Blue Bomber Report Record: 7–11–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

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Five things to consider before the Blue Bombers try to steal a win in Calgary tonight:


1. Jon Cornish

Barring a late charge from Andrew Harris of the B.C. Lions, there's little doubt the Calgary running back, the league's leading rusher with 827 yards, will be named the Most Outstanding Canadian at the end of the season.

Too soon for that proclamation, you say? Look at his surge in numbers.

First five games: 199 yards rushing.

Last five games: 628 yards, including three games where he ran for 150-plus. The hard-charging Cornish has been unstoppable of late.

Winnipeg spent this past week trying to game-plan for the Stampeders sensation, but will it really matter? The Bombers run defence is second worst in the league, allowing over 114 yards per game, and they haven't slowed anyone on the ground this season.

Put the children to bed early. This could get ugly.


2. The Five Horsemen

Keeping with Cornish, the Stamps offensive line deserves a lot of the credit for his recent resurgence.

The hogs in Cowtown have taken over games, sealing off edges and opening up lanes big enough to roll a chuckwagon through. Fullback Rob Cote and receiver Nik Lewis are premier run-blockers as well, making the task of stopping the run that much more difficult.

Winnipeg head coach Tim Burke noted the other day how the Calgary line presents a mismatch for his defensive front. The Bombers are a bit undersized on the defensive line, Burke said, but he feels they have enough speed on defence to neutralize Calgary's run game off-tackle.

Getting through the blocks and getting to Cornish is paramount.


3. Blue road blues

The Bombers are winless in five tries on the road and are averaging just over two touchdowns a game (15.3 points) while wearing the gold jerseys.

On the other side of the ledger, the club is allowing a whopping 38.6 points per contest as the visitor, a mark that has to come down if they want to have any success in Calgary -- a place they haven't won at since 2002.


4. Aggressive behaviour

Minutes after electing to punt late in the game against the Riders Sunday, Burke admitted he made a mistake.

The next day, he praised offensive co-ordinator Gary Crowton for being aggressive in his play calling, noting how he threw the ball when the defence was looking for a run play.

Burke then lamented his own lack of assertiveness again, criticizing himself for not bringing pressure on Riders rookie quarterback Drew Willy when the game was on the line.

If a lesson was learned by Burke, and one suspects a week's worth of regret has been educational for the rookie head coach, expect the Blue -- its defence, offence and special teams -- to be a lot more bold moving forward.

Really, what does Burke have to lose?


5. Mr. Two First Names

As impossible it sounds, Kevin Glenn, the former Bombers quarterback, has actually saved the Stamps season.

With Drew Tate still recovering from a shoulder injury, Glenn has minded the store carefully and tactfully, completing 67 per cent of his passes and holding an efficiency rating of 94.3 -- better than that of Ricky Ray and Darian Durant.

Winnipeg would take that pivot play in a second, right now.

But there's a good Kevin Glenn and a bad Kevin Glenn. He can manage the offence, sure, but he is still prone to the bad interception, picks thrown at the worst possible times. Of his nine interceptions, two have gone for touchdowns.

Winnipeg can only hope the bad Glenn shows up tonight. Twitter: @wazoowazny

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 14, 2012 C3

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