Blue Bombers hope for better showing against Roughriders
Winnipeg, MB (Sports Network) - Following up the largest shutout in team history, the Saskatchewan Roughriders try to do it all over again this week against the very same competition as they clash with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Canad Inns Stadium.
Battling the Bombers at home last Sunday afternoon, Saskatchewan had everything working at peak performance across the board as it registered an alarming 52-0 romp. The previous record for the largest shutout in team history was a 47-0 final against the very same club back in 1949, so this happening was a long time in the making for the Roughriders.
Ironically, the margin of victory matched the team's previous mark which was set against Winnipeg in a 56-4 showing back in 1995 as well.
Saskatchewan scored double-digit points in every quarter, thanks in part to kicker Sandro DeAngelis who nailed all five of his field goal attempts and finished with 20 points himself.
Running back Kory Sheets posted a season-best 106 yards on 19 carries, becoming the first Saskatchewan runner to hit the 100-yard plateau since 2010.
Quarterbacks Darian Durant and Drew Willy had fine showings as well, combining to hit 21-of-29 passes for 266 yards and three touchdowns, two of which went to Weston Dressler. Willy also scored once on the ground as the Riders rolled up 175 yards on 28 rushing attempts.
Getting his name into the scoring column was Tyron Brackenridge, who returned a blocked punt 15 yards for a major in the second quarter.
Obviously not much went right for the Bombers in the last meeting, the team generating less than 150 yards of total offense as quarterbacks Joey Elliott and Alex Brink combined to hit on only 14-of-26 passes for 96 yards and an interception. With yards so hard to come by, Winnipeg didn't do itself any favors by drawing 12 penalties for a loss of 101 yards.
Having gone through three different signal-callers this season, it should come as little surprise that Winnipeg is having a hard time getting consistent play from the position. As a whole, Winnipeg quarterbacks are last in the league in accuracy (.570) and second-to-last in total passing yards (2,321). What's more, the team has an efficiency rating of just 73.2 due to having more interceptions (11) than touchdowns (eight), and that is never a good sign.
Slow starters for sure this season, the Bombers have scored a combined eight points in the first quarter to this point and only 50 by the half, which is still less than the 64 points the squad has surrendered in the first period alone.
Despite the offensive barrage last week, Saskatchewan is still in the middle of the pack when it comes to overall scoring this season, putting up 26.9 ppg, but that's still far ahead of Winnipeg which is bringing up the rear in that category with only 19.6 ppg.
Even though he didn't play the entire game for the Riders last week, Durant has still been quite successful against Winnipeg in the last several matchups, compiling nine TD passes against just a single interception, so he has to be rather confident heading into this next meeting even though Saskatchewan is still holding down last place in the West Division standings.
The Riders, winners of three straight to kick off the season, managed to put an end to a five-game slide last week, while not surprisingly Winnipeg is last in the East Division after dropping four in a row to begin the 2012 campaign and having lost two in a row and three of the last four at this stage.
Thanks to last week's meeting, Saskatchewan has won three straight matchups with the Bombers and eight of the last nine, yet it is Winnipeg which still owns a 113-86-3 mark in the all-time, regular-season series dating back to 1945.