If there are any fans that can rival the Rider Nation in volume, it might just be Bombers fans at the Banjo Bowl.
The back-to-back Saskatchewan versus Winnipeg match up has become legendary to the teams’ fans, but also to the players and coaches.
“It’s always fun to come (to Winnipeg), they love football. It’s very similar to what we have in Saskatchewan,” head coach Chris Jones said on Friday.
“It’s a great place to play,” Darian Durant said of Investors Group Field. “Their fans, they get rowdy and now that they have a couple wins under their belt their fans have definitely jumped on the bandwagon. So it’s going to be an exciting place to play this weekend.”
Exciting and loud. The Roughriders brought speakers out to the field with crowd noise for the first time this season in an effort to prepare for what they might hear.
“You can never simulate what it will be over there forsure,” Durant explained. “(But) us working the silent cadence will definitely help.”
A stronger start will also help the Roughriders be able to overcome some of their shortcomings in the 28-25 loss to the Bombers last week. For the fourth game in a row the Riders were not able to score a touchdown in the first half.
“We feel like we kind of let an opportunity slip by with the game here this past week and we want to correct our mistakes and come out on top,” Durant said.
Receiver Naaman Roosevelt echoed his quarterback’s statements saying the team need to focus on execution from the beginning of the game until the very end to walk out with the win. But to start, he’d liked the team to get on the scoreboard early and quiet the stadium.
“When you’re on the road you want to silence the crowd,” he said. “You want to get them out of the game.”
The Banjo Bowl gets started at 2 p.m. on TSN..
- The Riders only made three depth chart changes this week. That’s the smallest number of changes all season.
- Bryn Roy will start at fullback for Spencer Moore, who broke his leg in the Labour Day Classic.
- Curtis Steele practiced with the team this week but did not make the trip to Winnipeg. He’s due to come off the six-game injured list next week.
- Tyler Crapigna is expected to bounce back this week from going 1 for 3 in field goal attempts and missing a convert. He, punter Josh Bartel and long snapper Dan McDonald (in for an injured Jorgen Hus) worked tirelessly this week to get timing down.