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The Rouge: Which team will win the Grey Cup and why?

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Paul Hoogkamp, TSN.ca
11/22/2010 1:01:14 PM
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For almost a year, fans of the Saskatchewan Roughriders have wanted a rematch with the Montreal Alouettes and now they have their wish.

Everyone knows what happened on the next to last play at McMahon Stadium last year so there's no reason to rehash it for the 13th time!

Fast forward to this year and the Roughriders and Alouettes are back in the big game so there's one question that needs to be answered. Which team will win this year's Grey Cup and why?

Anthony Calvillo and the Alouettes looked impressive in routing the overmatched Toronto Argonauts in the Eastern Final. Were the Alouettes that good or were the Argonauts that bad? Usually the answer lies somewhere in between.

Calvillo was 19 of 26 for 334 yards with two touchdowns and one interception as the Alouettes marched up and down the field on the Argonauts. Avon Cobourne was a force on the ground and Jamel Richardson had two touchdowns through the air.

It's tough to evaluate the Alouettes' defence because quarterback Cleo Lemon and the Argonauts showed little to no imagination when they had the ball. It appeared they knew the run was coming because Lemon has struggled in the passing game all season. Rest assured, Darian Durant and the Roughriders will provide more of a challenge next Sunday.

In the Western Final, the Roughriders started slowly but played their best when it mattered most. Trailing 11-0 in the second quarter, Durant threw touchdown passes to Chris Getzlaf and Cary Koch to take the lead at half-time. Wes Cates provided the winning score on the ground and while he only rushed for 60 yards, he didn't fumble once in the frigid conditions in Calgary.

However, much of the credit for the win goes to the Riders' defence, led by veteran linebacker Barrin Simpson, who gutted it out in the cold with a bad ankle. They held the high-flying Stampeders to just five points in the second half and they will have to be at their best to shut down the high-powered Alouettes in the Grey Cup.

The two teams split the season series with the Roughriders winning an overtime classic at home in Week 1 and the Alouettes responding with a nailbiter in Week 6 in Montreal.

This will be the Alouettes' seventh Grey Cup appearance in the last nine years but they have only won twice. There is something to be said for the consistency it takes to get to the big game almost every year but no one remembers who finishes second.

On the other hand, the Roughriders will be making their third appearance in four years and they could be on the verge of their third title in that short time span. (I know I said I wouldn't mention that play but you know what I'm talking about!)

As you can see, there is little to choose from between these two teams, which is exactly how it should be on the last weekend of November. And both teams appear to be playing their best at the right time of the year.

Will the Alouettes' offence keep rolling and outscore the Roughriders? Can Durant outshine Calvillo on the biggest stage of the season? Can the Alouettes become the first repeat winner since the Toronto Argonauts did it in 1996-97? Will the CFL 'Go Green' on Sunday?

Which team will win this year's Grey Cup and why?

Cates and Dressler celebrate (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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