It may have been the Roughriders worst showing yet.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats walked all over the Roughriders Saturday night, beating the team 53-7. The Roughriders didn’t score a single touchdown in the effort, and Darian Durant threw four interceptions.
For his part, Durant said that was the type of game film you throw out rather than review.
“It’s frustrating any time you don’t execute well and you don’t play well,” he said. “Of course, everything is going to be put on my shoulders, and I’m willing to take that, but we have to play better as an offence.”
The offensive line struggled against the Hamilton defence, which put pressure on Durant throughout the game and managed four sacks.
Durant attributed some of that to a young offensive line who is still getting the hang of going up against a CFL defence.
“I just think the chemistry isn’t there with the guys, the way they communicate, the way they pass off games … it’s tough, especially when you’re dealing with a couple of rookies up front who have never seen a moving defence like Hamilton has,” he said. “It’s not easy, but you just have to roll with the punches.”
Dan Clark said they can’t let injuries be an excuse for him and his linemates. They expect everyone to play at a high level and “be better than the person playing right now.”
“We just got to be mentally there,” he added. “Myself, I just got to be able to direct traffic better and be able to put guys in better situations to win their one on ones.”
When asked, Chris Jones also admitted the offensive line had to be better at protecting Durant, but had one caveat.
“We can’t let guys run free up the middle and we got a 33-year-old quarterback that needs some protection, then when he does get protection he’s got to do a better job of protecting the football,” Jones said.
The offensive line will likely get some help this week from one of its veterans. Xavier Fulton practiced Tuesday for the first time in several weeks. Jones said they are testing out how he feels and hopes he’ll be ready to play on Friday.
And it’s Friday’s game in Edmonton where the team prefers to focus. In fact, the next four weeks will be pivotal to the Roughriders’ chances of making it to the post-season as they take on four western opponents.
“It’s an opportunity for us to try to close the gap. We’re not where we want to be,” Jones said. “We’ve got to go in and approach it the same way we would week one … we’ve got to go in with a solid mindset.”
“It’s all about how you bounce back, “Durant added. “We’re not going to hold our heads down … we have a big time opportunity against a good team (Edmonton) and we have to be ready for them.”
- Rob Bagg is “doubtful” for the game against Edmonton. Jones said he is pretty banged up.
- The Roughriders made a couple of roster moves Tuesday signing defensive lineman Torrey Davis and linebacker Bryn Roy. The team released defensive back Major Culbert and running back Dillon Campbell.