07/31/2013 02:53 EDT | Updated 09/30/2013 05:12 EDT

Something has to give with struggling Eskimos, Ticats squaring off

Something has to give Friday night at Commonwealth Stadium.

That's when the Edmonton Eskimos host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in a game between two struggling clubs. Not only do both have identical 1-4 records but they're tied for last in CFL scoring, averaging just 19.8 points per game.

Edmonton's terrible clock management was the overriding factor in its 32-27 loss last week to Montreal. The Eskimos drove to the Alouettes' five-yard line with 29 seconds remaining, but could only manage to get two plays off — both rushing attempts despite having no timeouts remaining.

John White's four-yard run put Edmonton at the Montreal one-yard line, but with time running out the Eskimos surprisingly went to White again. This time he was tackled for a loss by linebacker Kyries Hebert to preserve the Alouettes' victory.

Edmonton's lone win this year was a 30-20 decision over Hamilton in a fierce rainstorm at Guelph, Ont., on July 7. Quarterback Mike Reilly was just 14-of-22 passing for 136 yards and two TDs in that game but running back Hugh Charles ran for 119 yards on 11 carries, 70 coming on a touchdown run.

Overall, Edmonton rushed for 177 yards on 20 carries against the Ticats' defence.

Hamilton is coming off consecutive losses to the surging Saskatchewan Roughriders. Since scoring 34 points in a season-opening loss to Toronto, the Ticats offence has scored 65 points in four games, an average of just 16.3 per contest.

Quarterback Henry Burris is the CFL's passing leader with 1,510 yards and threw for 395 yards and two TDs in last week's 32-20 home loss to Saskatchewan. Hamilton is second overall in passing, averaging over 306 yards per game, but is last overall in rushing, averaging just 67 yards.

Edmonton showed a vulnerability against the run as Montreal's Brandon Whitaker ran for 162 yards last week.

What's more, the Ticats have struggled finishing drives with touchdowns. Hamilton — which has been without leading receiver Andy Fantuz (hamstring) for four games — is tied with Edmonton and Montreal for fewest TDs scored (nine).

Compounding the inability to score is a Hamilton defence ranked last in points allowed (31.6 per game), rushing yards (148) and TDs (19) and second-last in net yards surrendered (387 per game).

In consecutive weeks, CFL rushing leader Kory Sheets ran for 270 yards on 49 carries combined against Hamilton. And after Darian Durant threw for 347 yards and four TDs in a 37-0 home win over the Ticats, Riders' backup Drew Willy completed 14-of-25 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns in last week's 32-20 road victory to complete the sweep.

Pick - Edmonton.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers at B.C. Lions on Monday.

A serious lack of finish also plagued the Lions in their 38-12 road loss Tuesday night to Toronto. Four times B.C. drove into the red zone and on each occasion had to settle for the field goal.

Meanwhile, Toronto quarterback Zach Collaros was solid in replacing injured starter Ricky Ray (knee). The sophomore was 21-of-25 passing for 253 yards and three TDs in his first CFL start in moving the Argos (3-2) atop the East Division standings.

B.C. (3-2) dropped to third in the West Division behind front-running Saskatchewan (5-0) and Calgary (4-1).

There are questions about who will start at quarterback for the struggling Blue Bombers (1-4).

Backup Justin Goltz made his first career start in last week's 37-24 loss to Calgary but is questionable with an ankle ailment. Goltz was replacing veteran Buck Pierce, who didn't play because of an abdominal injury.

If neither Goltz nor Pierce can go, that would leave third-stringer Max Hall to face the Lions. Cornerback Jovon Johnson (hamstring) is doubtful.

Pick - B.C.