["LIVE-STREAM"] BC Lions vs Stampeders Live Free 09 June 2023
CFL Season Opener: BC Lions @ Calgary Stampeders, June 9, 03:00 CET (3 am, 9 pm June 8 EDT)CFL | American Football | 06/08/2023
CALGARY — The BC Lions and Calgary Stampeders are set to kick off the 2023 regular season in a rematch of last year’s Western Semi-Final on Thursday night at McMahon Stadium.
Both teams are coming off identical 12-6 campaigns but it was the Lions who came away with a 30-16 victory in that playoff showdown.
The season opener marks the beginning of the post-Nathan Rourke era in Vancouver as they’ll hand the reigns to quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. after the Most Outstanding Canadian inked a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars in the off-season.
Luckily for the Leos, Adams Jr. is no stranger to the offence after coming over in a trade from the Montreal Alouettes last August.
In eight games he completed 118 passes for 1,504 yards and six touchdowns. More importantly he only turned the ball over in the air once.
If he isn’t throwing the football, look for Adams Jr. to use his legs after averaging 9.2 yards per carry a year ago.
When he lines up under centre, he’ll see a Stampeders defence that allowed the third most passing yards against with 270.8 a game.
Should Adams Jr. falter or head coach Rick Campbell want to give the Stamps a different look, they could turn to off-season signing and former Hamilton Tiger-Cats starter Dane Evans.
Watch live. BC Lions @ Calgary Stampeders, June 9, 03:00 CET (3 am, 9 pm June 8 EDT).
Campbell is looking forward to seeing what Adams Jr. can do full-time and with a complete off-season with the team under his belt.
“I think there’s a comfort level now he’s spent an off-season with our coaches and the playbook and knowing who our receivers are and what our football team is,” Campbell told BCLions.com.
“Going on the road in Calgary, it doesn’t get any tougher than that so I think we’re looking forward to seeing where we stand as a football team.”
Regardless of who’s in the pocket one thing’s for sure, they won’t be short on high-end receiving options as the Lions return one of the best wideout corps in the league.
Dominique Rhymes and Lucky Whitehead both cracked 1,000 receiving yards a year ago, with Rhymes finishing just behind Winnipeg Blue Bomber and Most Outstanding Rookie Dalton Schoen atop the leaderboard.
They will be without a key piece on Thursday night, however. Keon Hatcher didn’t participate in practice earlier in the week and Campbell confirmed he’s out against the Stamps, so more looks may go the way of Jevon Cottoy, an option the coaching staff should be fine with.
WR DOMINIQUE RHYMES LEADS A LIONS RECEIVING CORPS THAT WAS AMONGST THE BEST IN THE LEAGUE IN 2022 (BCLIONS.COM)
When the ball goes on the ground, it will be handed to rookie Taquan Mizzell or Adam Mackie after the departure of James Butler to Hamilton in the off-season.
Mizzell will be tested right away against Dave Dickenson’s club as the Stamps were second best against the run last season, holding opponents to 89.1 yards per game.
The Lions aren’t short on playmakers on the defensive side of the ball either as they return the defensive back trio of T.J. Lee, Garry Peters and Marcus Sayles who combined for 12 interceptions, led by Peters’ five.