CFL Preview - Edmonton (3-11) at Saskatchewan (9-5)
From The Sports Network
By Gregg Xenakes, CFL Editor
DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 12, 4:30 p.m. (et).
GAME NOTES: With their four-game slide finally behind them, the Saskatchewan
Roughriders can now focus their attention on the Edmonton Eskimos as the teams
meet up at Mosaic Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The most dominant team in the CFL through the first two months of the season,
Saskatchewan came out of the gate with five straight wins and was 8-1 after
nine games before hitting the skids. The team had just one win in five chances
during the month of September, but managed to put an end to the rough patch
with a 31-17 victory over British Columbia last week.
Already locked into the playoffs, the Riders are tied with BC for second place
in the West Division standings, four points off the pace set by Calgary,
although there is still much to be determined in terms of playoff positioning.
The good news for the Riders is that they were able to get Kory Sheets back
onto the field versus BC, the running back gaining a game-high 80 yards and
scoring a pair of majors in the victory. Quarterback Darian Durant connected
on 21-of-31 pass attempts for 234 yards and a score, with six completions
going to Sheets who added another 41 yards through the air.
The appearance at BC Place by the Roughriders brought back the league's all-
time leading pass catcher, Geroy Simon, to the place he once called home for
12 seasons. Simon caught just one pass for 13 yards in the outing.
Penalties played a major role in the contest on both sides, with Saskatchewan
being flagged seven times for a loss of 118 yards, and the Lions losing 138
yards on 13 infractions.
As for the Eskimos, a team which has had very little to cheer about this
season, they figured to have a fighting chance during their home date with
Montreal during Week 15 action, but in the end Edmonton was blown away in a
47-24 final. Victorious just three times in 2013, Edmonton has dropped two
straight after winning back-to-back decisions against Winnipeg in a span of
six days last month.
Against the Alouettes, Edmonton fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter and was
down 31-3 at intermission before coming up with 21 points in the fourth
period. Unfortunately for the Esks, Montreal tallied 15 points in the final
frame to keep from being challenged.
After being knocked out of the game against Toronto a week earlier with a head
injury, it wasn't until just hours before kickoff that Mike Reilly was
announced as the starting quarterback for the Eskimos. Reilly completed 13-
of-21 passes for 180 yards, but he was picked off twice and did not return in
the second half as he gave way to backup Jonathan Crompton.
The reserve signal caller entered the game with little pressure and managed to
show some fight in the fourth quarter as he threw touchdowns to Shamawd
Chambers (two) and Fred Stamps, but at the same time he also tossed three
interceptions which effectively ended any real threat to Montreal. Crompton
completed half of his 26 attempts for 204 yards.
Unlike Montreal which gained 188 yards and scored twice on the ground, the
Eskimos did little in the way of running the football with just 11 attempts
for 45 yards. Then again, much of that can be attributed to the fact that
Edmonton was playing from behind and could not waste time with minimal gains.
Chambers finished the meeting with five catches for 87 yards, while Adarius
Bowman matched his season high with seven receptions for a game-high 111
Edmonton's trouble with producing on the ground was not limited to last week
however, seeing as how the group is last in the league with just nine rushing
touchdowns. Then again, the Eskimos are third in the CFL with 99.1 ypg
rushing, so something's just not right for a group that is second-to-last in
scoring with only 24.3 ppg.
Despite their recent slump, the Riders are still one of the top offensive
teams in the league this season, having run more plays (1,144) than any other
team and placing second in scoring (29.9 ppg) behind only Calgary.
Edmonton leads the all-time series by a count of 113-84-2, taking into account
only regular-season matchups dating back to 1950, but it was Saskatchewan that
won the most recent encounter two months ago, 30-27, on the road and has now
taken two straight and three of the last five overall.
The squads are also slated to meet in the regular-season finale on Nov. 2 back
here in Regina.
With still much to be determined when it comes to playoff seedings and
matchups, this is the sort of opportunity that the Roughriders cannot let slip
away. Edmonton might have the luxury of playing without any real pressure, but
this is the time for Saskatchewan to show its real potential for 2013.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Saskatchewan 34, Edmonton 22
10/09 11:15:55 ET
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