CFL Preview - Saskatchewan (8-9) at British Columbia (12-5)
From The Sports Network
By Gregg Xenakes, CFL Editor
DATE & TIME: Saturday, Nov. 3, 10 p.m. (et).
GAME NOTES: While they may not know where they are going to be playing once
the playoffs begin, one thing is for sure, the Saskatchewan Roughriders will
be participating in the postseason no matter how their meeting against the
British Columbia Lions plays out in the final regular-season game of 2012
slated to be played at BC Place on Saturday night.
The Roughriders are a game under .500 and have lost three straight, yet still
managed to back into the playoffs as they sit in third place in the West
Division standings behind both BC and Calgary. Last week, the team was
defeated by the Toronto Argonauts at home in a 31-26 final, which means
Saskatchewan is now a game under .500 and is in danger of closing out the
regular season on a four-game slide.
Against the Argos, Saskatchewan was held scoreless through the first period of
play and then erupted for 16 points in the second quarter, but the effort
fizzled in the second half. With the loss, the Riders now have to win this
final game or have Edmonton lose earlier in the week in order to set up a
meeting with Calgary in the West Semi-Final.
Darian Durant tried to get the Riders back on track last week as he completed
24-of-38 passes for 252 yards and a score, but he was sacked four times and
had one pass intercepted, not to mention he failed on a two-point conversion
to Weston Dressler in the fourth quarter which would have certainly made
things more interesting.
Durant did complete a scoring pass to Dressler to give the receiver 13 majors
on the season, which leads the CFL with one week of games remaining. Throw in
a return for a touchdown and Dressler is second in the league in scoring among
non-kickers with 14 TDs.
Joining Dressler among the most productive scorers in the league, running back
Kory Sheets also landed in the end zone on a 24-yard run in the second frame
against Toronto, which means he now has 13 TDs of his own overall.
As for the Lions, even though they had their three-game win streak snapped
last week in a 41-21 loss to the Calgary Stampeders, they've still locked up
the top spot in the division thanks to six wins in the previous seven outings.
Against the Stamps, Travis Lulay remained on the sidelines, nursing an injury
since putting him on the field meant nothing in terms of the team's playoff
positioning, and turned the offense over to Mike Reilly who converted 19-of-26
passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns, but the signal-caller was also sacked
seven times and had a fumble that was returned for a touchdown in the first
Also making an appearance for the Lions was Thomas DeMarco who completed 3-
of-6 passes for 35 yards and was also sacked.
The good news for the Lions was that there was a Geroy Simon sighting as the
receiver caught a team-best five passes for 43 yards. Simon, who early in the
season became the league's all-time leading receiver in terms of yardage, had
missed nearly a month of action due to injury but made sure to return in time
for a tune-up heading into the playoffs.
While Simon will miss out on reaching the 1,000-yard mark for the 10th year in
a row, having recorded just 54 catches for 700 yards and a couple of scores at
this point, having him back on the field moving forward is ultimately the most
important thing for the team as he demands attention from defenses and that
tends to open up the field for other receivers.
On another positive note for the Lions, they currently lead the league in
turnovers with just 22 over the course of 17 games. Barring a complete
breakdown by the offense, BC is in line to register the fewest turnovers in
CFL history with the current mark being held by Ottawa and these same Lions at
Victorious in a 27-21 decision in the most recent meeting with BC in late
September, the Roughriders have now taken two of the last three encounters
with the Lions and because of that own a 92-81-4 advantage in the all-time
series stretching back to 1954.
For the Lions, this is a game where they just need to get through 60 minutes
without suffering any major injuries, which might mean you'll see plenty of
players who might otherwise be buried on the depth chart. On the other hand,
the Riders still have something to play for and as long as Durant can stand
upright the quarterback will have his team fighting until the end.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Saskatchewan 30, British Columbia 22
10/31 11:28:45 ET
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