a 40-27 win at BMO Field in Week 19. If Toronto can come away with a win this time around, they’ll tie the league record for wins in a season with 16. 

Argonauts head coach Ryan Dinwiddie, much like he has been the last few weeks, will be cautious with his starters’ playing time.

Quarterback Cameron Dukes goes from backup to the main man under centre this week. He’s completed 41 passes for 443 yards on the season and gets the chance to add to those totals in the regular season finale.

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At receiver, Tommy Nield, Dejon Brissett, and David Ungerer should see plenty of targets as DaVaris Daniels and Damonte Coxie sit this one out. 

The REDBLACKS secondary has been the worst in the CFL against the pass, surrendering 310.2 yards per game and 5,274 overall. Defensive backs Damon Webb and Justin Howell try to send the unit into the off-season on a positive note against a strong pass game.

Giving running back AJ Ouellette the game off won’t be noticeable if Daniel Adeboboye can replicate his performance from a week ago when he rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown against Saskatchewan. It’ll be interesting to see what Adeboboye can do against a run defence that’s second in the league in average yards allowed.

Defensive lineman Bryce Carter has put together a season to remember with 12 sacks. With an offensive line led by Darius Ciraco and Peter Nicastro having given up a league low 17 sacks, Carter will have to work to improve on his numbers.

Ottawa quarterback Dustin Crum took the league by storm after assuming the starters role earlier in the year. In their last matchup two weeks ago, he threw for 183 yards and a touchdown but was also picked off once.

Coming off a bye in Week 20, Crum says he’s feeling good heading into his team’s last game.

“It was refreshing for me, body wise, get my body back a little bit,” Crum told reporters. “Try to get as healthy as you can for this last game to try to just empty the tank and leave it all out there.”

Justin Hardy led the way at receiver with 98 yards, followed by Jaelon Acklin’s 83 in that Week 19 loss. The pair needs to be playmakers again if the REDBLACKS hope to end with a win.

Jamal Peters heads a secondary aiming to go into the playoffs on a good performance. He’ll be joined in the secondary by Royce Metchie, Mason Pierce and Robert Priester. 

Crum and running back Devonte Williams have formed a dynamic rushing game that’s second in the league in average yards behind only Winnipeg. Williams found holes to the tune of 125 yards and a touchdown against the Argos the last time out.

It was an uncharacteristic effort from the Boatmen front and one they’ll try to avoid again. Linebacker Adarius Pickett is attempting to add to his 97 tackles and defensive lineman Folarin Orimolade has 10 sacks. Brandon Barlow, Thomas Costigan and Benoit Marion likely all see action as Dinwiddie tries to maintain rhythm among his defence.

REDBLACKS head coach Bob Dyce doesn’t want his team to take any game for granted regardless of what’s at stake.

“We have an opportunity to do what we love,” Dyce told reporters. “An opportunity to come out here and play against a good Toronto team in front of our home fans and have the opportunity to win at home.”

With a win, the Argos can go into the post-season winners of four straight.

For Ottawa, the game represents a chance to finish strong and top their win total from a year ago with five.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET and can be seen on TSN and RDS in Canada or on CFL+ in the U.S. and Internationally.

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