It seems like the offence finally has some answers.
After weeks of questions about what was wrong with it, the Roughriders delivered a game more like what fans had been expecting.
Zach Collaros threw for 394 yards and a touchdown, Tre Mason rushed in for another and Nick Marshall guided the offence over the goal-line in short yardage for another two.
“We were just able to stay on the field and when you can sustain drives you run more plays and naturally you gain more yards and score more touchdowns,” Collaros said after practice Thursday.
Two Roughrider receivers saw 100-plus yard games in the matchup — Kyran Moore with 126 and Shaq Evans at 114. Newcomer Kenny Shaw also showed up with five receptions for 75 yards and provided a big boost for Collaros.
“A quarterback’s best friend is a guy who knows where to be (and) when to be there, so (Shaw) does a great job at that and we’re all getting better at that,” Collaros noted, adding he is dealing with a relatively new receiving corps.
Jordan Williams-Lambert, Evans and Moore are all CFL rookies, but Collaros is continuing to see improvement and it’s showing on the football field.
“As these guys who haven’t played up here very much continue to gain more experience they’ll feel more comfortable as the quarterbacks will with them (too),” he said.
And speaking of comfort, that’s exactly what right tackle Thaddeus Coleman pointed to as their reason for success.
“I think we’re just getting more cohesive with each other and taking more shots,” Coleman said. “Defences having to respect our running game because that hasn’t stopped yet so guys are coming down and we’re getting more one on ones with our wide receivers and Zach’s putting (the throws) on a dime.”
The offensive line has also come into their own after a rocky start to the season. The Roughriders have the fewest sacks allowed this season – just 16 of them – and have bolstered a strong Roughriders running game.
Between the Riders two key backs, Mason and Marcus Thigpen, the team has earned nearly 1,100 yards rushing and five touchdowns. And Coleman loves that the team has variety at the position.
“It’s fun, man, because the defence can’t key in on one thing that the running back can do. Tre’s more of a down hitter guy and we got Thiggy (Thigpen), the big play guy. It’s great having them back there. You got both of them that can catch out of the backfield as well and that’s tough to cover,” noted Coleman.
Now the Roughriders just have to repeat the effort against a tough Edmonton Eskimos team coming off a 30-3 loss.
“There’s still a lot to build off, there’s lots of teaching on the tape and we got to get better this week. We face a really good opponent,” Collaros said.