October 19, 2018

Preview: Ssk @ Cgy

There’s a lot on the line this week.

The Stampeders look to clinch the top spot in the West when they face the Saskatchewan Roughriders Saturday at McMahon Stadium starting at 5 p.m. MT.

And after dropping last week’s tilt to the visiting BC Lions 26-21, the Red & White are determined to get the ‘W’ against their other next-door rivals.

“Everybody knows, it’s not a secret to nobody, we respect them but they don’t like us,” said Don Jackson. “And we don’t like them.

“It’s going to be a fight so I can’t wait.”

On the other side of the field, the Riders are coming off of a loss, too, after being shut-out by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 31-0 on Oct. 13.

A win against the Stamps would keep their aspirations to finish first overall alive.

“It’s a very important game for us because it could decide the division, and season series between them, as well,” said Bo Levi Mitchell.

“That’s big for us … if they ended up tying us because we didn’t come out and take care of business this week they would also have the season series … so we know how important it is.”

And with a week’s worth of practice under their belts, the Stamps’ offence – which has been decimated by injuries – is hoping to execute more consistently with its new personnel.

“I think we were able to progress in the right direction,” Mitchell explained. “We’ve got a lot of throws and a lot of talking detail-wise. Reps are the most important thing because it allows us to talk some things over so guys understand how I like certain things, and I need to understand how they like certain things. Definitely some catching up happened and we definitely should be better this week.”

“We’re sharpening up,” agreed head coach Dave Dickenson. “There’s still work to be done in all three phases, and offence certainly has the most new parts. We were definitely trying to be better and I thought we had a good week (of practice).”

They’ll get some re-enforcements this weekend as running back Terry Williams makes his return to the active roster.

“(Terry) has a wrist injury,” said Dickenson. “But he got good news on his MRI, it’s still something we’ll monitor but he is good to go now.”

With more options in the backfield, the Stamps look to boost their run-game, which put up just 38 yards rushing last weekend.

“I think the best word to describe the running game recently is close,” said Don Jackson. “Either one guy is short, or I missed a gap too close.

“We’ve gone back to the drawing board, we’ve gone to the film room, we worked on it and we definitely learned from the mistakes that we made last game. The stuff that we could have done better at we want to take advantage of this week.”

Ultimately, the offensive game plan for the Stamps is simple.

“We have to be able to stretch the ball down the field,” Dickenson said. “We’ve got to be smart, make good decisions, and win the line of scrimmage.

“We know we’re up for a big challenge, we’re home, we just want to play better and see what happens.”