It’s Rider game day.
Only six days removed from the green and white’s home opener, the Roughriders are travelling to Ottawa to take on the RedBlacks in a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Semi-final, which the Riders won 31-20.
The names are a little different this time around, with the additions and losses both teams had during the offseason, but that doesn’t change the fact the RedBlacks likely still feel robbed following the playoff defeat.
The Riders go into the game with a 1-0 record, and this will be the RedBlacks first game of the 2018 year. Saskatchewan’s defense was heavily leaned on in the week-one victory and will have to be stellar heading into tonight’s game if the team expects to go 2-0 to start the season, something they haven’t done since 2013. That year the team started 5-0, and went 11-7 overall on their way to a Grey Cup championship.
Last week’s 27-19 win was largely due to the Riders’ ability to get at Ricky Ray and the Toronto Argonauts' defense. Former Calgary Stampeder Charleston Hughes kicked off his career with the green-and-white by recording three sacks, a fumble recovery, and four tackles, enough for Hughes to be named top performer of the week. Derrick Moncrief led the Riders with eight defensive tackles and Nick Marshall had the lone interception, a 66-yard pick that spread the lead to 24-12.
On offense, new quarterback Zach Collaros had a solid debut, going 18/25 with 203 yards passing and a touchdown. Jerome Messam (72 yards) and Tre Mason (37 yards) combined for 109 yards on the ground on 26 carries. Caleb Holley was the leading receiver for the team, with 47 yards on only 2 receptions, while Naaman Roosevelt had the lone touchdown catch and 30 yards receiving in the win.
Rookie placekicker Brett Lauther also had an impressive debut when called upon, going 4/5 including a 46-yard field goal.
THINGS TO KEEP AN EYE ON
KEEPING UP WITH THE CARTERS: Duron Carter will be starting on the defensive side of the ball tonight after 36 yards receiving in the season opener. Carter has tweeted through the week, explaining to fans that he’s not just a fill-in on defense, but a perennial threat on the corner.
HATS OFF 2.0: Charleston Hughes was vocal this last week following his prediction of getting a hat trick of sacks in week one. Hughes said to not be surprised if he ends up with six sacks following tonight’s game.
IN COLLAROS WE TRUST: A big question heading into the season was who’s going to be the guy behind centre for the Riders, but Collaros got the snaps in week one. He will start this week, but if he falters we will see Bridge behind centre.
You can hear the game this afternoon beginning with the pre-game show at 2:30 on CJNB-CJNS and Rod Pederson has the call at 5:30 on the Roughriders Radio Network.
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