Riders have taken notice of Argos blueprint to beat Blue Bombers

It’s a copy-cat league, this CFL thing.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have started a home-and-home with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers by not looking so good, but that’s alright. Neither did the Toronto Argonauts in the first of their back-to-back with the Bombers before laying the boots to Winnipeg in the grudge match.

The Argos did it by pounding the rock with 149 yards and a pair of touchdown scores along the ground. Something the Riders haven’t really tried against Winnipeg’s defence, yet.

Are there some gains to be made by shifting to more of a ground attack in the Banjo Bowl? Roughrider centre Dan Clark admitted to 620 CKRM play-by-play man Derek Taylor that he thinks so.

“This is my mentality but it doesn’t matter who is in front of me. I feel like we could do damage across the board in the run,” Clark said. “I think if you asked any o-lineman, they would answer the exact same way.”

Quarterback Cody Fajardo admits that Argo win earlier in the season could help the Riders finally crack the code of this stingy Blue Bomber defence.

“It’s interesting you bring that up because Toronto, the first time they played Winnipeg, they laid an egg as well and then they came out and they played really well,” Fajardo said.

“Not saying that’s the way it’s going to go, but at least there’s history to show it.”

The Riders really didn’t use the run game all that much in the labour day loss with running back William Powell getting the ball for just eight carries and 44 yards. That’s something Fajardo attributes largely to the fact they were playing from behind for much of the day, especially in the second half.

Head coach Craig Dickenson confesses he and his staff did draw some lessons from that Argo victory over The Peg but adds the Roughriders are more focused on themselves this week.

“We gotta be able to run the ball so that Winnipeg’s d-line isn’t just teeing off on us,” Dickenson said.

It remains to be seen if the Riders can run the football on this Winnipeg defence in the Banjo Bowl as effectively as the Argos did back in Week 3, but there’s only one way to find out.

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