Saskatchewan Roughriders open as short home favourites over suddenly hot Edmonton Elks

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The Saskatchewan Roughriders have opened as short favourites against the Edmonton Elks this week.

The Riders are coming off an embarrassing performance in the Banjo Bowl as they suffered a 51-6 loss at the hands of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. However, the club has still won two of their last three games and remains in the hunt for a playoff spot in the West Division at 6-6. The team currently trails the B.C. Lions by four points in the standings with the season series tied at one game apiece. The rubber match is set for Sept. 29 in Vancouver.

Second-year quarterback Jake Dolegala has thrown for 885 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception this season with a 2-1 record as a starter. It appears likely that he will remain the team’s No. 1 passer this week, though Mason Fine was recently moved from the six-game injured list to the one-game injured list with a hamstring issue that dates back to mid-August. He was a limited participant in practice this past week.

Edmonton has won three of their last four games since opening the season with an 0-9 record. The club mounted a shocking comeback against the Calgary Stampeders this past week, during which they rattled off 18 unanswered fourth-quarter points to win on a last-second field goal from Dean Faithfull.

Tre Ford has thrown for at least one touchdown pass in each of his five starts this season, posting a 3-2 record. He has completed 70.1 percent of his passes for 990 yards, six touchdowns, and three interceptions and carried the ball 39 times for 401 yards and two touchdowns.

Saskatchewan has a 2-0 record against the Elks this season with both wins coming in tight contests. The Riders came away with a 17-13 victory at Commonwealth Stadium on June 11 after they stuffed Kai Locksley on three consecutive plays along the goal line. On July 6, Saskatchewan scored a late touchdown to tie the game before CJ Sims failed to bring the ball out of the end zone on the ensuing kickoff, helping the Riders win 12-11.

Chris Jones has a 1-4 record against his former team since returning to Edmonton as their head coach and general manager ahead of the 2022 season. The 56-year-old served as the head coach and general manager of the Saskatchewan Roughriders from 2016 to 2018 before departing for a job in the NFL.