Preview: Roughriders try to climb out of Western basement

Saskatchewan and Calgary renew rivalry
Reported by Jamie Nye
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A 'nightmare' scenario is ahead for the Saskatchewan Roughriders if they don't get a win in the next two weeks.

The Roughriders (1-5) have two games until their bye week.

"You don't want to go into the bye week with a one and whatever record. That's the last thing you want to have going into a week off. You still have to come back and face the same music. You definitely want to go in with the momentum on an upswing," said defensive captain Lance Frazier.

Stamping out the competition

The team heads into the seventh week of the season up against a 4-2 Calgary Stampeders team who are finding their groove and want to head into their bye week on a high.

The Stampeders were in Regina just two weeks ago and escaped with a 22-18 victory.

Roughriders quarterback Darian Durant knows they left points on the field, "Dropped balls, missed plays, you name it, it happened. We just need to score. If we keep drives going then it's a different ball game."

Defensively, Frazier believes despite giving up only 22 points the last time out there are areas they need to clean up.

"We need to finish the game and get off the field in key situations. When we have an opportunity to get off the field in the fourth quarter we have to get off the field."

The Stampeders were able to own the clock late in that game, giving the Roughriders limited opportunities to pull off a miracle at home.

Home field disadvantage

Another factor for the Roughriders is their play at home. They are 0-3 at Mosaic Stadium after losing just twice in 10 games in 2010.

Durant says it's not about regaining any magic to turn around the fortunes at home.

"We've never had magic. We had a good football team. You don't go to Grey Cups in a row, you don't win Western Finals, you don't host playoff games because of magic."

Frazier says the losses at home and the overall record doesn't help slowing down the negative momentum for the team.

"It's a tough place to lose. You find guys pressing and trying a little harder and sometimes that can hurt you more than it helps. I think we need to all calm down and play solid football on every play and every down."

Ready to run

Much of the attention going into this game has been surrounding the Roughriders offense and in particular Durant running more with the football.

The quarterback has been pondering whether this team needs him to put them on his shoulders and drag them out of their current slide.

"You don't want to pre-determine some things and miss receivers down field. I'm a quarterback first. My job is to get the ball to the receivers and if that's not open I've been blessed with the ability to be able to run. I'm not going to drop back looking to run. I'm going to go through my reads the same way I've been playing for years and if it just comes down to me pulling the ball down and running I'll be quicker to make the decision."

However, Head Coach Greg Marshall doesn't want the offense to turn into one Roughrider fans weren't too fond of a few years ago.

"I don't want Darian to turn into Nealon Greene, if that's what you're asking me. I want him to drop back, make his reads and if it's not there sometimes you have to be creative."

Durant's creativity is something that's been giving defenders headaches over the last two years.

"He moves the chains when he's able to run the ball," explained Stampeders defensive back Keon Raymond, "With him being able to do certain things like throwing and running, he definitely creates some problems for the defense. You have to definitely make him one dimensional."

By the numbers

Since 2004 the Stampeders have a slight edge in the head to head match-up with a 11-10-1 record.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders rank last, giving up 30.7 points per game. Despite the Stampeders 4-2 record they rank 6th in the league in scoring, while the Roughriders are ranked 8th.

Roughriders Dan Goodspeed will play in his 100th CFL game this week.

Stampeders Joffrey Reynolds needs just seven yards to pass Normie Kwong for 7th in the CFL's all-time rushing list.

News and Notes

The Roughriders will wait until the last minute before making a decision on whether or not Eddie Johnson or Chris Milo will handle the kicking duties.

The Roughriders have sold out all four regular season games this season and 15 straight.

Edited by News Talk Radio's Jamie Nye

This story was first reported at 5:15pm on August 11th, 2011