PREVIEW: Saskatchewan Roughriders vs B.C. Lions
The Roughriders are in BC looking to end a three game losing streak, against arguably the best team in the league.
It's been a rough go for the green and white, after starting the season 3-0, they've dropped their last three games, thanks mostly to a number of little mistakes piling up. From turnovers, to penalties, to dropped passes, it all seems to be going against the Riders since they beat the Lions in week three.
"No team has really come out and beat us," said defensive end Brent Hawkins. "Everyone has their own little mistakes on game day."
It may sound cocky, but Hawkins is right. The Riders have yet to be dominated from start to finish this season, and could easily still be undefeated if they were able to keep those mistakes in order, but that's all woulda, shoulda, coulda, didn't. Now they need to right the ship.
Earlier this week head coach Corey Chamblin said that they know have the line up that they want, but there will still be some changes. The most notable is Chris Best replace Dominic Picard at centre because of injury.
"He's a heck of althlete, he can slide up and down," said offensive line assistant coach Dan Goodspeed. "He's making great calls for our offensive linemen, he's been pretty sharp."
Best told us earlier this week that he's been making calls in his head for years, so that part of the game shouldn't be to difficult. It's the snaps he has to work on. The man on the other end of that, quarterback Darian Durant is pretty confident in Best, but he knows the game is a different situation.
"When it gets live, we'll see if he has to make 40-50 good snaps, then we'll see where he really is," said Durant. "He's had a great week of practice, and if he keeps getting better, mentally from here to the end of the game, I think he'll be fine."
Defensive back Woodny Turenne wil also return to the line up after missing a few weeks with an injury.
There will be one big omission from the Lions line up...defensive lineman Khalif Mitchell won't be playing, after his suspension was upheld for nearly ripping off the arm of the Eskimos Simeon Rottier last month.
"They have still have players that can step in and make plays," said Durant. "Like I said, I don't want to take anything away from the guy who's up next, but he's not Khalif."
With or without Mitchell, the Lions will present a huge chalenge for the Riders on both sides of the ball. With the line up now apparently finalized, without Picard of couse, we should know by the end of the night where this team stands.