Friday night the Riders will be in BC to take on the Lions in a battle of winless teams. It will be the Riders’ first road game of the year… with any luck the change of scenery will jump-start their collective memory so they can remember how to call and execute a defense… preferably one that is more effective than Bill Cosby’s.
Truth be told, I am channelling my inner Saskatchewan hick and heading out to Craven for the weekend. So this was written Wednesday night… meaning its likely something will occur Thursday/Friday to render some of my points irrelevant. I’d like to say I care but by the time you read this I will likely have drowned any lingering cares I have left.
Offensively we just need to keep rolling. Ryan Smith has been ruled out which certainly hurts but between Dressler, Bagg, Getzlaf, Richardson and whichever of Taj and Williams get playing time we should be okay. Our O-line has been giving Glenn great protection and we have been calling a game plan that perfectly fits Glenn: quick short to medium passes that set up deep shots, spreading the ball around, keeping the run game a part of it. Last week BC let Burris throw for 3 TDs and close to 300 yards (based on that I could probably look decent passing against them) and allowed over 140 yards rushing. This week they will likely be without the ever-reliable Ryan Phillips. I expect their run D to tighten up (they do still have an elite set of LBs) but we should be able to exploit the pass game. BC’s D-line is not as good as Toronto’s so I expect Glenn to have the time he needs to get the ball to the likes of Dressler, Bagg and Getzlaf.
Defensively I don’t even know what to expect. BC’s O-line looked terrible last game. Outside of Olafioye there is an overall lack of talent there (they are really missing the injured Hunter Steward). Our D-line (aka the only part of our defense I have any faith in… at least when aren’t stupidly calling for 3 man rushes) should have a big advantage in the trenches. There are 2 guys you need to contain if you hope to beat BC. First, you need to keep Andrew Harris in check. He can run and he can catch… and he’s ravaged us in previous years. Second, you need to play tight on Emmanuel Arceneaux all game. He can score from anywhere and is far and away their best receiver. Hopefully we learned our lesson from our awful attempts to cove Chad Owens (when we decided to actually cover him) and will give Arceneaux the attention he deserves. I honestly expect Harris to have a big game just because. Our offense is going to put up 25 points min so all we need to do is hold BC to 3 TDs or less (they scored just 1 last week). Maybe I’ve started my Craven drinking to early but I think they can do that.
Random prediction: Shaquille Murray-Lawrence returns a kick for a TD on us.
BC is a tough, tough place to win but the Riders have been very close to winning the past 2 games. I expect BC to step up their game and play us hard but I really think this is the week the defense finally is useful. Even a somewhat competent game from them and we win.
Riders by a Dressler TD
And hey, if I’m wrong at least I’ll have 2 more days of Craven to drown the sorrows of an 0-3 start.