Life on the road has not been kind to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
The Riders last win away from Mosaic Stadium was last year’s Banjo Bowl when they beat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 30-24.
Since then, the Riders have lost 11 straight on the road including last year’s West Semifinal in Edmonton.
“It’s just tough, man. You guys see what’s going on,” said running back Jerome Messam.
“We got a lot of injuries, we got a lot of young guys that got to step up and we’re struggling right now.”
The latest loss on the road in B.C. on Saturday left the Riders on their last legs this season.
It is easier for football team to play at home than on the road as crowd noise can certainly make life miserable for opposing teams. However, that didn’t appear to be a factor on the weekend.
“B.C. had a decent crowd but we could hear (Kevin Glenn), we could hear (Brett Smith). That wasn’t an issue, communication was good. Those are issues for the o-line on the road and I thought we handled those pretty well. Obviously, we didn’t get the result we wanted,” said offensive lineman Chris Best.
The odds are astronomical that the Riders will make the playoffs this season. They not only need to win their final four games but they need an impossible amount of help as well.
First, they need Winnipeg to beat B.C. this week and then lose their remaining games. They also need the Lions and Alouettes to lose the rest of their games.
Even if the Riders got all the help they needed in order to make the playoffs, their biggest problem may in fact be themselves with three of their final four games on the road.
“I don’t know (how to explain it),” said defensive lineman Dylan Ainsworth.
“We have our next few games on the road here. It’s something we have to galvanize as a group and keep playing ball.”
Not only do the Riders still have three road games left, none of them are easy trips either. First up is a trip to Hamilton on Friday where, even without quarterback Zach Collaros, the Ti-Cats will be tough to beat and are even tougher to beat at home.
After their bye-week and a home game against a tough Edmonton team, the Riders travel Calgary to face the league-leading Stampeders.
The Riders close out the season the following week in Montreal – a place they’ve struggled historically.
Even though the odds are against them, the players won’t stop believing until it’s officially over.
“We got to hold on to that shot because that’s all we got,” said Best.