There’s no substitute for expertise and a relaxing presence and that’s the place the Lions have the largest edge with Lulay as their starter.
Jap Semifinal | Sunday
B.C. Lions (9-9) vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (8-10)
10 a.m. PT, Tim Hortons Area; TV: TSN
Line: Ticats by 1.5 factors
Climate: 3ºC; mixture of solar and clouds; winds gusting to 27 km/h
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH
1. Hip, hip Lulay
There isn’t a extra revered participant in three-down soccer than Travis Lulay, whom the Ticats have but to satisfy this season. Lulay has received a Gray Cup and understands what it takes when taking part in a postseason sport. Defending the soccer, making the precise reads and delivering the ball on time shall be requested of Lulay. He can transfer within the pocket and when vital Lulay could make performs together with his ft.
2. Masoli the messiah
All eyes within the Hammer shall be on Jeremiah Masoli, the last word dual-threat quarterback who has flourished below June Jones’s system. If the Lions don’t comprise Masoli within the pocket, speeding yards shall be yielded. B.C. figures to combine up their protection within the secondary and pressure Masoli to be affected person. For Masoli to be thought-about an elite quarterback, he should come by way of right here; the Ticats have to summon the perfect from their starter, who was sporting a knee brace in follow this week.
3. Wally’s world
This may very well be Wally Buono’s final stand as he wraps up a 46-year run within the CFL. “I do know the gamers shall be motivated,” Jones mentioned of the guests. “They’re going to play onerous whether or not Wally was retiring or not. Wally has motivated numerous gamers to play at a excessive degree for lots of years. He’d like to exit with a win. We’d prefer to ship him out with a loss.”
4. No small Tasker
Luke Tasker will get all the eye from B.C.’s passing defence, the one goal the Lions should at all times account for within the harm absence of Brandon Banks, one of many sport’s elite playmakers. Tasker isn’t going to get behind protection together with his pace except there’s a breakdown within the again finish, however he’s savvy, robust and sure-handed. For Hamilton to win, Tasker should have a minimal of 10 targets.
5. Finest foot ahead
No punter has distinguished himself higher within the CFL than B.C.’s Ty Lengthy, and no kicker should redeem himself greater than Hamilton’s Lirim Hajrullahu. Each Lengthy and Hajrullahu deal with all of the special-teams duties for his or her respective groups and every must be at their very best within the greatest sport of the season.
INSIDE THE GAME
• One of many gamers value following is Tyrell Sutton, who makes his playoff debut for B.C. — he’s a hard-nosed again who can do all of it.
When he performed for the Alouettes, Sutton attached with the Ticats within the 2013 Jap semi, one of many wildest postseason matchups the CFL has seen, a sport performed at Guelph College when Mom Nature offered a mixture of wind, rain, snow, hail and sunshine. A Sean Whyte subject objective was blown backwards, and a non-interference name ultimately zone that includes Duron Carter compelled the league to introduce problem flags.
“Keep in mind that s— prefer it was yesterday,” mentioned Sutton. “The invisible defend on the field-goal kick and the cross interference. By no means seen that earlier than. Nonetheless haven’t.” Sutton didn’t play in opposition to Hamilton this season as a member of the Lions …
• When B.C. final received the Cup in 2011, Lulay was named sport MVP. Since that win, the Lions have gone 1-5 within the postseason, together with 5 straight defeats on the highway …
• The most important sport inside the sport options B.C.’s bookend rush ends in Odell Willis, who performed for Edmonton when the Eskimos got here to city to knock off the Tabbies within the 2016 crossover semi; and Shawn Lemon, who was traded to B.C. from Toronto earlier this season. Willis and Lemon will strain the backfield.
Lions WR DeVier Posey vs. Ticats DB Delvin Breaux
The Breaux Present pitted in opposition to final 12 months’s Cup MVP in a traditional duel. Breaux is the elite cowl nook who will most likely be given reps in opposition to Bryan Burnham. Breaux has been nursing a knee harm. The Lions aren’t recognized for his or her passing offence, however Posey and Burnham are excellent and each could have be featured as a result of every receiver will make performs.
B.C. 23.5 (seventh) | Hamilton 28.5 (third)
B.C. 26.3 (seventh) | Hamilton 25.3 (fifth)
B.C. 95 (eighth) | Hamilton 111 (3)
B.C. 238 (seventh) | Hamilton 311 (2nd)
B.C. 317 (eighth) | Hamilton 405 (1st)
B.C. 339 (4th) | Hamilton 334 (third)
Lions 23, Ticats 22
This figures to be very shut and extremely aggressive, the proverbial fourth-quarter sport. Turnovers at all times loom giant in soccer, nevertheless it turns into magnified when the playoffs roll round. B.C. should emerge with a constructive ranking. There’s no substitute for expertise and a relaxing presence and that’s the place the Lions have the largest edge with Lulay as their starter.
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