Dyce credits both sides of the ball in Redblacks' win, shifts focus to Als amid playoff push
Ottawa Redblacks head coach Bob Dyce gave flowers to his offence and defence following a 36-28 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders Friday that snapped a seven-game losing streak.
"Defensively, they put a real good performance out there," Dyce told TSN 1200 on Monday. "Offensively as well, got into the end zone, and that's what they're capable of. Moving forward, that's what we intend to do."
The Redblacks (4-10), who needed to pull out of their recent tailspin in hopes of catching the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (6-8) for third place in the East Division, built a first-half lead using solid quarterback play and stout defence.
Short-yardage QB Tyrrell Pigrome opened the scoring for the Redblacks with a one-yard touchdown lunge. After forcing a late turnover with one of Deandre Lamont's two interceptions on the day, starter Dustin Crum aired out a six-yard touchdown pass to Bralon Addison for the go-ahead score before the half expired.
"That was massive," said Dyce of his defence's ability to take the ball away. "It really turned things around and allowed us to go in with a six-point lead and a lot of momentum going into the second half.
"We said we wanted to play through the fourth quarter and that's what they did."
Crum finished the game 21 of 26 for 243 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Dyce said the Kent State product has come a long way since being thrust into the spotlight.
"Dusty's ability now, looking downfield, means these teams have to play off a little bit more and respect his arm. When you're talking about his evolution, it continues to go up."
In 11 starts, Crum has amassed 2,334 passing yards and a 1:1 touchdown-interception ratio (7:7).
Crum has made a name for himself on the ground as he leads the league with nine rushing touchdowns. He showed again on Friday how elusive he is as he broke free for a 35-yard touchdown late in the fourth.
Friday's game was not without drama for the Redblacks as a recovered onside kick and a touchdown on the ensuing drive by the Roughriders drew the Green and White closer with just over a minute remaining in regulation. The Riders attempted a second onside kick, but it was not recovered.
"The first one, honestly, was a little bit of bad luck in the back," said Dyce on the onside kick. "We just didn't have our eyes back on the kick. And I just told them to do things like we practice...I told them [on the second onside kick], 'When we get this ball, we're going to win the game.'"
Entering the first leg of a home-and-home with the Montreal Alouettes with a playoff spot not out of the realm of possibility, Dyce said his team understands the gravity the next two games present but has to take it one game at a time.
"It's a team that's in our division," he said. "We've got to build off what we accomplished the other night and move forward to get the win back here on our field once again."