There't not a lot that can be said to make this interesting when we are looking at the 2nd half of a hom and home series. This is particularly the case when the Riders blow out the opposition in the first game. Nothing to complain about, nothing to want changed....it feels weird. We have a few changes due to injuries or guys coming back, but that's about it. To try and make this more interesting, try and read it to yourself in Bane's voice. For those of you who didn't see the movie, this will give you the idea. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Nrn8MOzD6Q
Projected starters: Riders - Dur-lly or Wil-rant, Cats - Burris. I'll play along with the will he or won't he play speculation about Durant. Other than his foot swelling up to the size of a volleyball on the flight, I think he plays. I thought early in the game he may not have been sharp due to the lack of practice, but you can't complain about the final results. I almost felt sorry for Hank last week....almost He really does not have a lot of playmakers around him right now. Reverse this if Darian doesn't go. In case it's Willy tomorrow, here's what I said about him last week As for Willy, we were all very impressed with him in his short yardage work early in the year, and then the big comeback win over the Bombers. But in his first start in Montreal he had a bit of a deer in the headlights thing happening, and I felt it affected his confidence the rest of the year. With better weapons on offense, a terrific running game and o-line, and a coach like Cortez getting him ready, I think we will see a much much better Willy. Edge Riders
Projected starters Riders - Sheets, Cats - Gable (Walker). Let's just keep Kory Sheets and the run game gonig as is. In the category of nit-picking, I am surprised that Sanders is averaging less than 4 yards per carry. My only explanation is with only 10 carries, the majority of those have been in garbage time where we don't do anything fancy with our blocking for him. Very tough to see McHenry go on the 9 game list. Stephenson and rookie Spencer Moore will get reps at that "H back" spot. Moore gets to play his first ever CFL game in his own backyard. CJ Gable is on the 46 for Hamilton. He's been out for a few weeks. You may remember him as the guy who dropped that sure TD against Toronto in week 1. HIs average per carry was an unimpressive 3.7. Will it be Walker of Gable? Frankly my dears, I don't give a damn. Lamar will be on the roster for sure as a returner and change of pace back. Edge Riders
Projected starters: Riders - Dressler, Getzlaf, Simon, Bagg, Smith, Cats - Giguere, Jones, Stalla, Ellingson, Grant. No changes in the Rider lineup. I am being totally serious when I say this is the kind of thing I expected from Simon. Not flashy numbers but when really needed, he read blitz and made the play on a key 2nd and 16. That completion set up the Clark TD which really broke the game open. Fun fact. Dressler's TDs have been at home this year, and Smith's have both been on the road. Hamilton has some familiar names back in the lineup who weren't there last year. Haing Stala will make a big difference for Hank on 2nd down, having a reliable experiened target. I thought Hamilton's receivers really lack that big play ability that scares defenses. Stalla and Jones will help but that is one thing they don't really provide. Edge Riders
Projected starters: Riders - T - Fulton, Heenan, G - Labatte, Best, C - Picard, Cats - T - Dile, Simmons, G - Dyakowski, Wojt, C - Hage. No changes for either team unless Figueroa comes in at tackle for Dile. No need to continue to glow about how well the Riders line is playing. We are all well aware of that. Nice to see Chris Schultz give a shout out the X-man on the Friday night broadcast. Give credit to the Rider d-line too, but Hamilton's line didn't do much to impress me last week. They couldn't open holes in the run game, and there was pretty good pressure on Burris. Edge Riders
Projected starters: Riders - E - Chick, Foley, T - Shologan, George, Cats - Marshall, Norwood, T - Bulcke, Moore. No changes on either side from last week. McElveen and Taylor will see quite a bit of action for the Riders too. McElveen has been pretty effective when he comes in. Again, give credit to how the Riders played, but the Cats got very little pass rush unless they brought blitzers last week. Browsing their fan site this, I saw some comments fromp people being unhappy so far with free agent signing Brian Bulcke. Edge Riders
Projected starters: Riders - MLB - Williams, OLB - Butler, Brown, Cats - MLB - Johnson, OLB - Bussey, Murray. I love the game Rey Williams had last week. He was dominant, but didn't do any taunting over at the Hamilton bench like he said he would. He didn't let his emotions cause him to be out of position over commit. You want to know how well our linebackers played last week? Two of them were probably each other's biggest competition for player of the week. Enough said. Consequences in Hamilton from their slow start with Knowlton getting released and Brandon Issac getting signed. Isaac is not expected to start, but he may see some action. Nate Bussey starts in Knowlton's spot. Edge Riders
Projected starters: Riders - CB - Turenne, Russ, HB - Anderson, Miller, S - Brackenridge, Cats - CB - Davis, Breaux, HB - Hobbs, Brown, S - Stephen. The Riders go with the same lineup as last week with injury replacements Turenne and Russ on the corners. You have to feel happy for a great guy like Russ, getting another chance, and playing pretty well last week with a couple of special teams hits and a forced fumble. Hamilton has lots of changes from the way they started last week. Breaux was benched last week but is back in at corner this week. Brown who was a corner last week moves to half, while Davis is a newcomer at corner. Stephen who started the game at corner last week, continues at safety where he moved to after Harris went down. This secondary literally couldn't stay with the Rider receivers last week. You know you are questionable when you play a team with the injuries the Riders have in the secondary, but the Riders still have the edge. Edge Riders
Projected starters: Riders - Sanders, Cats - Lamar. I am looking forward to Sanders breaking one all the way. He's been close. Wow are our cover teams good. Who would have guessed Paul Waldu would be leading the charge? I am surprised that we have Dressler in the endzone on FG attempts instead of Sanders. Lamar has trouble handling kicks that bounce, as we saw on the first play last week. It's almost worth using this as a strategy against him. Edge Riders
Projected starters: Riders - Milo, Cats - Congi. Well now Milo has hit one from over 40 too, even though it was wind-aided. Congi being back in to kick for Hamilton is a little odd to me. Last week Austin said that McKnight had earned a spot the way he kicked in practice. Well he didn't get much of a chance to prove himself. Luca is back in this week. I would say last week was more of a wakeup call for Congi than a chance for McKnight. We will see if it works: Edge Riders
Projected starters: Riders - Schmidt, Cats - Bartel. Schimdt has a rough introduction into kicking into the Mosiac wind. It's something that he will have to get better at, and I am sure he will. Bartel's average looked a lot better than Schmidt's last week because he got to kick with the wind a lot more than Schmidt did. Even
When the Riders have the ball
Well let's start with the obvious. The Riders are going to try and run the ball. The Cats are going to gear up to stop it. The only change in the front seven is Bussey in for Knowlton, and I really don't see how a new OLB is going to have that big an impact. I imagine the Cats will do what they did last week. Crowding the line, run blitzes, to limit Sheets. It worked early, but Cortez has the patience to stick with the running game. It appears our offensive line must be real physical the way our running game gets stronger as the game goes on. If Drew Willy starts, look for the Cats to be even more aggressive in trying to stop the run. If this is the case, Cortez is going to have to trust Willy and use the play-action game. We will have to use the same place that went to McHenry using Stephenson, Moore, Getzlaf etc. The next level of that play could be if Hamilton's linebackers overcommit to those passes outside. That could leave seams open down the middle. If Durant is playing you know we would see playaction to loosen things up. The same must happen with Willy in too.
Hamilton could not get pressure with the front four last week. In the post game Austin said they have to simplify what their guys go, because there is certain things they just can't do. My guess is he was referring to how our receivers just ran by their secondary and got open so easily. So they probably have to play less man. With so many new faces, they probably have to play fairly simple zones too. That's a bad combination, not being able to get pressure with the front four, but not having the talent to cover in the secondary either. Hamilton could be stuck having to play a pretty conservative zone. If that is the case, our veteran slots could have huge days finding the soft spots inside. If Willy is the guy tomorrow, we need him to make plays in the passing game and keep this streak going with no turnovers. We saw from Calgary it is possible for a young QB to get the job done. Especailly when he is facing a secondary as green as inexperienced as he is. This secondary is ripe for the picking, with their best cover man (McCullough) out.
A lot of times, it's in hte 2nd half of a home and home where a team will throw in a new wrinkle. Could we see a trick play like Sheets throwing a pass or a flea clicker?
When the Tiger-Cats have the ball
The Hamilton passing attack should be better this week with Stala and Jones back in the lineup. I am expecting a lot of shorter passes to try and negate out pass rush. Look for the Cats to try and complete a lot of 6-7 yard type plays to stay out of 2nd and long. They would be wise to try and establish some sort of running game, but they would have been wise to do that last week too. Where I anticpaite we will see their backs get their most work will be catching passes out of the backfield.
The Riders just need to keep doing what they did last week. They limited running lanes for Burris and kept him in the pocket. Don't get burned on a pump fake or anything and let receievers get behind you. The defense can't let up at all. At one point last week, the Cats got a first down inside the Rider 30, but they got called for offensive interference. Butler picked off Hank on the next play. Another time we really blew a coverage (from the replay it looked like Ferri) and Lamar was wide open and would have walked into the endzone if he didn't drop the pass. You can't always count on the opposition to screw up to let you off the hook up. We could see a lot of screen attempts by the Cats to slow down our pass rush. Like I said with the Riders, we may see some trickery from the Cats.
We can win this game if Drew Willy has to play, but this game will not be a gimme. That might be the case even with Durant. If Willy is the starter, it's really important for the Riders to get off to a good start. We don't want to face a situation where we are down early and end up in a situation where Willy is forced to throw for the Riders to comeback. This will let Hamilton to ignore the run and turn up the heat. No big plays on special teams, no breakdowns on defense, no turnovrs leading to short fields and easy scores. If we see this formula, the Riders have a more talented team across the board, and that should carry us to victory.
My score: Roughriders 27 Tiger-Cats 18
Page 23 of 75
RiderFans.com Forums are a place to talk Roughriders, CFL, and life with 10,000 of your closest Roughrider brethren. What are you waiting for? Register for FREE and talk some football!
RiderFans.com Live Chat
RiderFans.com Live Chat is a lively place during Roughrider games and other randomly scheduled times. Don't have a buddy to watch the game with, watch it virtually with 50 Roughrider diehards!
Visit Live Chat