“We got to trend up going into the playoffs.” Roughriders will try and solve their road problems in Ottawa

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have picked up their six wins during the 2023 season in two provinces. Their four home wins in Saskatchewan and a pair of road wins in Alberta(Week 1 in Edmonton & Week 3 in Calgary).

At some point, the Roughriders will need to earn some victories away from the friendly confines of Mosaic Stadium, whether during the post-season or their remaining three visiting games in the regular season.

After opening with their back-to-back wins in Alberta to begin the season, the Roughriders have dropped their last four road games.

LB Derrick Moncrief at practice. Photo: Blaine Weyland

Linebacker Derrick Moncrief feels there hasn’t been a trend in the losses away from home.

“We just got to come out and play football at the end of the day.” said the 30-year-old. “We’re looking forward to this opponent, we got to trend up going into the playoffs.”

Running back Frankie Hickson thinks that each game has been a different situation.

“We go out with the same effort every week with the same mentality on game day, every game day, and we just try to give the very best that we possibly can, sometimes that’s good enough, sometimes that’s not, sometimes we have to require each other to do a little bit more and that’s what it takes to win a championship.”

Saskatchewan will search for momentum in their next two away games. The green and white are coming off a pair of losses, including a 36-27 divisional loss to the Edmonton Elks on home turf on Friday night.

Hickson noted that it was a tough loss to the Elks, but feels the team is ready to move on.

“When you treat it the same way, it allows you to flush it a little bit easier,” said the running back. “You treat a win no different than a loss, you still got to learn, you still got to improve, come out and come back and be better the next week.”

This week, Saskatchewan will head east to Ottawa as they square off with the REBLACKS. Next week, the Roughriders will travel to the West Coast and meet the BC Lions in a divisional.

Despite the higher stakes in Vancouver, Hickson says the Roughriders aren’t looking past Ottawa on Friday.

“You can’t get trapped and be thinking a week ahead, we’re not there yet, and BC isn’t even important to us right now, it’s all about Ottawa.”

Moncrief felt the team had a strong start on the practice field on Monday.

“Today was good, we got to carry into tomorrow, continue to watch film, continue to prepare and take care of our bodies, come out and ready to play on Friday.”

Saskatchewan’s final road game of the season is on Friday, October 13, when the Roughriders visit the Stampeders.

It’s already shaping to be a must-win game as the winner of that contest will claim the season series and the all-important tiebreaker between the two teams.

Saskatchewan (6-7) currently holds a four-point edge on Calgary (4-9) heading into this week’s action.

With the need to taste victory away from home, the Roughriders hope it can happen on Friday in Ottawa.

Practice Notebook

  • None of the four players that the Roughriders lost during the 2nd half of Friday’s game against Edmonton were at practice on Monday, DL Anthony Lanier II (hip), DT Miles Brown (groin), DE Nic Dheilly (foot) and LB Justin Herdman-Reed (quad).
  • RB Jamal Morrow (knee) missed Monday’s practice.
  • Evan Johnson took the reps with the first team offence at LG with Philip Blake working with the second group on offence.

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