Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ticats Look to Turn around Offence When They Host Lions in Home Opener

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ticats Look to Turn around Offence When They Host Lions in Home Opener

Article excerpt

Ticats look to turn around offence vs. Lions

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HAMILTON - If the Hamilton Tiger-Cats hope to get their sputtering offence turned around in CFL action on Saturday night, they're going to have to do it against one of the league's top defences.

Hamilton is winless in its first two games, has yet to record a first down in the first quarter, and has only scored one offensive touchdown. It sits in the league basement with an average time-of-possession of 25:13.

Meanwhile, the B.C. Lions (2-1) enter Tim Hortons Field on a two-game win streak, a middle linebacker (Solomon Elimimian) coming off a team-record 15 tackles in last week's win against Montreal, and a defence that leads the league in fewest points allowed (20.3 average per game).

"They've got good personnel, they're good up front," acknowledged Hamilton head coach Kent Austin. "They play their schemes very, very well. They're well coached. They play hard. . .

"It's a good challenge for us. Listen, teams are all going to get better as the season goes along. We're no exception, we need to get better. And so, it's a good challenge for us. It's a good football team. But our guys are ready to accept the challenge."

This will be Hamilton's home opener, four weeks into the season (they've played two away games and already had a bye week). And they're in the middle of a tough six-game stretch against West Division teams.

Austin said protecting the quarterback will be an area of focus. The Ticats have allowed six sacks, but quarterback Zach Collaros has been under constant pressure.

"One thing is we've got to win first down," said Austin. "We haven't been winning first down. There's been a lot of second-and-longs. And that's another problem on defence. We haven't been winning second-and-longs on defence."

Collaros admits to the frustration of being outscored this season 69-35, but he says there will be no tweaks this week, just the normal focus on executing the plays.

"We're getting paid to score points on offence and we haven't been able to do that so it's very frustrating," said Collaros, who has completed 45 of his 73 pass attempts in the first two games for a total of 431 yards, one TD and one interception. …

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