Host Saskatchewan Roughriders ordered up wind and rain
By Mitchell Blair, Riderville.com
The Saskatchewan Roughriders and Calgary Stampeders will battle on the Mosaic Stadium turf Saturday afternoon in a battle of 3-4 teams, but a third element will be involved making it a triple-threat match. The forecast is calling for rain and strong winds meaning that Mother Nature could very well determine who ends up evening their record at days end.
Saskatchewan Roughriders Head Coach Corey Chamblin says you really don’t know what to expect until you get to the stadium, but he does admit that there are a couple of different scenarios in place as to what they will do.
“The coin toss will be very important,” Chamblin said. “The coaches and I have talked about it and we have to know the factors. We have to win the coin toss and if we do, we have to know what to do if we do win it and how to defend it. There will be different game plans from both teams depending on whether or not they are with the wind or have it against them. It’s just how do we handle it on both sides.”
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Special teams will also play a huge part in the game —especially when it comes to punting the football. Second year Saskatchewan Roughriders Chris Milo knows it could be a rough day, but he says he won’t change the way he approaches the game.
“You can’t concern yourself with the weather, you just have to adapt to it,” Milo said. “You just have to do what you have to do and put the ball where it needs to be.”
Milo knows what it’s like kicking in miserable conditions at Mosaic Stadium as he did that last year in a game against Hamilton when he ended up recording the longest punt in CFL history. Milo did that when both ends of Mosaic Stadium weren’t enclosed the way they are now. He says there is a slight difference kicking the ball inside the stadium now after the renovations that have been done.
“It seems to be a little less windy in here, but it will still be difficult to do what you want to do if the forecast holds true,” Milo said. “Hopefully, I don’t get many chances to kick the ball because our offence will be able to move the ball, but if I am called upon to kick it, I’m confident that it we give them a long field to work with that our defence will be able to stop them.”
The weather could also mean the game comes down to who can run the football the best and that it will be a battle between the league’s leading rusher Saskatchewan Roughriders Kory Sheets and Calgary’s Jon Cornish. Sheets says if it should come to that, he’s OK with it. Sheets will run the ball with a new looking offensive line as both Ben Heenan and Patrick Neufeld will miss the contest due to injury. Sheets says that doesn’t matter.
“Not at all!,” Sheets insists. “Everyone in there is proven and tested and I trust every one of them. I know they can open up some holes for me and let me do what I do best.”
With the football team in the midst of a four game losing streak—a streak that started at the hands of the Stampeders, there has been a suggestion amongst some that this could be the game that makes or breaks the season. Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive end Brent Hawkins just laughs that off.
“That’s total bullcrap!,” Hawkins says with a smile on his face. “All you have to do is look at what B.C did last year to see that statement is false. This is the CFL and we all know things can change in a big hurry. We haven’t even hit the halfway mark yet so thinking that would be wrong.”
Game time is 1 o’clock. TSN will have the call with Rod Black and Glen Suitor while CKRM begins its radio coverage at 1030 with the Touchdown Club followed by the play-by-play with Rod Pedersen and Carm Carteri.
• The Saskatchewan Roughriders go into the game number one in red zone success. They have scored a touchdown 11 times in 16 possessions inside the opposition’s 20 yard line for a 69 percent rate of conversion.
• With linebacker and leading tackle Abraham Kromah on the sidelines with a broken leg, Daren Stone will make his 2012 debut with the club. Stone has previous experience with the Stampeders having played eight games for them in 2011.
• Linebacker Mike McCullough will play in his 100th consecutive game.
• In the last 15 games against one another, nine have been decided in the last three minutes including a 41-38 Calgary win in overtime in Week 4 of the 2012 season.