Riders flip the script on Ottawa in spectacular fashion

Friday night in Ottawa was a lot like Sunday afternoon in Regina for the Saskatchewan Roughriders: the only difference was the ending.

For most of the night, the Riders defence kept them in the game (though, they definitely had their issues, more on that in a bit), the cover units were strong, Josh Bartel was kicking the ball well, and the offence well… they were whatever the opposite of all of that is.

The offence was so ineffective, the green and white couldn’t even manage a single point in the first half. Something that’s hard to do in the CFL, especially against a weaker opponent. With the team playing on a short week and travelling across the country, it wouldn’t have been too surprising to see the defence get tired with how much time they had to spend on the field. That’s without even considering how well Ottawa ran the football for most of the night.

Instead, the defence hung tough once again and kept the team within striking distance. Unlike last week, the team got the spark they needed from somewhere else against the Redblacks. Christion Jones returned a kick for a touchdown, the defence forced a two and out and later recovered a fumble. Suddenly, the Riders had momentum and they never gave it back scoring 18 straight points to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Considering the West’s domination of the East this season, this was not a game the Riders could afford to lose as they battle for their playoff lives. Luckily for them, they pulled it out and right now, that’s all that matters.

Tomorrow, the corrections begin.

Game Thoughts

– It wasn’t exactly a banner night for Kevin Glenn. Whether it was the weather, his hand, or something between the ears, Glenn didn’t look strong for a second week in a row. His protection was better than against Calgary. It felt like he was very close to being pulled for Brandon Bridge, big plays by Duron Carter and Rob Bagg might have kept the veteran in the game.

– In a weird way, this feels like a fitting way for Glenn to get his 100th win.

– I can only imagine the reaction from Rider Nation if the Riders didn’t find the end zone when Vernon Adams Jr. was inserted into the game, again, near the goal line after Glenn and the offence finally found their way down the field. I still don’t like this move but Stephen McAdoo is definitely sticking with it.

– I imagine Trent Richardson will start against Toronto, Kienan LaFrance got some yards late but he might not have done enough to hang onto the starters job.

– Something has to be done about the run defence. It’s not overly surprising to see Jerome Messam have a strong game considering he generally always does against the Riders with Calgary’s strong offensive line and run game. William Powell is also a very good running back but rushing for 187 yards isn’t acceptable in any kind of way. The secondary and Willie Jefferson have been the strength of the defence, the rest of the front seven needs to step up soon or the book may be out on them. It looks even worse when Ottawa is without three starting linemen.

– That said, part of the reason the Riders were able to come back was the defence did eventually slow down Powell forcing Lindley to throw more on second down in long situations. It was ugly early, but they did figure it out. They’ll need more of that next week against Toronto.

–  I love the rouge. The game-winning score came off the foot of Bartel, which seems to have caused a bit of a split on Twitter. I think it adds an extra layer of strategy and intrigue to otherwise mundane play. As soon as that ball ended up in the end zone, that feeling of “oh here we go” was there. The coverage was right there and in that moment, Ottawa could not just concede the single because the game was tied. Especially with their third string QB. Usually, you don’t want the rouge, but sometimes it is a good thing and that’s why it’s fun. #SayYesToTheRouge.

Joel Gasson

Joel Gasson

Joel Gasson is a Regina-based sports writer, broadcaster and football fanatic.
Joel Gasson
Joel Gasson
About Joel Gasson (174 Articles)
Joel Gasson is a Regina-based sports writer, broadcaster and football fanatic.

21 Comments on Riders flip the script on Ottawa in spectacular fashion

  1. Great punt. Allowed coverage to do the rest. It’s a rouge, it’s part of the game. Use it to your advantage. Don’t complain about it…..its nothing new.

  2. It’s been many years so here it comes Roughrider’s defeated Rough Riders by a single point in last night’s game.

  3. RalphInTheCreek // September 30, 2017 at 10:25 am //

    Richardson could be seen on the sideline watching the play closely and taking notes, he’ll be in there real soon.

  4. Take it eaazz Blue. Let the lumberjacks “saw a piece off” and dress like Blacque Jacque Shellacque. We are the Riders.

  5. I thought RedBlacks to be more like monty python lumberjack!

    • Hahaha….you win Blue.

      “I cut down trees. I eat my lunch.
      I go to the lavatory.
      On Wednesdays I go shoppin’
      And have buttered scones for tea”

  6. TSN 1 made quite the Decision after 58 minutes of the Saskatchewan/Ottawa game. They moved the game to Calgary on the Channel. The Ottawa game was put on TSN 3,4 and 5. Thus the end of the game was missed by many viewers. It is difficult to comprehend why the highest TV rated team would be be cut? TSN should get their act together. Games should be shown to completion. DAO– DAO- DA

  7. Rider rooter // September 30, 2017 at 11:11 am //

    I hope the riders shape up on there run defense plus they will be facing the best qb in the league in wray next. Jones has his hands full.

  8. Unfortunately this is not new for TSN, and thus I got the rest of the TSN package for the CFL season for this very reason. TSN is failing in a lot of ways.

    • They really are garbage. 3 different college games on today but couldn’t leave the original game last night on TSN 1 and begin the second game on one of the others. What are our choices though ?…CBC (hack)

      • justforkicks // September 30, 2017 at 1:40 pm //

        I believe the plan is to sell the sports package for @ $10 a month and you get all the TSN channels. I finally did that and now, WOW about twice a season max I get out of the squeeze they put on you. The rest of the time I now am sooo pleased to have 5 channels with the exact same game for a mere upcharge to my cable bill. Games within games.
        Still happy for a win! Argos will be tough though if we can’t run or defend the run.

  9. I had to over the game because if other commitments, needless to say I was super pissed. Why show the beginning of a known blowout when the current game is tied with less than three minutes remaining. Does Kavis Reed have something to do with this?

  10. That’s supposed to say PVR the game.

  11. That and their in studio show has really taken a nose dive. Milt and Matt are terrible.

    • Personally don’t mind Dunnigan – but Rod Black can stick to figure skating as far as I’m concerned. And Suitor – for a guy who won a Cup with the Green,he sure can’t stand them

  12. Truly is difficult to understand TSN’s approach. The quality of the broadcast and the promotion (pre-game) are 2nd rate which give more fodder for the critics of the CFL.
    Not a Riders or RedBlacks fan but it was an interesting game that was getting better and more exciting as the teams were tied 17-17 and then, voila we are tuned into the Calgary game. Now that’s bush league. And while I am at it, surely there must be alternatives to the play-by-play and The Panel. let’s get some interesting, intelligent, thoughtful and oh yes, articulate, replacements who can bring something fresh, not the usual locker room crap to the game.

  13. Can see it now New Improved TSN

    Koaches Korner with Kavis

    The Mornin Juice with OJ

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