It was going to happen sooner or later -- we said it here at Out Of The Tunnel just last week.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders defence and special teams couldn’t bail out an anemic offence in a 31-0 drubbing at the hands of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Saturday at Investors Group Field.
On the positive side, it’s good to get this out of the way now and rebuild in the final two games of the season and the bye-week leading up to playoffs. It can, and has been, done before but it may be difficult as the injuries are building up on the offensive side of the football.
The receiving corps is already banged up with Naaman Roosevelt and Jordan Williams-Lambert sitting out Saturday as well. Now, this all may be the plan of the Riders to have these key tools rested and ready to go for a playoff run, but on paper it looks dim right now.
The injuries started to pile up a bit on defence with Zack Evans and Nick Marshall both getting dinged up and not finishing the game. We will find out as the week progresses as to who will hit the field in what is now a very important game in Calgary this Saturday.
The offence has been bad for the majority of the season (we've all seen the stats). The one that sticks out the most is for a double-digit winning team to be outscored 386 to 404. That is a rarity in CFL history.
Only five times has a team won 10+ games and been outscored. Four of them were 10-8 and the other was a complete anomaly.
2013 – Hamilton Tiger-Cats 10-8 (453 to 486) Lost Grey Cup
2008 – Edmonton Eskimos 10-8 (512 to 526) Lost East Final
1997 – Montreal Alouettes 13-5 (509 to 532) Lost East Final
1993 – Calgary Stampeders 10-8 (574 to 583) Lost West Final
1886 – Toronto Argonauts 10-8 (417 to 441) Lost 2-game total point East Final
The 2013 Hamilton Tiger-Cats season is eerily similar to the 2018 Saskatchewan Roughriders.
They started the season 1-4 then finished the rest of the season going 9-4 with a loss in their third-last game of the season on the road 36-6 in Montreal. Hamilton then went on to the Grey Cup game (which they lost mightily in Regina).
The Saskatchewan Roughriders started this season 3-4 and then went on a tear before losing their third-last game of the season 31-0.
It’s not a stretch that the Riders can put together four or five great games and get to the Grey Cup. They have a lot of work to do, but it definitely can be done.
After saying last week that the Riders had second all but sewn up, that might have been an overstatement upon review. With the loss to Winnipeg (who are playing their best football of the season), and Edmonton and B.C. both winning, the West is air-tight from second to fifth.
A lot will be worked out this weekend when the B.C. Lions host the Edmonton Eskimos on Friday night at B.C. Place in Vancouver. A Lions win would knock the Eskimos out of the playoffs because B.C. would have a four-point edge in the standings and Edmonton split their season series with the Bombers, but Winnipeg holds the edge in points for/against.
The Lions are in the driver’s seat and hold their destiny in their own hands. They face Edmonton and Saskatchewan on the road and host the Stampeders.
An Edmonton win would create absolute chaos (which we all love).
Winnipeg has the bye this week and just two games remaining.
A Saskatchewan win in either of their last two games (or any number of losses by Winnipeg and B.C.) would seal second in the West for the Green and White.
This Week in Canada West:
It was looking like it could have been an absolutely devastating week for the Regina Rams (1-5). After having their wins removed because of an ineligible player during the bye-week, all-Canadian quarterback, Noah Picton sat out his first game as Rams quarterback in four seasons.
Backup Seb Britton looked solid, and the Rams defence forced four turnovers in a 32-17 win over the Alberta Golden Bears (2-4).
After being left for dead halfway through the season the UBC Thunderbirds (3-3) are now in a fight for a possible home playoff date after a 20-10 win over the Saskatchewan Huskies (3-3).
The log-jam at 3-3 was sealed after the Calgary Dinos (6-0) made quick work of the Manitoba Bisons 34-19. Adam Sinagra’s path to the Hec Creighton trophy continued with another 300-yard passing game.
It’s going to be a doozy of a Week 7 in the Canada West!
Week 7 in Canada West:
Friday, October 19th
Regina Rams (1-5) at Calgary Dinos (6-0) 7:00pm (McMahon Stadium)
Saturday, October 20th
Manitoba Bisons (3-3) at Saskatchewan Huskies (3-3) 2:00pm (Griffiths Stadium)
Alberta Golden Bears (2-4) at UBC Thunderbirds (3-3) 1:00pm (Thunderbird Stadium)
|Wanda Harron Photography|
The narrative of the 2018 Prairie Football Conference season continued in its final weekend of the regular season.
The Saskatoon Hilltops mopped the floor with the Winnipeg Rifles 48-7 at SMF Field in Saskatoon. Running back Josh Ewanchyna’s MVP season continued with 177 yards on the ground and four touchdowns. He finished the season with 1,007 yards rushing in just seven games.
The Regina Thunder sealed third rolling over the Calgary Colts 70-6 at McMahon Stadium. They will face the Edmonton Huskies in the PFC semi-finals as the Huskies won their final game of the season 42-17 over the Edmonton Wildcats.
The other semi-final will see the Saskatoon Hilltops host the Winnipeg Rifles.
Semi-finals - Date and time TBD:
Regina Thunder at Edmonton Huskies
Winnipeg Rifles at Saskatoon Hilltops
Canadian to Watch in the NCAA
Shane Richards Sr.
Guard – Oklahoma State
High School – Crescent Heights
The top rated offensive lineman by CFL scouting bureau’s first rankings for the 2019 draft, Richards has had a comeback year in 2018.
He sat out all of 2017 as a medical redshirt and came back in 2018 as a redshirt senior. Richards began the season starting at right tackle but was replaced for the middle three games of the season. He has since come back and started at right guard in the Cowboys last two games against Kansas State and Iowa State.
He is a giant of a man and may be the first offensive lineman taken off the board in the 2019 CFL draft in May.