What's Buzzing:

55 Yard Line

The “Oh, Reilly?” factor: B.C. backup starting in place of Travis Lulay Friday night

Andrew Bucholtz
55 Yard Line

View photo


B.C. backup Mike Reilly, seen in the preseason this year, gets his first start Friday.

Friday night's game between the B.C. Lions and the Edmonton Eskimos (10 p.m. Eastern, TSN/NBC Sports Network) just got much more intriguing, thanks to the almost game-time revelation from Lowell Ullrich of The Province that B.C. quarterback Travis Lulay won't be playing. Lulay has been battling a shoulder injury, and although it apparently isn't all that serious in the long run, the team's elected to rest him tonight. So, who's playing quarterback for the Lions, then? Lulay's backup, a guy who's been associated with the team for three years but only has 10 career pass attempts and is mostly known for his short-yardage work, a man many casual CFL fans may not even have heard of: former Central Washington star Mike Reilly (no, not the similarly-named former CFL coach).

At first, that would seem like a huge break for the Eskimos, who could probably use one. B.C.'s only got a CFL-best 11-4 record, and they're only 6-1 at home, while Edmonton's 2-5 on the road, so this initially set up as a bit of a mismatch. The Eskimos have won their last two games, though, and Kerry Joseph in particular seems to have discovered some of his old form; moreover, as TSN's Dave Randorf pointed out on the pre-game show, Edmonton's the only road team that's won in B.C. this year. They also have plenty to play for; if they can pick up a win Friday and Hamilton loses Saturday, the Eskimos will clinch a playoff berth. Going up against a less-than-experienced quarterback who's never made a CFL start would seem to make things a lot easier for them.

Yet, the Lions shouldn't be written off even without Lulay. Yes, Lulay's the CFL's reigning Most Outstanding Player, and yes, he's having another tremendous year, throwing for 4,143 yards with a 66.6 per cent completion rate and 27 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. In fact, he's largely on pace with the numbers he put up last year (4,815 yards and 32 touchdowns to 11 interceptions), and his completion percentage has risen by almost 10 points from the 58.7 per cent he notched in 2011. B.C. still has plenty of stars, though, particularly on defence where they've conceded a league-low 288 points; the next-closest team is Saskatchewan, with 327 allowed.

The Lions' offence may still click without Lulay, too. Reilly showed tremendous promise in college, and he shone in the preseason this year, tossing six touchdowns over two games without an interception. He'll have plenty of weapons, too: one of the best offensive lines in the league, an incredible crop of receivers that's shone even after injuries to Geroy Simon and Arland Bruce and  league yards-from-scrimmage leader Andrew Harris, a capable rusher and receiver out of the backfield. It's not an easy situation for Reilly, certainly, but it's a great opportunity to see what he can do. The Eskimos are likely happier to be facing him than Lulay, but they haven't won the game just yet.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
View Comments (0)
  • Pakistan overcome early loss to reach 82-1 at lunch

    ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Pakistan put the early and bizarre loss of opener Shan Masood behind them to reach 82 for one at lunch on the opening day of the first test against England on Tuesday. Mohammad Hafeez, who passed 3,000 test runs for Pakistan in … More »

    Reuters - 1 minute 16 seconds ago
  • Howe desperate to continue Bournemouth's rapid rise

    Howe desperate to continue Bournemouth's rapid rise

    (Reuters) - Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is "desperate" to continue the club's meteoric rise over the last three seasons and credits a collective effort is the reason for their success. The Cherries were sitting at the bottom of the third tier of … More »

    Reuters - 6 minutes ago
  • Wales call winger Walker into squad

    Wales call winger Walker into squad

    LONDON (Reuters) - Wales have called winger Eli Walker into their Rugby World Cup squad as a replacement for the injured Liam Williams, the Welsh Rugby Union said on Tuesday. Walker, 23, was named in the original 31-man squad but was released due to … More »

    Reuters - 8 minutes ago
  • Pacquiao looking to return to ring early next year

    Pacquiao looking to return to ring early next year

    (Reuters) - Manny Pacquiao will be ready to return to the ring by next March, the Filipino boxer said on Monday while in New York to accept an award. Pacquiao is recovering from surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff following his defeat to Floyd … More »

    Reuters - 12 minutes ago
  • Bell's last-second run lifts Steelers past Chargers

    Bell's last-second run lifts Steelers past Chargers

    (The Sports Xchange) - Le'Veon Bell's one-yard scoring run with no time remaining lifted the Pittsburgh Steelers past the San Diego Chargers 24-20 Monday night. The Chargers grabbed the lead on rookie Josh Lambo's 54-yard field goal with 2:56 to … More »

    Reuters - 38 minutes ago