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A battle of the opposites in Toronto

Riders look to extend their winning streak on the road

by Bryan Smith, contributor

When the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Toronto Argonauts meet this Saturday (1 p.m., TSN) in Week 14, it will be a battle of opposites. The Riders’ high-powered offence goes up against a stingy Argonauts defence at the Rogers Centre.

The Riders are coming off a nail-biting 32-25 victory against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, where the receiving core took control after the Riders started the game down 15-0. Weston Dressler led the way catching seven passes for 139 yards and a touchdown. The passing game is slowing gaining speed for the Riders as the chemistry between quarterback Darian Durant and receivers Andy Fantuz and Dressler is reaching its peak at just the right time.

The Argos are coming off a dismal 24-6 loss in the first regular season game played in Moncton against the Edmonton Eskimos. On defence, they are led by linebacker Willie Pile. The defensive secondary has been flying to the ball for the majority of the season and leads the league in interceptions. Offensively, they will get a spark with the likely return of first-year running back Cory Boyd, who is third in league rushing with 903 yards. Chad Owens and Jermaine Copeland lead the Argos as the major threats in the air, with Copeland being utilized as a mentor and a possession receiver and Owens as the main deep threat.

Saskatchewan’s keys to the game

The Riders need to strike early on offence. If they can force Lemon to play from behind it will make the task of matching offences that much more difficult. Defensively, Barrin Simpson will have to slow down Boyd and make the Argos beat the Riders through the air.

Toronto’s keys to the game

An early strike is also important when looking at the Argos chances to win. However, not necessarily on the offensive side of the ball. If their defence can create some early momentum, it may prove vital in terms of confidence for their offence.

Prediction

Talent-wise, the Riders outshine the Argos in nearly every facet of the game except for special teams. If Saskatchewan plays to its potential, this could turn into a very ugly contest. With a chance to tie the Calgary Stampeders for first and the West Division, the Green and White will have all the motivation they need.

Riders 33, Argos 10.

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