CFL Preview - Saskatchewan (8-6) at Edmonton (6-8)
From The Sports Network
By Gregg Xenakes, CFL Editor
DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 13, 4:00 p.m. (et).
GAME NOTES: The Saskatchewan Roughriders try to run their win streak to four
in a row on Saturday afternoon, as they take on the Edmonton Eskimos at
The Riders have won a total of five games in their last six opportunities and
that has moved them into a tie for second place in the Western Division
standings with Calgary at 8-6, with both teams chasing British Columbia which
has the best mark in the league at 10-4.
On Monday afternoon, Saskatchewan enjoyed one of its most complete games of
the season as it ditched Edmonton in a 36-10 final on the road. The
Roughriders managed to overcome 11 penalties for 95 yards by limiting an
Eskimos squad, itself flagged 17 times for a whopping 126 yards, to just 223
yards of total offense in the meeting.
Darian Durant connected on 21-of-29 passes for 276 yards and a score, that
major going to Weston Dressler who caught five balls for a game-high 97 yards.
In the third quarter of that outing when Saskatchewan put the game out of
reach with 17 unanswered points, Kory Sheets galloped 48 yards to the end
zone, which accounted for a large chunk of his game-high 113 rushing yards on
As for the Esks, they too dominated late in their 35-20 win over Hamilton at
home last time out, scoring 18 unanswered points of their own in the fourth
period to put the outing of reach. Aside from a pair of interceptions, Kerry
Joseph had a very strong game for Edmonton as he converted 24-of-39 passes for
359 yards and three touchdowns to three different receivers.
Fred Stamps was pivotal in the victory which snapped a five-game slide for
Edmonton and kept them in the hunt for a postseason appearance, as he turned
nine receptions into 204 yards and a score. It was the first time since last
season that Stamps went over the 100-yard mark and his highest total since
posting 213 yards on 12 catches against Saskatchewan back in early 2010.
The change in outcome after a more than a month of futility in Edmonton could
be attributed to head coach Kavis Reed taking over the responsibilities as
offensive coordinator last week as well, but only time will tell if that
change in game management will continue to be a successful tool. The move
certainly can't hurt, seeing as how Edmonton is still next-to-last in the
league in scoring with just 22.4 ppg.
But one has to admit, the Eskimos do have a legitimate excuse for their
erratic play this season due to injuries at the quarterback position. The team
is second-to-last in the league in total passing yards (3,642) and has almost
as many interceptions (15) as passing scores (16) which is why coach Reed has
assumed more control of the squad from that aspect. Joseph has completed his
pass attempts at a decent 64.8 percent clip, but the fact that he has just as
many picks (eight) as he does majors is not a positive sign at all right now.
However, from an overall turnover standpoint, the Eskimos are second in the
league with a plus-eight in that department, thanks in large part to Joe
Burnett and Chris Thompson who both have five interceptions for the defense
and are tied for the league lead in that category. Making a major impact of
his own with a league-best four fumble recoveries, Clint Kent has returned two
of those for touchdowns, again contributing to the bottom line for the
While Edmonton is one of the top teams at taking the ball away from opponents,
the squad needs to keep in mind that Durant is not one to throw wild passes
for the Roughriders that often miss their mark. In fact, Durant has one of the
lowest interception percentages in the league, having tossed just nine picks
on 248 attempts (2.4 percent). Unfortunately for the Riders, Durant's personal
history against Edmonton has not been quite as favorable, with the signal-
caller delivering twice as many picks (12) than TDs (six) in his 20 career
games versus the Esks.
The teams split the first two meetings of the season as the Riders posted a
lopsided 17-1 victory in the second week of action, and then Edmonton
responded with a 28-20 win at home in August. Thanks to the most recent
decision, the Esks now own a 112-82-2 advantage in the all-time, regular-
season series going back to 1949.
Edmonton's bump on offense last week could be attributed to the switch made in
coaching by Reed so expecting the team to continue that positive trend is
certainly not out of the realm of possibility. However, both of these squads
are still fighting for the postseason and nothing is set in stone, so expect
the Roughriders to put up a fight this week.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Saskatchewan 27, Edmonton 23
10/10 10:49:19 ET
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