BC Lions (11-7) at Saskatchewan Roughriders (11-7)
Sunday, November 10 at 4pm et/1pm pt on TSN
Go to Eastern Semi-Final Page
|Lions' tailback combo of Andrew Harris and Stefan Logan will look to keep up with Saskatchewan Roughriders RB and MOP candidate Kory Sheets in the run game.
Fans were robbed of what could have been an all-time season when Kory Sheets sprained his knee in Week 12 against the Toronto Argonauts.
In a passer’s league, the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ sophomore tailback was on pace to break the CFL’s single-season rushing record of 2,065 yards by a healthy margin. He had a shot at Eric Dickerson’s 2,105, the single-season professional football rushing record.
Instead Sheets missed nearly three games and had to settle for just a great season (1,598 yards, 12 touchdowns) rather than a legendary one.
Now the stats reset and the Roughriders are left with a huge weapon heading into their West Semi-Final showdown with the BC Lions: a seemingly healthy and full-speed Sheets.
An 11-7 record qualifies as a successful season in some parts of Canada, but it was a disappointing year in BC. Even before Travis Lulay was lost for several weeks to injury, the Lions looked the part of only the third best team in the league. That much was solidified as Thomas DeMarco could not emulate the success of other first-time starters at QB around the league like Zach Collaros and Bo Levi Mitchell. There were regular season struggles at other positions as well as Andrew Harris couldn’t duplicate his breakout 2012 and only one receiver – Nick Moore – surpassed 1,000 yards through the air. The good news is the stats reset in the postseason and Lulay could even return behind centre.
While Sheets stole all the headlines with his terrific season on the ground this year, the Roughriders had another player in the backfield deserving of Most Outstanding Player consideration in Darian Durant. The veteran quarterback followed his sterling first half with an inconsistent second but still finished with one of the better seasons at the position in the league. Durant finished second in passing yards behind Hamilton’s Henry Burris but his 31 touchdown passes were seven more than any other QB in the CFL. The atmosphere at Taylor Field could be a preview of the Grey Cup to be played there two Sundays later.
The Lions have an intriguing situation at running back themselves to compete with Sheets.
Andrew Harris, who struggled this season compared to last year’s All-Star campaign but still finished third in league rushing with 998 yards, was joined by Stefan Logan late in the season to form an exciting 1-2 punch.
Logan returned to BC after four plus years in the NFL with the Detroit Lions. There he was predominately a return man but Logan’s rushing skills will continue to be used more frequently with the Lions.
BC’s running backs could be relied upon heavily as QB Travis Lulay may not yet be up to speed in returning from injury.
Matt Dunigan's QB Analysis
Roughriders: Darian needs to cut it loose with his arm and his legs! If Durant can pressure the defence with his ability to run the football it will open massive holes for Sheets. More...
Lions: The Lions have been working with a patch-work QB situation since Travis Lulay went down. I believe they should ride Buck Pierce as deep into the playoffs as he can go. More...
This Week2Last Week2Saskatchewan Roughriders11-6
The road to the 101st Grey Cup in Regina starts for the Roughriders at home against the Lions. Saskatchewan will certainly be considered a top contender for the Grey Cup this post-season and their home field advantage will no doubt help. If they get by BC they will have to travel to Calgary however before coming back home.
This Week5Last Week5BC Lions11-7
It wasn’t for very long, but Travis Lulay’s return to the Lions lineup was encouraging in the team’s regular season finale against the Stampeders. BC is going to need Lulay playing at his best if they are to make their way to the Grey Cup on the road. An 8-1 home team this season, the Lions struggled to a 3-6 mark away from BC Place.
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