When the Riders leave for Ottawa on Friday they’re hoping they won’t return to Saskatchewan until they’ve won the Grey Cup.
After falling 28-13 to Edmonton on Saturday, the Riders’ playoff destiny has sent them through the eastern division, first to Ottawa for the semi-finals then to Toronto for the finals.
Winning both of those games would send the Roughriders back to Ottawa for the 105th Grey Cup and keep them out east for the entire duration.
Not that they would mind.
“Me and my roommate could live out of one suitcase together if we’re going to get to that Grey Cup,” quarterback Kevin Glenn joked after Saturday night’s game.
“If we have to live out of a suitcase for three weeks in order to win a Grey Cup, that’s what we’ll do,” agreed Brandon Bridge. “Our whole mindset is we actually don’t want to come back, the only time we want to come back is when we win that Grey Cup.”
The Riders have said all along it didn’t much matter to them if they played the eastern or western teams in the playoffs. And they have some confidence in their eastern playoff swing as they made a similar trip out east just a month ago with good results: they won both games.
“I think it does give us a lot of confidence knowing that those are teams that we can definitely beat. We can just go out there and do our thing,” Bridge said.
But one thing’s for sure, the Riders can’t play the kind of football they played against Edmonton if they want to win against Ottawa.
Eleven penalties hindered the Riders’ progress in the game and extended drives for the Eskimos’ offence, ultimately costing them the game.
“We just gotta learn from this going into playoffs,” said defensive back, Ed Gainey. “(We’ve got to) keep rallying around each other and making plays.”
“It’s a one-game deal now,” added head coach Chris Jones. “You get beat, you go home.”
The Roughriders square off against the Redblacks Sunday at noon on TSN.
CJME’s Roughrider reporter Arielle Zerr will be there and be providing playoff coverage throughout the week.