Jonathon Jennings will get his shot at knocking the Winnipeg Blue Bombers from their lofty perch.
Jennings will start Friday night when Ottawa (2-2) visits Winnipeg (4-0). The Blue Bombers are the CFL's lone unbeaten team and handed the Redblacks their first loss of the year, a 29-14 decision July 5 at TD Place.Jennings has a 22-22 record as a CFL starter but is 1-5 all-time versus Winnipeg.
Ottawa has dropped two straight
after last week's 36-19 home loss to the Montreal Alouettes. The Bombers were on cruise control versus Toronto lasy week, downing the struggling Argonauts 48-21 on Friday night.
Davis started Ottawa's first four games of the season but will miss Friday's contest with an unspecified injury. He boasts a 66-per-cent completion percentage with 1,132 yards however has more than twice as many interceptions (seven) as TD strikes (three).
Davis has also rushed for 76 yards and five TDs on 15 carries (5.1-yard average).
The start will be Jennings' first with Ottawa. He joined the Redblacks as a free agent after four seasons with B.C.
In 2016, Jennings threw for 5,226 yards and 27 TDs — both career highs — with the Lions.
Ottawa kicker Lewis Ward — the CFL's top rookie and special-teams player last year — has made 61 straight field goals. This season, he leads the league in average length of field goal at 35 yards but during his streak he's averaged 31.7 yards.
Lucky Whitehead opened the Bombers' win over Toronto with a bang, returning the opening kickoff 104 yards for the touchdown. Quarterback Matt Nichols finished a tidy 18-of-24 passing for 209 yards and three touchdowns while Winnipeg native Andrew Harris ran for 116 yards on 14 carries and caught a Nichols TD strike.
Winnipeg's offence leads the CFL in offensive points (33 per game) and passing touchdowns (11), is tied with Hamilton for most offensive touchdowns (16) and second overall in points (34.5), touchdowns (17) and rushing (147.8 yards per game).
Nichols has a league-best 10 TD strikes while Harris has run for 378 yards and sports a gaudy 6.5-yard average per carry.
Meanwhile, Winnipeg's defence is the league's stingiest in points allowed (19.8), offensive points (16.3), touchdowns (six), rushing TDs (none), offensive points (four) and rushing yards (48.3 per game).
The unit has also forced a CFL-best 18 turnovers, not exactly good news for an Ottawa squad that's committed 11 turnovers, second-most in the league. The Redblacks are ranked fifth in offensive points (25.5 per game) but have scored just nine TDs and eight offensive touchdowns (both tied for second-last overall).
Nichols was 16-of-20 passing for 262 yards and a TD in Winnipeg's earlier win over Ottawa. But he left the game in the second half after failing to slide at the end of a run.
Harris ran for 80 yards on 18 carries that night while Nic Demski had four catches for 105 yards and a TD. Davis finished 21-of-36 passing for 234 yards with two picks as Winnipeg held Ottawa to 24 yards rushing on eight carries.
Overall, Winnipeg outgained Ottawa 453-258 while holding the ball for just over 39 minutes. The Bombers also ran for 149 yards.
The last time the Bombers started 5-0 was in 1960 when they went 10-0 and finished 14-2 bfore losing in the West final to Edmonton.
Toronto Argonauts versus Calgary Stampeders (Thursday night)
At Calgary, the Stampeders (2-2) look to rebound following last weekend's 30-23 road loss in Hamilton. Nick Arbuckle was 24-of-40 passing for 368 yards in his second CFL start but with no touchdowns. Two of the Ticats' touchdowns came on special teams while Ka'Deem registered one of his two TDs on a blocked punt. Derel Walker had nine catches for 188 yards and two TDs against Winnipeg for Toronto (0-4), which has dropped 10 straight games at McMahon Stadium.
Edmonton Eskimos versus Montreal Alouettes (Saturday afternoon)
At Montreal, the Alouettes (2-2) will shift the focus back to football after the firing of GM Kavis Reed. Vernon Adams Jr. had a career-best 327 passing yards and two TDs versus Ottawa while scoring two touchdowns. William Stanback ran for 100 yards following a 203-yard performance two weeks ago against Hamilton. Edmonton (3-1) beat Montreal 32-25 at Commonwealth Stadium on June 14. Trevor Harris is 483 passing yards shy of becoming the 36th player to hit the 20,000-yard plateau and hasn't thrown an interception in his last 218 pass attempts.
B.C. Lions versus Saskatchewan Roughriders (Saturday night)
At Regina, Saskatchewan (1-3) has had plenty of time to ponder its last game, a 37-10 home loss to Calgary on July 6. Linebacker Solomon Elimimian faces his former squad while receiver Manny Arceneaux, another former Lion, is hoping to make his Riders debut. They made a combined 234 career starts for the Lions. It's been a miserable season for B.C. (1-4), which lost 33-6 last weekend to Edmonton. Mike Reilly threw for 157 yards and an interception but is 8-6 versus the Riders. Trouble is, the Lions have allowed a league-leading 17 sacks.
Last week: 3-1.