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Friday night, our Alouettes will be taking on the Saskatchewan Roughriders at McGill Stadium. The West Division team won its last four games, surprising the entire league with solid performances by QB Cody Fajardo. The battle should be quite interesting to watch so we listed three key elements to help you focus.
After a tough outing for the special teams last week – we hate thinking about it, but remember DeVonte Dedmon scored two touchdown returns and had a total of 376 yards –, we’re looking forward to seeing how they will rectify the situation against the Riders productive returners. Montreal native Frédéric Plesius could certainly be part of the solution. Resigned earlier this week, the linebacker vowed to lead by example.
“When I hit, guys remember me,” he said. Fredo showed his commitment and willingness to get up to speed quickly, communicating with Special Teams Coordinator Mickey Donovan frequently during practice. Jean-Gabriel Poulin is also back in action. Fredo, Jean-Samuel Blanc and him should make up for an interesting French Canadian trio.
In the absence of Will Stanback, the offence will be able to rely on a highly capable committee. Jeremiah Johnson, Ryder Stone, and probably even Spencer Moore in protection, could see their roles increase on offence.
“The running game should be pretty similar. Jeremiah has a little more scat to him, a little more make you miss ability maybe and he’s practicing as great as anybody,” said Head Coach about the veteran RB he has known for some time. The two were in BC together in 2016 and 2017.
Ryder, on the other hand, is explosive, shifty and can be trusted with his hands, while Spencer is the blue-collar type of player who will make those crucial blocks when it matters most. Their focus will be crucial as they go up against one of the toughest defensive linemen in the league in Charleston Hughes.
A key element this week will definitely be stopping the Riders’ running game. They might not be the most efficient unit ranking third in average per carry, but they use their backs more than any other team in the league and stand first for rushing touchdowns. The defensive line and linebackers can expect a heavy workload this week, with both Powell and Thigpen being in great shape. Look out for 6’5, 250 pounds newcomer Jimmy Bean (DE) who took some reps with the starting squad and could be called to participate in designated plays.