The Roughriders have their work cut out for them.
Not only are they coming off a 23-17 loss to the Montreal Alouettes, but they have to turn around on a short week and play one of the league’s most dynamic quarterbacks.
Tiger-Cats pivot Jeremiah Masoli is in the midst of an eight-game streak of passing for more than 300 yards. Another 300-yard game this week against the Riders will tie a CFL record.
“He’s pretty hot right now,” defensive end Charleston Hughes said. “You can tell he’s really comfortable and poised in the pocket.”
One of the things that makes Masoli so dangerous is his quick release of the ball, it was something head coach Chris Jones pointed to on Wednesday afternoon when he was asked about Masoli.
While that can be a challenge for the defence, Roughriders Jovon Johnson sees something they can hopefully take advantage of.
“The thing with quarterbacks with quick releases is that if the DB jumps the route then nine times out of 10 it’s an interception so that kind of works in our favour,” Johnson explained. “If we know what to expect and what’s coming then we have the edge of making sure we can beat the guy to the spot and make the play.”
Interceptions are one way to cool down a hot quarterback, the other was offered by Charleston Hughes.
“I think it’s going to come down to the pass rush. We got to get to the quarterback and find a way to win up front,” Hughes said.
However, Coach Jones wants to keep it even simpler than that to get through the Tiger-Cats and get back on the winning side of the ball.
“I just want to make sure we defend the plays, don’t give anything up over the top and then when we will have our opportunities to make plays and when the opportunities are there don’t be scared to go make a football play,” Jones said.
And Hughes added after a bit of a deflating loss they’re ready to bounce back, hot quarterback or not.
“(He’s) a challenge for our defence,” Hughes said Wednesday. “I think we’re going to step up to the plate and challenge ourselves to shut these guys down and stop them.”
Game time is 7 p.m. At Mosaic Stadium.
The Green Zone begins at 3 p.m. With the pregame show starting at 5 p.m.
— Saskatchewan Roughriders (@sskroughriders) July 4, 2018
— Hamilton Tiger-Cats (@Ticats) July 4, 2018