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Top 5 – Things to Watch for Riders vs BC Lions

Published: Saturday, Aug 19th 2023, 9:08pm

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)


The Saskatchewan Roughriders look to go into their second bye week of the season on a winning note tomorrow night after they host the BC Lions. Here are the top 5 things I’m watching for out of the Riders in this game


1. Jake Dolegala’s first start this season – Well, for those that wanted Jake Dolegala instead of Mason Fine, you have your wish. I thought he did okay enough in his only other CFL start last season, looked good in relief of Fine in TD Atlantic, but was AWFUL last week against Montreal. He’s got a tough test against the BC Lions this week, but there’s no better way to prove your worth. While I don’t expect a 400 yard, 4 TD performance, like Fine, I’d like to see progress.


2. The Run Game – We finally saw a spark in the run game last week in Montreal with Jamal Morrow running for 81 yards. They’ll need him to excellent again this week and the O-Line is going to have to have their best game of the year if the Riders have any shot of winning. To take the pressure off of Jake Dolegala, it’s absolutely vital for the Riders to get the run game going early.


3. Can the Defense repeat their performance from a few weeks ago and keep it close? – The only reason the Riders were in it against the Lions a few weeks back was because of the play of their defense. They got a ton of pressure on Vernon Adams Jr. before he got hurt and also managed to get after Dane Evans as well. Get to Adams Jr. early and often and don’t let up. 


4. O-Line vs Matthieu Betts – Much like in the run game, the O-Line will have to have the game of the season against Matthieu Betts and company when it’s passing downs. Jake Dolegala is going to need time in the pocket to get through his reads, but it’s not going to happen if the O-Line can’t contain Betts. He’s had a monster year so far and you HAVE to make sure you game plan specifically for him.


5. Team Intensity – There was a scuffle in practice this week that Craig Dickenson hated. I LOVED it. These guys need to show passion, that fire, that intensity that has severely been lacking this year. They should NOT be happy with the last week and getting destroyed by Montreal. The team can use this going forward. Let’s see some intensity on the field tomorrow.


For more on this game and everything else going on in Riderville and the CFL, check out this week’s episode of the Piffles Podcast (presented by Dairy Queen Grill & Chill)!


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