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Riders vs Stamps – Week 10 Game Preview

Published: Saturday, Aug 18th 2018, 2:08pm

by Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)

What a wild bye week here in Saskatchewan. First, fan favourite all-star wide receiver Duron Carter gets released, seemingly out of nowhere last Saturday night and Riderville collectively lost their minds. FIRE CHRIS JONES! Word surfaces that Rob Bagg is on his way back to the Riders after he was spotted at the airport the night before the first practice. THANK YOU CHRIS JONES WE LOVE YOU! Oh, and our best running back from last season (Cameron Marshall) is finally back after his injury.

I get why Duron was released. He’s a polarizing guy who isn’t always the best teammate. His shelf life on a team is short and he hit his expiry date here in Saskatchewan. I get why Bagg was brought back. His leadership and work ethic is unmatched and the club desparately needs that. Doesn’t mean I like either move from an on-field standpoint. All that said, you can hear our thoughts on Duron’s release on the latest episode of the Piffles Podcast.

The one thing that is lost in all this though, is that no one is talking about the QBs or the unimaginative offense this week… and that’s a good thing. That’s what Ridernation has been talking about non-stop in 2018, so it’s a breath of fresh air. Now to just get them back on track…

Saskatchewan sits at 3-4 and last in the West Division. Calgary is running away with the West at 7-0 and has looked dominant in pretty much all of their games. Rider fans, we got them right where we want them! If the Riders hadn’t spotted the Stamps a 24-0 lead a few weeks ago, the Riders would have 100% won that game. You can bet that won’t happen again. Zach Collaros is back for this rematch and while the offense still had issues in his first game back against Edmonton, things will be better this time around, even against the great defense that Calgary has.

For the Riders, you’ll see Caleb Holley back in the lineup (taking Duron Carter’s spot) after his benching. Holley has had a tough start to the 2018 campaign with quite a few drops, so you can bet he will be motivated to turn things around. Marcus Thigpen will also be in the lineup. Some were questioning why he was moved to the suspended list early in the week, but it was just a one day thing as he was at practice all week. Mason and Thigpen will again carry the load in the Riders backfield. It will be interesting to see if Cameron Marshall is ready to go as he brings some much needed blocking to the RB position, but he is likely still a game or two away from being ready.

I’m looking forward to seeing what the new receivers can do, especially Shaq Evans. He had a good start to the season with Collaros playing, but when Bridge was at QB, Shaq hasn’t gotten much going. Hopefully with Collaros back, Evans can pick up where he started from. Evans was this week’s feature player on the Cypress Hills Destination Area Player Profile and you can learn a bit more about him here:

The real question is how the offensive line is going to hold up. Starting left tackle Terran Vaughn is out this week and replacing him is Takoby Cofield. Cofield didn’t look so good at guard earlier this season and eventually landed back on the practice roster. He’ll be in tough against an always solid Calgary D-line, but overall the Riders O-line has been much improved since game 1 of the season. We may also FINALLY see a 6th O-Lineman dressed this game as former 1st overall pick Josiah St. John was getting a LOT of reps this week with the #1 unit at right guard. I can’t see them starting him over Dariusz Bladek, but he could be brought in as the 6th.

On defense for the Riders, newly signed defensive back Loucheiz Purifoy will make his debut in green and white. Add in the return of rookie sensation DB Nick Marshall and the Riders are looking even better on defense (if that was even possible).

For the Stampeders, it’s been pretty quiet from them. Star receiver Erik Rogers is on the 6-game injured list and starting running back Don Jackson won’t be back, but they just keep motoring along, riding a dominant defense and timely offence. The return of 2016 Most Outstanding Lineman Derek Dennis was big for the Stamps and he will be up against Willie Jefferson and Charleston Hughes all game, which will be fun to watch. We spoke with the Bonecrusher on the show this week for the Tall Grass Apparel Engaging With the Enemy segment and Dennis offered up a bit about his time in Saskatchewan and how he learned about his release from the Riders.

All in all, I really do expect a VERY close game. I picked them last time against the Stamps and I truly do believe this week is the start of the turnaround of the 2018 season for Chris Jones and the Riders. Thanks to Brett Lauther, the Riders win 28-26.

One extra thought: Not only is this the Plaza of Honour game in Saskatchewan, where you will see former CEO and President Jim Hopson and All-Star O-Lineman John Terry celebrated at halftime, this is also the first Diversity is Strength week in the CFL and former Rider (and local boy) Neal Hughes will be honoured. We had a chance to chat with CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie about this campaign and what we can expect over the next 2 weekends at games.

Share your predictions for the game. Will the Stamps finally lose their first game of 2018?

GO RIDERS!

 

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