5 issues to look at in Saturday's Lions-Roughriders showdown at B.C. Place

It has been practically six years for the reason that B.C. Lions beat the Saskatchewan Roughriders at B.C. Place, however the Leos’ defence has been smothering.

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Saskatchewan Roughriders vs. B.C. Lions

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Saturday, 4 p.m., B.C. Place

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TV: TSN. Radio: AM730

B.C. Place is at all times awash with inexperienced when the Saskatchewan Roughriders come to city, and Saturday is predicted to be no totally different, with the B.C. Lions opening up the higher deck for the sport.

Riders Nation will symbolize portion of the 25,000-plus followers anticipated for the sport, lots of them making Vancouver dwelling. Their staff has made B.C. Place their dwelling for the previous 5 seasons too.

The Riders have gained 5 straight video games over the Leos on the Dome, although solely a type of video games was determined by a couple of rating.

It’s been so lengthy since B.C. final beat the Imply Inexperienced at dwelling, each quarterbacks in that sport — Travis Lulay and Kevin Glenn — have been lengthy retired.

B.C. vs. Saskatchewan in recent times

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  • Misplaced 23-16, Aug. 25, 2022.
  • Misplaced 31-24, Sept. 24, 2021.
  • Misplaced 27-19, Oct. 18, 2019.
  • Misplaced 45-18, July 27, 2019.
  • Misplaced 24-21, Aug. 25, 2018.
  • Received 30-15, Aug. 5, 2017.

Right here’s 5 issues to look at for Saturday …

NO. 1 WITH A BULLET

You gained’t discover Garry Peters’ title splashed all around the CFL statistics’ sheet. The Lions’ defensive again will get one entry on this week’s bundle: tied for the league lead in knock-downs (5). That void in statistical presence is proof of excellence in itself. A DB with lots of stats is an indication that groups wish to goal them; few groups wish to take a look at Peters.

He’s been with B.C. for the reason that 2018 season, however broke by means of with a career-year in 2022, selecting off 5 passes and making the CFL all-star staff for the primary time in his profession.

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So who’s the most effective DB within the league?

“My reply is me. I watch lots of tape, and there’s no bias to me — I simply really feel like I’m the most effective,” stated the 31-year-old. “I can press, I can play off protection, I can play within the slot, I can catch the ball, go up at its highest level, I’m on each route. I can play the run, I can come down and sort out.

“Taking part in the DB, you need to have all these instruments in your bag. And I really feel like I do all these issues mixed higher than everyone else.

“There’s lots of nice (DBs),” he added, citing Roughrider Roland Milligan as one, “however I really feel that I’m the cream of the crop. It’s not simply one thing you simply get up and are available out right here and say in the future. After I first bought within the league, there was no means I’d say these issues. However being a seven, eight years in now, simply understanding the sport much more, watching everyone play and understanding route ideas, I really feel like I’ve reached some extent the place I really feel I’m probably the most assured and the most effective on the sector.”

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In opposition to Toronto, the Lions’ lone loss to this point in 2022, he was flagged for go interference on the Argos’ first drive, then had 5 passes for 57 yards accomplished in opposition to him. The following sport out versus Montreal, it was one completion for 4 yards.

“It’s an offensive league — they wish to see factors. So you may’t come out right here and complain about (PI guidelines),” he stated. “Receivers get all of the glory, however on the finish of the day, defence is gonna win the championship. I simply need the ring.”

SACK ATTACK

Mason Wonderful dealt with his frying pan reduction duties effective in opposition to Calgary final week, however he’s about to get thrown into the fireplace.

B.C. has 21 sacks this 12 months, 4 behind league-leading Winnipeg, who’ve 21 after Thursday’s sport. And the ‘Riders have given up 20 sacks, second-most within the league, together with seven simply final week alone.

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Lions defensive coordinator Ryan Phillips goes to convey the warmth from each angle he can; inside, off the sting, stunts, and it’s wager Mathieu Betts will add to his league-leading complete of 9.

JUST FOR KICKS

Saturday’s tilt is predicted to be an in depth one. Of the ‘Riders’ 5 video games this 12 months, 4 have been determined by 4 factors or fewer, and the one double-digit loss (45-27 to Winnipeg in Week 2) wasn’t determined till the Bombers scored a TD within the closing three minutes.

Subject place will likely be at a premium on this one, that means B.C.’s Stefan Flintoft must shrug off his 2023 hunch. The punter has the bottom common (45.9) within the CFL this season, the worst mark of his CFL profession.

In the meantime, Saskatchewan tops the league with a 51.1 common.

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RETURN TO SENDER

As if Flintoft didn’t have sufficient to consider, he has to fret about Mario Alford.

The ‘Riders’ kick-returner had two punt returns for touchdowns in opposition to Calgary, and has now set the staff report for kick/punt return scores. Alford leads the league in complete punt-return yards (401), common (14.9) and mixed yards (711), whereas sitting second in kick-return common (23).

He has 9 returns for scores in his 33 video games, sixth all-time within the CFL beside Chad Owens and Jimmy Cunningham.

“Perhaps as soon as I’m outdated and retired, I’ll sit again on the sofa and take into consideration (the information),” he informed Postmedia Information’s Taylor Shire. “However proper now, they actually haven’t sunk in.”

HOW THE WEST IS WON

Winnipeg clawed their means again to the highest of the West Division by beating Edmonton 28-14 on Thursday. However the Lions can take it again with a victory, or hand over second place to the ‘Riders with a loss.

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Saskatchewan, of their final three video games, have misplaced to Calgary by three, beat Edmonton by one and misplaced to the Stamps by two.

“This (sport) actually will inform us the place we’re at,” ‘Riders coach Craig Dickenson informed the media this week.

” … We anticipate to be on this sport. We anticipate to win it.”

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