BO WATCH

Stamps coach hope­ful about Mitchell in­jury

Calgary Sun - - FRONT PAGE - daustin@postmedia.com @Dan­nyAustin_9

OT­TAWA – as of Fri­day morn­ing, the Calgary Stam­ped­ers are not only the last re­main­ing un­de­feated team in the CFL, they’re also the only team that’s bet­ter than .500.

Not bad for a group that many were warn­ing in the pre-sea­son would take some time to de­velop.

On thurs­day, the Stam­ped­ers laid a beat­ing on the host Ot­tawa red­blacks and walked away from td Place Sta­dium with a con­vinc­ing 27-3 win.

they also, how­ever, were forced to play the se­cond half with­out quar­ter­back Bo Levi

Mitchell, who suf­fered a “lower-body in­jury” in the se­cond quar­ter.

Here are five things to know from thurs­day’s game:

1. ALL EYES ON BO

Head coach Dave Dick­en­son was hope­ful that Mitchell’s in­jury wasn’t any­thing too se­ri­ous. you can never be too care­ful with a player as im­por­tant as Mitchell, though. the QB was at Fri­day’s walk­through in Calgary and will un­dergo more test­ing to de­ter­mine how bad the in­jury ac­tu­ally is.

It looked as if Mitchell was mov­ing around com­fort­ably on the side­line dur­ing the se­cond half and didn’t ap­pear to be in a ton of pain. But the Stamps will rise and fall with their quar­ter­back — maybe not, though, given the way the de­fence played. and if he needs any time to fully re­cover, ex­pect them to give it to him. that’s es­pe­cially true with their next matchup be­ing against the Mon­treal alou­ettes. Stamps backup Nick Ar­buckle might be bet­ter than any of the quar­ter­backs the als have on their ros­ter, so it’s con­ceiv­able that they could pull out a win with­out Mitchell.

2. SO DOM­I­NANT

through four games, the Stam­ped­ers de­fence has been the most dom­i­nant group in the CFL — and it’s not even par­tic­u­larly close. the Stamps have al­lowed their op­po­nents a com­bined 38 points. the toronto arg­onauts, the alou­ettes, the Saskatchewan roughrid­ers, the B.C. lions and the Ed­mon­ton Eski­mos have all al­lowed at least that many points in one game this sea­son.

Sim­ply put, the Stamps de­fence is giv­ing the team a chance to win ev­ery sin­gle time they step on the field, and they al­lowed the red­blacks only 169 yards of to­tal of­fence thurs­day.

Of­fence tends to dom­i­nate the head­lines, but de­fence wins foot­ball games. and if the Stamps d keeps play­ing the way it has to start this sea­son, the red & White are go­ing to put up a lot of wins.

3. ES­PE­CIALLY THE LINE

the de­fen­sive backs and lineback­ers were great thurs­day, so this isn’t meant to take any­thing away from them.

the de­fen­sive line, though, mer­its a lit­tle dis­cus­sion here.

the d-line fin­ished the game with four sacks, but that doesn’t re­ally tell the whole story. they were all over which­ever quar­ter­back the red­blacks played, giv­ing Trevor Har­ris and his back­ups no time to op­er­ate.

that hap­pened two weeks ago when the teams squared off in Calgary, as well, but a big game from red­blacks run­ning back Wil­liam Pow­ell took away from the d-line dom­i­nance just a bit in that one.

Not thurs­day, though. Micah John­son & Co. lim­ited Pow­ell to only 17 yards on eight car­ries.

these guys are good. Scary good.

4. GET­TING IT DONE

While we’re talk­ing de­fence, some credit needs to be given to two de­fen­sive backs who are hav­ing a big im­pact early this sea­son.

Tre Rober­son is look­ing like a real find at cor­ner and is mak­ing the loss of Tom­mie

Camp­bell a lit­tle eas­ier to stom­ach. rober­son read the field well and had a cou­ple big hits to break up plays on thurs­day, and he also came down with his first in­ter­cep­tion of the sea­son.

Pa­trick Lev­els had an in­ter­cep­tion, too, and de­serves a lot of credit for the way he’s stepped into the strong-side linebacker role in Ja­mar

Wall’s ab­sence. It’s a tough po­si­tion where lev­els has to help stop the run and also the pass, but he’s done what the Stam­ped­ers have needed.

5. A COU­PLE FIRSTS

Juwan Brescacin is show­ing he’s got a role to play in this high-pow­ered Stam­ped­ers re­ceiv­ing corps.

the third-year Cana­dian re­ceiver had four re­cep­tions for 36 yards on thurs­day, in­clud­ing a 12-yard touch­down — the first of his ca­reer.

like Brescacin, run­ning back Ro­mar Mor­ris also got the first td of his CFL ca­reer when he punched one in for a one-yard score dur­ing the first quar­ter.

Guys are step­ping up when they’re called upon so far this sea­son, just like the Stam­ped­ers need them to.

JIM WELLS/POSTMEDIA JUSTIN TANG/CANA­DIAN PRESS AL CHAREST/POSTMEDIA JIM WELLS/POSTMEDIA

MITCHELL BO LEVI Af­ter tak­ing an awk­ward hit, QB Bo Levi Mitchell, top and inset, ex­ag­ger­ates as he walks into prac­tice wear­ing a sleeve on his right knee. Left, Back up Stamps QB Nick Ar­buckle re­ceived rave re­views for his ef­forts against the Ot­tawa Red­Blacks and, right, Juwan Brescacin earned his first CFL touch­down last night in the na­tion’s cap­i­tal.

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