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Ticats Could Be Solution to Riders Run Game Problems

Published: Friday, Jun 14th 2024, 7:06am

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)


On Sunday, the Saskatchewan Roughriders take their 1-0 record into Hamilton to face the 0-1 Ticats. Much has already been made about the Riders run game this season (dating back to the preseason game a month ago against Winnipeg), but this game could really get the Riders rolling with their rushing attack.


Last week, the Ticats were BRUTAL against the running game from the Calgary Stampeders. Dedrick Mills and (former Rider) B.J. Emmons went off for 110 yards on 18 combined carries, including some big chunk runs. With two rookies starting in their linebacking group, the Ticats appear vulnerable going into this Sunday’s game.

On the flip side, the Riders run game has been bad since the preseason. A.J. Ouellette has had no holes to run through and the blocking has been pretty weak so far. Last week, against a good Elks front 7, the Riders had just 32 yards from their prized free agent, getting just 1.8 yards per carry. Granted, the Riders best O-Lineman Logan Ferland was ejected early on, but still. 1.8 yards per carry is unacceptable.


Roughriders RB A.J. Ouellette (photo courtesy Saskatchewan Roughriders)


So how can the Riders get their run game going? I said it on this week’s episode of The Piffles Podcast. Use misdirection, but also run some screen passes, hitches… extensions of the run game. If you can get those going against Hamilton, it will open up some lanes in the D-Line that you can take advantage of. I’d love to see Frankie Hickson get on the roster to give the defense a different look, as well. But keep going to it. They didn’t steer away from it last week, which I commend them on. Previously, we’ve seen this team completely abandon the run for more than half the game, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with this new group.


Ultimately, it will come down to the blocking, though. I know it’s a group that is still trying to gel together, but this first game of the back-to-backs with Hamilton will give the Riders the opportunity to get things going and really put together the dynamic offense that we all want to see from Marc Mueller and his group.


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