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The Morning After – Riders Survive Miscues, Beat Redblacks

Published: Monday, Aug 7th 2023, 11:08am

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)


Well that game was something last night, wasn’t it? For a game where Ottawa practically did nothing the entire 60 minutes, it had no business being as entertaining as it was at the end. Enter: the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who despite constantly shooting themselves in the foot and trying to give the game away, beat the Redblacks 26-24 to get back to .500 at 4-4.


Steve, Greg and I will go a bit deeper into this game on The Piffles Podcast (subscribe on YouTube!), but before we do, here’s some thoughts on the game The Morning After:


– It was a really nice night for football other than the smoke. It was a smaller crowd than I expected, but Sunday of a long weekend is a tough draw when people are out at the lake for another day. Kudos to Rider Nation for bringing the noise late in the game!


– You can really see the growth of Mason Fine over the last few weeks. Again, I thought Fine was really good, making some good throws and good decisions with the ball. We didn’t get the chance to see how short the leash was on him and that’s a good thing. 


– The Riders starting each half with a touchdown was such a pleasant thing to see. Jamal Morrow getting the first one must have taken some pressure off of Fine and Offensive Coordinator Kelly Jeffrey. It kept the boo birds out of Mosaic Stadium and gave the team the boost they needed. 


– Speaking of Morrow, it was ANOTHER game where the run game just didn’t happen. They tried. And tried. And continued to try, but it just wasn’t there. Is that an O-Line thing or is that a way too predictable offense thing? We’ll discuss that on the show this week…


– Nice debut game from Jerreth Sterns! There was quite the buzz about him when the Riders signed him and with the injury to Brayden Lenius, Sterns got his chance and turned it into 7 catches for 71 yards, good enough for 2nd on the team. I’m not sure how it will all work out when Derel Walker and Kian Schaffer-Baker return, but the team has really good depth at receiver.


– Remember when fans wanted Shawn Bane Jr. cut before, during and after Training Camp? I wonder how they’re enjoying their crow right now… Bane Jr. has been the best free agent signing for the Riders this season and it’s not particularly close.


– The defense was great, yet again. Considering they were put in awful situations from the offense and special teams group more than a few times, holding Ottawa to just 5 field goals was a big win. LOVED seeing Anthony Lanier II dominate in the trenches and the pressure put on Dustin Crum. THAT’S the D-Line they need the rest of the way!


– Coaching on both sides was abysmal at times. Both Craig Dickenson and Bobby Dyce looked like they were in way over their heads. I get why Dyce opted for a field goal late in the game to take a 1 point lead, but you gotta go for the TD on 3rd and goal from the 1 there. You should be able to get that and force the Riders to score a major. And Coach Dickey, despite the win, still has fans calling for him to get canned! (As much as I’d like it, it’s not happening, folks)


– STOP the Jake Dolegala short yardage thing… maybe use your short yardage QB Shea Patterson as your short yardage QB…


– And Brett. FUQN. Lauther! What a kick to win the game. The competition brought in for him a few weeks ago seems to have done wonders for him. His leg strength is back and he’s making clutch kicks… the Lauther of old!


Mason Fine now has that weight off his shoulders, his first win as a starter and can stop fielding questions about being a starter… at least for another week. I’m happy for him and hopefully the wins come more than once every 5 starts. On to Montreal and a matchup against former QB1 Cody Fajardo.


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