It was a rough go for the Roughriders the last time they played the first place Calgary Stampeders, but this time they’re hoping for a different outcome.
The teams played each other last in late July and Kevin Glenn was sacked five times in the game. The Riders couldn’t get off the ground offensively or defensively and ended up losing 27-10.
But the Riders have won four more games since then and are itching for their second shot against the league leaders.
“It’s going to be a test whether we can sit there and make those same plays over and over and over, whether we can establish the run. It’s going to be very interesting to see where we stack up … I can’t wait,” said Chris Jones after Saturday’s walkthrough.
Consistency will be the key for the Riders if they hope to get past their division rivals and capitalize on the Edmonton bye week and B.C.’s loss Friday night. Calgary is a team that makes few mistakes, so defensive back Jovon Johnson said they have to take advantage when the opportunity arises.
“One thing about Bo Levi is that he doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, but in the event that he does we got to make him pay,” he explained. “Teams haven’t done a very good job of making him pay because he’s put some balls in places that should have been picked off but at the end of the day they live off what they do best and he’s an accurate guy.”
“We just got to be able to make sure we don’t let guys get behind us, make them have to drive the field to try to beat us and we’ll be fine.”
On the offensive side of the ball, the Riders have made a change to their starting running back, opting for Josh Harris over Canadian Kienan LaFrance.
“He’s been here long enough we feel like he knows our offensive well enough, last week we were debating whether to play him, this week he had a really good week of practice and he gives us a good blocker and a good runner,” Jones explained.
And for Harris, it’s an opportunity he’s been waiting for.
“As soon as I came in I tried to see all the things that I should see and try to make sure I learn the things that I should learn. So I feel like I should be okay. I am very excited to get out there.”
Harris has only been with the Riders for a couple of weeks, so to get the starting nod so early is a big deal for him and he’s confident in his ability to get out there and make an impact.
And with Cameron Marshall still on the six game injured list and LaFrance and Greg Morris waiting in the wings, Harris knows there are no guarantees for him behind this week, so he plans to leave it all out on the field.
“I see that as trying to make sure I’m doing all the things I should do because at the end of the day I’m not sure if I will play next week or the week after that so I’m just worried about me going out on the field and doing everything I can do right now.”
— Arielle Zerr (@arielle_zerr) September 23, 2017
— Calgary Stampeders (@calstampeders) September 23, 2017