‘We got a chance to wash that bad taste out of our mouth’: Riders’ QB Cody Fajardo ‘eager’ to face Alouettes at home

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

Cody Fajardo is “eager” and “ready” to go head-to-head against the Alouettes for a second week in a row.

The Riders’ starting quarterback is hoping his team will use the back-to-back opportunity and home stadium energy to come out on top after experiencing a 37-13 defeat in Montreal last week. 

“We got a chance to wash the bad taste out of our mouth in front of our home fans, use the electricity of our fans,” said Fajardo. “They did a great job of using the electricity of their fans and making it louder and harder, especially for us on offence to communicate, so we’re looking forward to hosting them in our stadium.”

Saturday’s game is the first of five back-to-back meetings the Roughriders have set in their schedule this season. That means this Week 4 game will be the last impression Saskatchewan will leave on the Als in the regular season.

“That’s what’s so awesome about the CFL and it was unique when I first got into the league: ‘We’re playing the same team twice.’ It feels like baseball. The only thing that sucks is you got to watch that bad film all week,” said Fajardo. 

“That’s tough to do, but it humbles you and you watch how many errors you make. You can learn a lot more from losing a football game than winning a football game.”

Last week Fajardo played his first game with Logan Bandy at centre. Bandy had his first CFL start, but only had one practice to prepare for the game with an unexpected injury to veteran centre Dan Clark.

Fajardo commended the rookie for his efforts considering the team didn’t have enough time to “game plan” which involves setting up certain plays that will work against the Als defence. Bandy did suit up as the sixth o-linemen for the Riders for the first two games of the season, but it’s a lot different when you are in the middle of the line making the calls. 

The 30-year-old franchise QB is confident the offence will improve by preparing in practice as a unit and learning from their Week 3 loss. Fajardo also recognizes a part of the offensive success will come from his personal adjustments. 

“I got so much respect for those guys, they work really hard and I know that they’ll be extremely better,” said Fajardo.

“I got to help them out, a few times I held on to the ball a little bit longer than I should. I need to try and get the ball out of my hand and help these guys, move the ball down the field and give our defence a rest.”