Winning one-on-one battles and performing your best despite game-day jitters on the CFL’s biggest stage separates champs from chumps.
Here’s a look at four factors that should decide Sunday’s 99th Grey Cup game in Vancouver.
Lions will win if: QB Travis Lulay, the man who was named CFL Most Outstanding Player of 2011 Thursday night, maintains his composure and doesn’t get caught up in the hoopla that will surround him on home turf in his first Grey Cup appearance.
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The Bombers win if: Gritty QB Buck Pierce carries the Bombers on his back as he’s done so many times this season, completing remarkable passes, scrambling to avoid the oncoming pass rush and running with the ball when nothing else will work. Revenge would also be sweet for the man dumped by B.C. two years ago.
The Lions will win if: Leos legend Geroy Simon and first-year Lion Arland Bruce, possibly the CFL’s most dangerous receiving tandem, find open room in the Bombers secondary as double teaming both is nearly impossible. They combined for 10 catches and a TD in the West final.
The Bombers will win if: The Bombers have never replaced Milt Stegall, but the multiple threats provided by Clarence Denmark, Terrence Edwards and Greg Carr give Pierce plenty of targets and any one could emerge as the game’s top star.
The Lions will win if: RB Andrew Harris can provide them with a balanced attack by posting positive yards on first down and keeping Lulay out of second-and-long situations. His success keeps the Bombers defence honest.
The Bombers will win if: Dynamic running back Chris Garrett can somehow produce a performance as sensational as the East final, one of the epic games in Blue Bombers history. If the passing game should fail, Garrett could still carry his team to victory as he did last Sunday.
The Lions will win if: Their tough defence can manhandle the Bombers offensive line, as they did in making Ricky Ray look very average in the West final, and doesn’t give Pierce time to operate. That pass rush could make it a long day for the Bombers QB.
The Bombers will win if: The cocky and confident group that dubbed itself Swaggerville can stop the Lions run, create some second-and-long situations, and set the stage for the secondary to come up with some big turnovers.