Even a win might not be enough for the Saskatchewan Roughriders this week against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
The Riders playoff hopes are down to the slimmest of margins as the team not only needs to beat one of the best teams in the CFL on Friday but get a whole lot of help just to see those hopes live for another week.
“You fight to the absolute death. That’s the biggest thing,” said defensive back Paul Woldu.
“There’s just no time to waste. We just don’t have an option.”
A team with their back against the wall can be a dangerous one. We’ve seen many examples throughout sports of a team putting off elimination for another team as desperate times bring about desperate measures.
“It’s like backing a dog into a corner, right?” said Woldu.
“When you got to fight and the only way you can go is forward. We’re going to go balls to the wall.”
Even though the Riders do not control their destiny when it comes to the playoffs, they do control their pride.
Pride is a powerful thing in sports and even though this team is very unlikely to actually get close to making a playoff spot. They’re looking to restore some pride after taking a major beating last week at the hands of the B.C. Lions.
“We definitely came out in B.C. and crapped a brick,” said Allen.
“We’re looking this week to gain that back.”
The entire team will be looking to regain some pride against the Ticats. The offence struggled by only putting five points on the board through the first three quarters and the defence was shredded by a rookie quarterback.
No matter the situation, the team feels they need to show that pride every week.
“Regardless if we give up 250 (yards), 450 yards, 150 (yards, it’s pride every week. We got to come out here and do it again,” said defensive back Marshay Green.
ANOTHER ROOKIE PIVOT
For the second week in a row, the Riders will be facing a quarterback making his second career CFL start.
Jeff Matthews will be under centre for Hamilton as once again replaces Zach Collaros who is done for the season with a torn ACL.
Last week, Johnathon Jennings ripped apart the Riders defence to the tune of 364 yards and four touchdowns.
“Even (Matthews) wasn’t a good quarterback, he wouldn’t be playing. They have full confidence in him. They didn’t really limit their offence, we have to prepare for their full offence,” said interim head coach Bob Dyce.
Dyce didn’t think his team took Jennings lightly heading into last week’s game.
According to Dyce, no quarterback is ever taken lightly in football. It’s those outside the locker room that make a bigger deal out quarterbacks being inexperienced.
“If they’re professional football players and they’re playing this league – they’re very good players,” said Dyce.
“We don’ ever take light of anybody because it’s a second stringer or third string.”
Receiver Chris Getzlaf returns to the lineup after missing the last six weeks because of a foot injury. Centre Dan Clark is also suffering from a concussion, Corey Watman will make his first career start at centre.
Added to the roster:
Receiver Chris Getzlaz
Removed from the roster:
Centre Dan Clark (six-game injured list)
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