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Riders Show No Pride

Published: Sunday, Aug 6th 2017, 4:08pm

By: Stephen Safinuk (@Safimod)

When I wrote the preview before the Western Division battle between Saskatchewan and BC, I was very specific about one battle that they would need to win. They needed to get pressure on Travis Lulay. They needed to avoid the 3-man rush, and force Lulay to make quick throws. If you give Lulay time, he will pick your defense apart, and the Roughriders gave him all the time in the world. Almost 250 yards passing at halftime and an 18-0 lead, and the BC Lions coasted to an easy victory at home. This game wasn’t in doubt by the end of the 1st quarter as it was clear from the onset which Saskatchewan Roughriders team showed up.  

Let’s look at some of the questions/comments brought up in the preview: 

Which offensive game plan would show up? Unfortunately, it was once again the one that forgot Cameron Marshall existed. You can’t expect to be successful in the CFL when you run the ball seven times all game with your feature back. We’ve seen time and time again that the Riders are more successful when Marshall gets his share of carries.  

Can the riders stop the Lions hot streak in the red zone? The simple answer – no. But then, they couldn’t really stop them anywhere else on the field, so why should the red zone be any different? 

Can the Riders get pressure on Travis Lulay? No, we could not. Travis Lulay was sacked once, and rarely hit. He had all day to find his receivers, and when you have group of receivers like Lulay had, you’re not going to be successful if you don’t get pressure. I said it during the game, and I mean it now. Someone find our defensive playbook and remove any page that has an instance of 3-man rush. I get it, Chris Jones. The 3-man rush worked in Edmonton. But we don’t have the bodies that you had to work with in Edmonton. Sure, we have Willie Jefferson and Eddit Steele like you did in 2015. But AC Leonard and Zach Minter do not equal Almondo Sewell and Odell Willis. The Roughriders need to bring bodies to get pressure. I hope we remember that next week or it will be another long game versus BC. 

What will we see from Quinn Van Gylswyk? Absolutely nothing. It was almost as if there was a force field just outside of field goal range, because the Riders couldn’t get into range until late in the 4th quarter. 

It seems opposing defensive coordinators have clued in on one simple way to get a sack versus Saskatchewan; run stunts down the middle of our offensive line. Do that, and you’re fairly likely to see an Ole from the inside of our line as your defensive lineman goes rushing past. The line did look better once Dariusz Bladek came in at guard, with Dyakoswki moving over to center to take over for an injured Dan Clark. Hopefully we work on stunt blocking in practice just a wee bit more, otherwise…. 

The gang from Piffles Podcast is back in studio on Tuesday to record episode 50 of our show, and we will break down this “game” for you a little deeper, and look ahead to the rematch next week. Will home field advantage help the Riders get over the hump? Does Brandon Bridge’s late game heroics make for a quarterback controversery? Will the Riders fall further behind the rest of the Western division, or will the real Riders show up to play? We will learn a lot about the team we’ve got in Saskatchewan on Sunday night at New Mosaic Stadium. 

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2017 Piffles Bowl, co-hosted by Riders WR Bakari Grant. August 18th, 6pm to 8pm with an after event to follow at Canadian Brewhouse (South location). Prizes from the Riders, the CFL, The Last Straw, Bushwakker, Coney Island, Laser Quest and much more! Come on out, play some football at the home of the Riders, and help raise money for Hope’s Home in Regina. 

 

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