The Saskatchewan Roughriders last game after a bye week didn’t go so well.
The team went into their first of two bye weeks on a high — putting up a strong showing against the Hamilton Tigercats in Week 3 for their first win of the season — only to lay an egg against the Calgary Stampeders.
This time they’re coming off a blazing hot win against the B.C. Lions and, after a week of rest, are focused on a much better effort when they take on the Edmonton Eskimos.
Offensive lineman Derek Dennis said the team knows what they need to do so that history doesn’t repeat itself — and it’s the same thing that worked against B.C. two weeks ago.
“We have to be able to come out fast and compete on the road and be able to go out there and put points up quickly,” he said. “It’s evident from when we played B.C. when we put up points fairly quickly, we’re a good team.”
In that match-up, the Riders scored 29 points in the first half and held their opponents off the board until the fourth quarter.
The team now needs to build on that start to overcome their next hurdle: a win on the road against a western opponent.
“Getting a win on the road, and starting to put wins together in succession, is really important,” said fullback Spencer Moore.
“You have to win consecutively and with a group like (us), that’s young, I think that if we get a few wins in a row it’s going to help us build towards what we’re supposed to be.”
The Riders haven’t won on the road since the 2014 playoffs, but Moore said the team can’t dwell on that particular stat if they want to be successful.
“You can’t really worry too much about what happened in the past. If you look back at it like that you’re going to thinking about losing,” Moore said.
But that doesn’t mean a win against first-place Edmonton wouldn’t be extra sweet — not only to show the Riders can win on the road, but to stay in the playoff fight.
“We’re in the toughest division in the league, we’re still last in the west,” Ed Gainey explained. “We got to keep plugging, we got to keep pushing. We can’t really depend on that (playoff) crossover.”
Gainey said looking back on the dismal record of past road games should serve as motivation heading into the game Friday.
“We don’t have to do anything spectacular, we just have to do our jobs and hopefully when we come back off the road we’ll have that W,” he said.
Kickoff for Friday’s game is at 7:30 p.m., with the Green Zone 10-hour game day beginning at 3 p.m.
Roughriders depth versus the Eskimos tomorrow: pic.twitter.com/8oeyT87H7r
— Arielle Zerr (@arielle_zerr) August 24, 2017
Here it is! The #Esks depth chart for Friday's game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
— Edmonton Eskimos (@EdmontonEsks) August 24, 2017