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Monday, October 30, 2017

OUT OF THE TUNNEL: THE RIDERS MUST GO WEST

Riderville.com
By: RodPedersen.com Staff

This is going to be a very to-the-point edition of Out of the Tunnel. There really isn’t too much left to discuss after the Riders sleepwalked their way over a very bad Montreal Alouettes team 37-12 Friday night in Regina.

The Riders have some very good things going for them heading into a crucial Week 20 battle against the Eskimos this Saturday at Mosaic Stadium.

Save for the awkward rotation of the quarterbacks (more on that later) and a hint of showboating by Bakari Grant (to which he has now learned his lesson - we hope!) offensively, the Riders look solid.

The offensive line is getting healthy, Chad Owens and Caleb Holley showed that there is great depth at receiver and for all the doubt coming in about Trent Richardson, he had a strong 127-yard effort and notched his first two touchdowns in the CFL.

The rotation of Kevin Glenn and Brandon Bridge was incredibly intriguing. It felt very much like a final pre-season game of the year. It’s a luxury the Riders had against a weak Alouettes club and it gave the coaching staff a bit of insight on who will start (and get the bulk of the playing time) against the Edmonton Eskimos.

Defensively it was more of the same: big plays, turnovers and buzzing around the football.

After the final whistle, the road to the Grey Cup began for the Green and White. The formula is simple, a win over the Eskimos Saturday evening at Mosaic Stadium and the Riders will battle through the West Division with a semi-final game in Winnipeg, a loss and it’s eastward bound to either Ottawa or Toronto.

It is a great gauge to see if the Riders have peaked at the right time of the season. After a 30-15 loss in Week seven in B.C., they have gone a sparkling 8-3 and have a shot at third in the division.

Edmonton has had some extreme ups and downs this season. Starting with a seven game winning streak then losing six games and now the winners of four straight, including a 29-20 win over the Stampeders on Saturday night.

Mike Reilly is returning to form and has a receiving corps that rivals that of the Riders. Brandon Zylstra is having an all-star year, Derel Walker has made a successful return from his crack at the NFL, Adarius Bowman had five catches against Calgary and even Vidal Hazleton is contributing.

Even with all of that, the key to Edmonton’s turnaround is C.J. Gable. Stop him and the Eskimo offence should grind to a halt.

It’s much of the same for the Riders offensively. They now have a bell cow running back in the fold with Trent Richardson (and one in the wings in Cameron Marshall) and they should ride him as far as they can, or at least until they figure out the quarterbacking situation.

To sum everything up, if the Riders want to play in the Grey Cup in Ottawa, they must go through the West. Both Toronto and Ottawa are playing great football right now, while Winnipeg is ravaged by injuries and Calgary has finally shown some rust in the armour.

That is why Saturday is so big for both teams. The winner of this game will be in the Grey Cup.


PFC Wrap:

The Saskatoon Hilltops breezed their way to the Canadian Bowl championship game by dismantling the BCFC champ Vancouver Island Raiders 47-0. They will now head out east to play the Windsor AKO Fratmen next Saturday afternoon for the national title.

Saskatoon used a stifling defence, holding the Raiders to under 200 yards of offence for the whole game, while racking up almost 400 yards of offence on their own.

As a point of reference, Windsor hosted the Edmonton Huskies in the beginning of the season and the Huskies rolled to the 40-7 victory.


Canada West Diary:

It was a wild final week of the Canada West season with three playoff positions up for grabs. The real drama began with what may be the biggest upset of the season.

The Alberta Golden Bears ripped the number one ranked and undefeated Calgary Dinos 53-3. It is the first time since 2010 that the Golden Bears will make an appearance in the Canada West Playoffs. Ed Ilnicki had another great game. His 159 yards rushing gave him a new conference record for rushing yards in a season with 1,468. That win put all the pressure on the Saskatchewan Huskies as they hosted the Manitoba Bisons Saturday night.

The Huskies had to win and win by 37 for them to snatch a playoff berth. It was looking promising as mid-way through the second quarter  the Huskies led 22-0, but it was all Bisons after that. Quarterback Dez Catillier hit nine different receivers en route to their second win of the season 36-32.

So, after all that drama, the Golden Bears will head back to Calgary this Saturday to play the Dinos in the Hardy Trophy semi-finals.

The other playoff spots up for grabs were second and third. That was resolved when the UBC Thunderbirds beat up on the visiting Regina Rams 44-15. The Thunderbirds sacked Rams quarterback Noah Picton five times and intercepted him once.

The Rams will have to make the difficult trip to Vancouver for a second straight week for the semi-finals against the Thunderbirds.

This week:
Hardy Trophy semi-finals
Saturday, November 4th (All times local):
Alberta at Calgary 1:00pm
Regina at UBC 4:00pm

Canadian to watch in the NCAA
Deshawn Stevens - LB
University of Maine
6’2” 230lbs.
Hometown – Toronto, Ont.
Class – RsFr.

After redshirting his first season with the Maine Black Bears (and playing well on the scout team), Stevens has found a spot on special teams as well as spot duty at linebacker.

So far in 2017, Stevens has 13.5 total tackles, 1.5 sacks and 2 tackles for a loss. His best game of the season was a five tackle, one sack effort against William and Mary this past Saturday.

He was the captain of the Canadian U-19 and Junior squad that played in the 2016 IFAF U-19 World Championships and the 2016 Junior World Championships.

(RodPedersen.com Staff)

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

There was nothing wrong with alternating QB's! Actually a very good ploy in that all QB's got some playing time in a game well in hand. It was only a few weeks ago that a lot of fans were complaining that our last regime never let the backups play and as a result we had no experienced backup. Just shut up and allow Jones to continue to spread his magic.

Anonymous said...

U of C will roll over Alberta in the playoffs. The last game meant nothing to the Dinos and they fielded what was essentially a high school all star team. Back to dominance this weekend.

Totally agree about the Riders going through the West. Huge benefit that they wouldn't have to play the Esks until the GC (potentially). I think it would be very tough to win a playoff game in OTT, as well. Calgary and Winnipeg don't seem as scary as they once were.

Anonymous said...

Careful how you assess the Stamps. Not sure how they approached Edmtn. Not sure their injury situation. Not sure what strategy Dickenson is using to avoid a playoff collapse. And ... their O line. To me the key to their O is their line ... like any team. We judge QBs and RBs on stats ... should judge them relative to the O line. When Bo gets only 2 steamboats his stats drop ... as do Messams.

Anonymous said...

For some reason the link on this site to 3 Down Nation has disappeared.
Should one read anything into this or did they simply fail to pay their bill? LOL

Anonymous said...

Going into the last week of the season, 3 Down Nation Power Rankings have the Esks at #1 and the Riders at #2. I sure hope that fans dress warm and fill the stadium Saturday for the last home game of the season. Too many empty seats at the Montreal game.

Was there anyone in Canada, even a month ago, who would have imagined ever seeing the Riders at #2 in anyone's power rankings in 2017? Yes, give Chris Jones that extension.

Anonymous said...

We always talk about the easiest road to a championship game, but never the easiest road to the championship in which case there is none. The easy road is for those who do not have confidence in this team to beat any team at any time.
LF

Anonymous said...

UBC & Calgary in USports. The Golden Bears victory was a one off. Nice win for them though. They haven't been competitive for a while.

Anonymous said...

Has there ever been a team as dominant as the Saskatoon Hilltops in the history of Canadian junior football. Wow!

Savanna DeVille said...

CJ wants everyone as healthy as possible for playoffs. KG is always the starter until he starts getting harassed too much. 2 sacks in One Quarter= Put in Bridge. That's not pulling KG because he's not playing well, it's to keep him upright and healthy for Playoffs, right up to Grey Cup. The change up doesn't hurt the offence, and it makes the other team's defence more cautious because of Bridges escapability. And Vernon Adams Jr. is proving his worth for the future.
I think CJ has done well handling the QBS, is wise to protect KG so he can capture the 1st Grey Cup of his career, in his 17th season, in the year of the Stadium's maiden voyage.
Mosaic 2.0>17th season for KG.
PUT them together, WHADDYA got?
RIDERS IN 2017! It all coming together now, because DESTINY...CAN NOT BE DENIED!! Definitely! Let's freeze out the Eskimos Saturday, then get ready to pillage and plunder thru the playoffs. Hmmm...pillage and plunder.
That's a good assignment for the troops taking up positions in PILSNER COUNTRY. Keep up the good work, soldiers. Final Note: I still think every fan who arrives to PIL COUNTRY should wear rabbit ears. The PIL LABEL has always featured Rabbits in the motif. There's tons of rabbits living out near the railway tracks beside stadium, many who have now emigrated as refugees from Flattened Taylor Field ..let's show all the Jack -Rabbits and Jill-Bunnies where all the action is now! That gigantic Rabbit hole due west is where they ought to be. The hollowed out ground is now our Hallowed Grounds that house our new Home of Palatial proportions.

Anonymous said...

Saskatchewan has beaten every team in the league and should match up with any of them still. It all comes down to eliminating penalties and focusing solely on winning the games ahead of them. The team that plays with the intensity and desire to win it all deserves to be the champs. There is really no room for error from here on in.

Anonymous said...

NO WAY were there 30,000+ people in the stadium on Friday night.....even people watching on TV could tell that. maybe that was PAID attendance but not ACTUAL attendance. Sask people were afraid of freezing their toesies off, so stayed home and watched from the couch. Hopefully you guys can sell out the stadium --and actually attend the game?? -- to watch #1 Quarterback Mike Reilly and the EDMONTON ESKIMOES banish your sliders to 4th place.

Anonymous said...

is there a better football program anywhere in the country than "Saskatoon Hilltops" led by "Sarge"?..WOW!

Anonymous said...

I agree. The West is the way to go. Winnipeg has definitely run out of gas and is poised for an early exit and we can beat Calgary if we play well. In the east you have a well rested Ottawa team and a Toronto team that has been playing very well. I see no advantage of going thorough the east

Anonymous said...

This must be the Calgary idiot on a riders site again. Go back to your room little boy. Your mother will feed you soon.

Anonymous said...

Go back to Alberta Donkey. Your obvious OCD of the Riders has become an embarrassment for you and all the other Calgary fans. Grow up

T. Brown said...

Really? The Edmonton “ESKIMOES”? Must be a die-hard fan.

Anonymous said...

Haha an anonymous Edmonton poster with the audacity to criticize our fanbase and attendance in a stadium. That is funny....a city with a million MORE people than us is averaging the same attendance as us but this jackass.. who is too how much of a loser to even put his name on his post... feels the need to criticize. What an idiot.
Brad

Anonymous said...

Hey Roddy, a couple of corrections for ya. Hilltops won 48-0. The final Canadian Bowl game is not this weekend it is next weekend on the 11th. Your welcome.

Anonymous said...

Rod, at what point do you trade a bag of footballs for MAM? Yes, the bag of footballs don't speak, but you would still get better analysis.

Murray

Anonymous said...

Please win and get Winnipeg. Richie Hall's D in Winnipeg is giving up 500 yards a game lately and the riders can beat them.

Anonymous said...

is there a better football program anywhere in the country than "Saskatchewan Roughriders" led by "Mr. Jones"?.. WOW!

Anonymous said...

Anyone dissing Rider fans (who paid for a ticket BTW) for not attending a Friday 7:30 game does not understand how many fans drive 2-5 hours to the games. It's like how many Edmtn fans would go to a Cal game at 7:30 Fri night. Most folks work I have heard.

Anonymous said...


When do we start talking about the idiots who could not find the football game on TSN. Even when Rod Smith tells them where to find out, they still bitch, moan and cry. They do that because of the time, they do that because of the weather and now this. My god Rider fans are the whiniest group out there win or lose. #FACT

Anonymous said...

To the poster a couple of notches above.......you are wrong, it would NOT be like Edmonton fans going to a Calgary game......CUZ no right minded Edmonton fan would even think about stepping foot at a Calgary game, excepting of course when Calgary is playing the Eskimoes.

Anyway, make sure you pay for your ticket AND attend the game on Sat to watch the #1 quarterback -- Mike Reilly -- and the #1 power-ranked Eskimoes destroy your team into 4th place!!

Anonymous said...

Hmmmmmmmmmmm. Pats didn't even get out of the Tunnel, must have lost again I guess.