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Riders @ Ticats Game Preview

Published: Friday, Sep 15th 2017, 12:09pm

by Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)

Tonight the 5-5 Saskatchewan Roughriders look to get back to their winning ways as they play the 2-8 Hamilton TigerCats in Steeltown. We still aren’t sure who will start at QB for the Riders as Kevin Glenn is listed as the starter, but didn’t really take any reps in practice this week. Brandon Bridge and Vernon Adams JR. both had time with the #1 unit, with Bridge getting the majority of those reps.

It shouldn’t matter who is at QB for the Riders tonight, they should have no issues beating Hamilton. The offense is just too stacked to not put points up whether it’s Glenn or Bridge at the helm. I would love to see Bridge get the start and give Glenn and his hand an extra week of rest before next Sunday’s big game against the Calgary Stampeders, but if I’m a betting man, I’m putting my money on Kevin Glenn getting the start.

What’s going to be interesting to watch is how the defense performs after a letdown game last week in the Banjo Bowl. Of course reinforcements showed up this week in practice as the Riders signed both Jeff Knox Jr. and Otha Foster. Both linebackers have proven to be stars in the CFL and tried their hands in the NFL (Knox Jr. with Tampa Bay and Foster with Baltimore). Knox is listed as a backup to MLB Henoc Muamba, but will definitely get a lot of looks at the WILL LB position behind Sam Eguavoen. Foster will start at SAM LB taking the place of Erick Dargan (who mysteriously landed on the 6 game injured list… *wink wink* Obviously Knox Jr. and Foster make the team better, so I’m just hoping they are game ready after only being in Riderville for a few days. I’m not too worried about it, but it may be something to monitor.

Another well known player joining the team this week was Kick Returner Marcus Thigpen. He hasn’t been on a roster in a few years, but has apparently kept in great shape and as long as he hasn’t lost any of his speed, provides a big spark to our special teams unit (which was beyond bad last week). The last time we saw him in the CFL, he was busy setting records, scoring TDs in all ways possible, so it’s an intriguing signing that should pay off starting tonight.

The other BIG signing this week was a player not really well known to most CFL fans, but fans of the NFL may know Defensive Lineman T.J. Barnes. Why is this a big signing? Well he’s 6’7, 365 pounds. The dude is a MONSTER and will see some time replacing Nick James who is on the 6 game injured list. We saw in the time that James played, the entire defense played their best ball and it was largely (ha… get it??) in part of a big DT in the middle wreaking havoc on the other teams O-Lines. I expect us to get back to that kind of game tonight with Barnes getting a lot of time in the D-Line rotation.

Ultimately, this game will come down to execution. On paper, the Riders should have no problems winning this game, be it with Glenn, Bridge or me at QB. The team is too talented to lose to a 2-8 team, even if they have won back-to-back games. The Riders are starting their softer part of the schedule by playing the Eastern Division teams and they need to take care of business to keep pace in the playoff race. And there is no reason to believe they won’t.

Riders 34 Ticats 17

Stay tuned to the Piffles Podcast Twitter account @pifflespod and Steve’s account @safimod as he is in Hamilton for the game tonight and will be doing pre and post game coverage live from Hamilton!

 

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