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The Saskatchewan Roughriders drought in Calgary continues. Jon Cornish and the Stampeders were too much for the green-and-white on Friday night as they handed the Riders their first loss of the season by a score of 42-27.

It was not the type of football we saw from the Riders in July when they roared out of the gates to win their first five games as they were plagued with a lack of discipline that cost them several times over the course of the game.

Head Coach Corey Chamblin was more than aware of that at games’ end.

“The penalties and turnovers are part of the game and they are going to happen,” Chamblin told 620 CKRM’s Carm Carteri moments after the final gun had sounded. “ Sometimes you make mistakes and whoever makes the least amount usually wins the football game. Tonight, you tip your hat to what is a very good football team because they won that battle, but we will learn from this.

For the first time this season, Chamblin had to speak to his players after a loss. He says the message was still a positive one.

“We just have to stay together. “Chamblin said. “We aren’t happy with the fact that we went 0-1 this week, but we just have to stay together and clean some things up. They are a good football team, but so are we. We just need to get back on track and start the second third of the season on a winning note.”

Defensive back Tyron Brackenridge knows his team was guilty of not playing Rider football saying it was an effort that didn’t leave them in a happy mood.  While Cornish ran for 175 yards, Brackenridge says it wasn’t anything that the Stampeders did, it was what he and his defensive mates didn’t do.

“He did what he did every week,” Brackenridge commented. “It was just us and it comes down to us. We didn’t stop him the way that we have in the past and he went out and got his touchdowns. In the end, it comes down to penalties and turnovers. We had some bad penalties and they turned the ball over while we couldn’t. We can’t let our emotions get the best of us and a lot of penalties were emotion-based. We have to be level-headed because when emotion gets the best of you it puts you in a bad situation.”

While Brackenridge was spitting nails after the game, he also acknowledged that one game isn’t going to change what has been a solid season and put this team into a downspin.

“This is not the end of the world. This was not a playoff game, this was not a championship game. “Brackenridge preached. “We still have 14 guaranteed games before the playoffs come. We take this as a learning lesson and come back out next week looking to be that Rider defense and that Rider team that everyone has known us for this season.”

While the defense struggled, the offense had its moments, but a slow start got them to the point where catching up was a tough hill to climb.

Darian Durant did throw for 278 yards and three touchdowns with two of those TD tosses going to Chris Getzlaf.  Number 89 says it was a situation where he felt the Stampeders were perhaps a little hungrier than his team at the start of the game and it showed.

“They were fired up and they were bringing the heat, “Getzlaf admitted. “They created an early turnover and they capitalized. We came back in all three phases of the game in the third quarter and we got to within a score. We just couldn’t keep that momentum going in the 4th quarter. If we could have done that, we might have come out of here with the win,”

The team will now return to Mosaic Stadium for a game Saturday, August 17 against the Montreal Alouettes. Game time is 2 o’clock.

 

GAME NOTES:

  • Kory Sheets continues his assault on the CFL’s single season record for most rushing yards in a season. Sheets had his 6thstraight 100 yard game after running for 133 yards.
  • Darian Durant has now gone 139 pass attempts this season without throwing an interception
  • Chris Getzlaf’s two TD’s gives him 30 career touchdown receptions putting him ahead of Tom Campana into 9th place all time in Rider history. Bobby Thompson is 8th with 31 while Gord Barwell is 7thwith 32,
  • For the 5th straight game, the Rider defense did not allow a point in the 3rd quarter. 

     

    The Saskatchewan Roughriders drought in Calgary continues. Jon Cornish and the Stampeders were too much for the green-and-white on Friday night as they handed the Riders their first loss of the season by a score of 42-27.

    It was not the type of football we saw from the Riders in July when they roared out of the gates to win their first five games as they were plagued with a lack of discipline that cost them several times over the course of the game.

    Head Coach Corey Chamblin was more than aware of that at games’ end.

    “The penalties and turnovers are part of the game and they are going to happen,” Chamblin told 620 CKRM’s Carm Carteri moments after the final gun had sounded. “ Sometimes you make mistakes and whoever makes the least amount usually wins the football game. Tonight, you tip your hat to what is a very good football team because they won that battle, but we will learn from this.

    For the first time this season, Chamblin had to speak to his players after a loss. He says the message was still a positive one.

    “We just have to stay together. “Chamblin said. “We aren’t happy with the fact that we went 0-1 this week, but we just have to stay together and clean some things up. They are a good football team, but so are we. We just need to get back on track and start the second third of the season on a winning note.”

    Defensive back Tyron Brackenridge knows his team was guilty of not playing Rider football saying it was an effort that didn’t leave them in a happy mood.  While Cornish ran for 175 yards, Brackenridge says it wasn’t anything that the Stampeders did, it was what he and his defensive mates didn’t do.

    “He did what he did every week,” Brackenridge commented. “It was just us and it comes down to us. We didn’t stop him the way that we have in the past and he went out and got his touchdowns. In the end, it comes down to penalties and turnovers. We had some bad penalties and they turned the ball over while we couldn’t. We can’t let our emotions get the best of us and a lot of penalties were emotion-based. We have to be level-headed because when emotion gets the best of you it puts you in a bad situation.”

    While Brackenridge was spitting nails after the game, he also acknowledged that one game isn’t going to change what has been a solid season and put this team into a downspin.

    “This is not the end of the world. This was not a playoff game, this was not a championship game. “Brackenridge preached. “We still have 14 guaranteed games before the playoffs come. We take this as a learning lesson and come back out next week looking to be that Rider defense and that Rider team that everyone has known us for this season.”

    While the defense struggled, the offense had its moments, but a slow start got them to the point where catching up was a tough hill to climb.

    Darian Durant did throw for 278 yards and three touchdowns with two of those TD tosses going to Chris Getzlaf.  Number 89 says it was a situation where he felt the Stampeders were perhaps a little hungrier than his team at the start of the game and it showed.

    “They were fired up and they were bringing the heat, “Getzlaf admitted. “They created an early turnover and they capitalized. We came back in all three phases of the game in the third quarter and we got to within a score. We just couldn’t keep that momentum going in the 4th quarter. If we could have done that, we might have come out of here with the win,”

    The team will now return to Mosaic Stadium for a game Saturday, August 17 against the Montreal Alouettes. Game time is 2 o’clock.

     

    GAME NOTES:

    • Kory Sheets continues his assault on the CFL’s single season record for most rushing yards in a season. Sheets had his 6thstraight 100 yard game after running for 133 yards.
    • Darian Durant has now gone 139 pass attempts this season without throwing an interception
    • Chris Getzlaf’s two TD’s gives him 30 career touchdown receptions putting him ahead of Tom Campana into 9th place all time in Rider history. Bobby Thompson is 8th with 31 while Gord Barwell is 7th with 32,
    • For the 5th straight game, the Rider defense did not allow a point in the 3rd quarter. 
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Rod Pedersen 

Rod Pedersen is the play-by-play voice of the Riders. He is a weekly contributor to Riderville.com, sharing his point of view on news from the green and white.

It's time for reflection.

Just like exactly one year ago at this time, the Saskatchewan Roughriders have opened the CFL season with a 3-0 record and understandably, the province is going nuts.

I think most fans will admit to their mind drifting, for at least a minute, to imagine where the inevitable Grey Cup parade will begin, and end. 

However, far fewer people have stopped to think about what also happened last year at this time.  As you recall, the bottom fell completely out and the team suffered through a painful five-game losing streak on its way to a 5-10 record after that torrid start.

How do we know if won't happen again?

We don't.

But head coach Corey Chamblin admits that things are far different from 12 months ago.  He's done a lot of self-study, not only on his team, but of himself as well.

Chamblin won't reveal all of what he learned, but he's admitted to pulling his horns in somewhat and not making those brash, bold guarantees which were front-page news and led off SportsCentre weekly.

"Last year it was a young team and I had to get those guys going with the macho/bravo stuff," Chamblin laughed.  "It's still there, behind closed doors, and the team knows I'm still that fiery coach.  

"I'm not afraid to make the public statements but I think my statements are at the end of the game where the scoreboard says it."

So far, so good.  The team generally does what Chamblin says it will and through these opening three games, they've made some real good teams look bad.

That's a change from last year, where the 3-0 start, with a rookie coach and a roster which had been totally overhauled, was truly jaw-dropping.  Even the team surprised itself, playing error-free football.  They were nearly perfect.

This is different.  Much was expected of the Roughriders going into the season and they have not disappointed.  I mentioned in training camp that this is a veritable all-star team and they've looked very much the part, so far.

But I've also mentioned that adversity is hiding in the shadows, ready to pop out without warning.   It may have reared its head already with last week's ankle injury to prized quarterback Darian Durant.   He's been as good as anybody, but left Thursday's 39-28 win in Toronto in the third quarter.

"I do not have an update," Chamblin said upon the team's return to Regina.  "I haven't spoken to (the medical staff).  I just know it's an ankle injury and we'll assess it in the next couple of days."

Over the weekend Durant went for x-rays, which turned up negative, and Darian Tweeted that he'll be rehabbing the injury for this week's game, Sunday at home to Hamilton (5:00 pm kickoff on TSN and CKRM).

Durant then missed two days of practice this week (Monday and Wednesday) before being in full pads for Thursday's workout. 

What's going on here? 

"Definitely you worry about it," Chamblin admitted. "But at the same time, if he's not able to go, (back-up) Drew Willy's up and that also maybe gives Tino Sunseri some time in there as a back-up.  We just have to move on and hopefully it's not a more-than-a-couple-of-days thing."

And let's remember one more thing; these season-opening win streaks are fun to talk about and sell a lot of tickets but they don't amount to a hill of beans come November.

The 2008 Riders went 6-0 to start the season under Ken Miller, their best start since 1928, but Miller's bunch didn't even get out of the Western Semifinal in their own stadium.

Slow and steady wins the race.  But they sure look real good right now.

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Fri Jun 14: Saskatchewan vs Edmonton 7:00 pm

 

Thu Jun 20: Calgary vs Saskatchewan  8:00 pm

 

Sat Jun 29: Saskatchewan vs Edmonton 1:30 pm 


Fri Jul 05: Calgary vs Saskatchewan  7:00 pm


Thu Jul 11: Saskatchewan vs Toronto  5:30 pm


Sun Jul 21: Hamilton vs Saskatchewan  5:00 pm


Sat Jul 27: Saskatchewan vs Hamilton  5:30 pm


Fri Aug 09: Saskatchewan vs Calgary  7:00 pm


Sat Aug 17: Montreal vs Saskatchewan 2:00 pm


Sat Aug 24: Saskatchewan vs Edmonton  2:00 pm


Sun Sep 01: Winnipeg vs Saskatchewan  2:00 pm


Sun Sep 08: Saskatchewan vs Winnipeg 2:00 pm


Sat Sep 14: Toronto vs Saskatchewan  7:30 pm


Sun Sep 22: BC vs Saskatchewan  2:30 pm


Sun Sep 29: Saskatchewan vs Montreal  11:00 am


Fri Oct 04: Saskatchewan vs BC  8:00 pm


Sat Oct 12: Edmonton vs Saskatchewan  2:30 pm


Sat Oct 19: BC vs Saskatchewan  5:00 pm


Sat Oct 26: Saskatchewan vs Calgary  5:00 pm


Sat Nov 02: Edmonton vs Saskatchewan  3:00 pm

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Wins have been few and far between for the Saskatchewan Roughriders at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium, but Saskatchewan Roughriders Head Coach Corey Chamblin didn’t want to talk about history when talking about his team opening up the 2013 CFL season in Edmonton.

“Last time we were there, we won.” Chamblin said as he shrugged his shoulders. “Last time we were there we won and that’s what I told the guys. Its tough period to win on the road no matter where you go, but we just have to have the mentality that we have to win on the road no matter where it is.”
It is only week 1, but it is a road game against a Western Division opponent. It is a chance to make a statement, but defensive tackle Keith Shologan won’t go as far as calling it a statement game.
“It’s a big game because it is a road game against a Western Division opponent, but its Week 1 and we are going to see what type of team we have. The team we have now isn’t the team we will have at the end of the season because we are going to develop so much on both offense and defense. This week will be the first stepping stone which is going to be foundation of what we do this year.”
The two teams met to start the exhibition season with the Riders winning 31-24, but Shologan says you can’t even look at that game and use it as a precursor as to what might happen Saturday afternoon.
“We had lots of success that night, but it looked like an exhibition game on both sides of the ball. “ Shologan said. “We know it will be a lot different than what we saw then and we know they are thinking the same thing.
Darian Durant is of the same mindset. Even though he was beat up by a Calgary team that sacked him five times last week, he hasn’t lost any confidence in the offensive line for the fact that last week was an exhibition contest.
“I’m comfortable with our o-line,” Durant countered. “Calgary came out and did things last week we didn’t game plan for because it was pre-season. We didn’t worry about what they were doing, we were just trying to execute our game plan. My confidence in the o-line hasn’t wavered any.
One of those starting five on the o-line that Durant has confidence in is 2nd year lineman Ben Heenan. Last year’s number one pick was forced into a starting role in Game 1 last season when Chris Best went down to injury and as this season begins, Heenan once again finds himself a starter as he takes over for Patrick Neufeld at right tackle. It’s a challenge that Heenan is more than ready to accept.
“Its different than guard and I have to get used to adjusting my angles,” Heenan admitted. “ I’m getting a lot of help out there from guys like X (Xavier Fulton), Chris Best and Patrick so I’m looking forward to this game and seeing what happens.
Game time Saturday afternoon is 1:30. Once again, all Rider games will be shown on TSN with radio coverage coming on 620 CKRM starting with pre-game coverage at 11 followed by the play-by-play with Rod Pedersen and Carm Carteri.
 
GAME NOTES
Looking back over the last 5 years, the Riders have gone 4-1 in season openers which is better than any other team. In the last 12 years, the Riders are 9-3.
Darian Durant has a career record of 36-34-1
Weston Dressler is 12 catches away from being the 3rd all time pass catcher in Riders history. His 372 catches put him behind Dan Farthing. While Dressler is a certainty to become 3rd, he has a long way to go to get 2nd as that is held by Don Narcisse at 830.

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