There’s a few factors going into Saturday’s rematch with the Argonauts that may bother the Saskatchewan Roughrider faithful, other than being 0-6 obviously.
Toronto is 2nd in the CFL in total yards per game, going for about 390 a contest; while Saskatchewan gives up 407 per game, which is 3rd worst in the CFL.
The majority of the Toronto attack, led by Trevor Harris, is done through the air where the Argos average a league best 313 ypg. This poses a problem to the Riders who currently yield 286.3 a game, not to mention the Double Blue boast a talented trio of young receivers in Hazelton, Elliot, and Gurley that don’t seem to be slowing down at all. With the Riders re-shuffling their secondary for the umpteenth time this season, communication may become an issue that the youngsters take advantage of.
Saturday’s game also marks the Home Opener for the Double Blue! Much has been made of Scott Milanovich and his ability to steer the Argonaut ship through some of the most unprofessional circumstances in sports, and even though it’s in the Dome (I refuse to call it the Rogers Centre), the Argos will be amped up to be in front of the 20,000 or so fans that show up because the Blue Jays will have already finished off the stinkin’Yankees (hopefully for the 2nd time this weekend).
But fret not Rider faithful. This game in Toronto is VERY WINNABLE.
For one…Toronto is on a short week, and now has a new QB to prepare for. Brett Smith showed some considerable promise against the Edmonton defensive juggernaut, and if he corrects some of the things the offensive staff saw on film, the Riders may hit the numbers that Kevin Glenn had them at prior to his injury.
#16 has an advantage like no other, a great offensive line, and a beast of an RB. If there is any lesson that he took from his debut at Commonwealth Stadium, it should have been to TRUST THE GUYS HE HAS AROUND HIM. The Argos aren’t as good defensively as the Green and White’s last opponent, and definitely do not throw as many looks at an offense during a game. Things should start slowing down for Smith on Saturday, and with his strong arm and good mechanics, one should expect a significant improvement as he starts seeing things for what they truly are.
The second reason to be optimistic in Saskatchewan is that it seems as though the injury bug has taken its gaze off of the Green and White, and has shifted its focus to the Argos.
Losing Andre Durie for the year was the first Kill shot, but TO was still able to lean on Owens and Coombs in the slots to mitigate that loss. This Saturday the Argos won’t have any of those players, as Coombs and Owens both succumbed to injury versus the TiCats. Those are two huge scratches to the depth charts, and throwing Centre Jeff Keeping into that mix is tough news for a team that will be in a dogfight for playoff positioning all season long. One of the variables that makes Toronto so dangerous is their ability to spread the ball around and create favourable personnel match-ups against their opponents. Scott Milanovich has his hands full scheming against an improved D, and a limited number of weapons in his cache.
Last but not least, and maybe more importantly, the Riders have absolutely nothing to lose. It’s what makes them dangerous. There’s plenty of talent left on the roster. The only thing that needs to be present during this game is DISCIPLINE, and FUNDAMENTAL football technique. The Riders cannot keep shooting themselves in the face with penalties and missed opportunities. Other than that, the team can relax and start flying around. There’s no overhaul needed. Have some fun for a change! There is currently ZERO expectation right now! Nobody is expecting fireworks or high drama. The media is content with hammering away at the Head Coach and the Front Office of this Football Club, fans can’t seem to figure it out, and analysts are “stunned”.
Right now players should be feeling loose, explosive and ready to make a run that nobody sees coming…
Because nobody expect it…One of my former teammates said it this week,
“They’ll win because there’s no reason for them to win..."
The Saskatchewan Roughriders are as dangerous as they've ever been in 2015. You can bet the Argos know it as well.
Raise your cups to the fellas getting it done in Southern Ontario.