LIVESTREAM CFL: Saskatchewan Roughriders @ BC Lions, July 23, 01:00 CET (1 am, 7 pm EDT July 22)

VANCOUVER — The Saskatchewan Roughriders enter Saturday’s game in Vancouver just two points behind the BC Lions.

The Roughriders are coming off a tough 33-31 loss to the Calgary Stampeders, while the Lions enjoyed an off week following a convincing win over Montreal.

Riders head coach Craig Dickenson is hoping everything will be just fine, Mason Fine that is, after starting quarterback Trevor Harris left their game against the Stamps with a knee injury.

Harris will miss significant time after undergoing knee surgery. So for the time being, beginning against the Lions, Fine will be under centre.

» Depth Chart: SSK | BC

His first start will come against one of the best defences in the league as the Lions are holding their opposition to a league-low 256 net yards per game.

As Fine gets comfortable in the pocket, he’ll rely heavily on top receiver Tevin Jones. Jones brought down 84 yards and a touchdown against the Stamps. Receiver Kendall Watson emerged with six catches for 43 yards and will join Jones, Shawn Bane Jr. and Samuel Emilus in trying to ease the transition for their new starting quarterback.

While not ideal, Riders head coach Craig Dickenson has full confidence in Fine to come in and get the job done.

“First of all, he’s very committed to the offence,” Dickenson told“He knows the offence like the back of his hand. He has a moxie to him that I really like and he’s got a really good rapport with the offence in general, so I think he’ll be able to step in and win us some games.”

Watch live. Saskatchewan Roughriders @ BC Lions, July 23, 01:00 CET (1 am, 7 pm EDT July 22)

Look for Dickenson to go to the run game early and often despite facing a Lions team that allows an average of just 82 yards on the ground. The play of Morrow and fellow running back Frankie Hickson will be crucial to the offences success moving forward.

With the offence in a bit of flux, it’ll be up to the defence to provide a steadying presence.

It’s a defence that ranks in the middle of the pack against the pass, near the bottom against the run and one that will face its toughest test yet against a Lions offence with difference makers all over the field.

Larry Dean enters the game with 37 defensive tackles and will be joined by fellow linebacker Derrick Moncrief in shutting down the Lions run game.

When Lions quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. goes to one of his many talented wide receivers, they’ll be met by a defensive back corps that doesn’t lack skill of its own. Nic Marshall and C.J. Reavis will take pride in containing the offence through the air. BC’s pivot also can’t sleep on Deontai Williams, who had an interception last week.

But Adams Jr. has playmakers at every turn in Dominique RhymesLucky Whitehead, Keon Hatcher, Alexander Hollins and Justin McInnis. It’s a unit that enters the week with a combined 1,540 receiving yards.

The Leos quarterback knows the talent is there but that they need to keep improving each time out.

“We’re looking to keep building, that’s it,” Adams Jr. told“We know Saskatchewan is a great team, they have a great defence. We have to take what they give us and I have to get these playmakers the ball. Get some more offence and numbers going with these guys and get some more excitement going. Our depth at wide receiver is awesome.”

As has been the case all season long, the defence will depend on lineman Mathieu Betts who has nine sacks.

After allowing seven last week against Calgary, the Riders have now given up 20 sacks on the season. If they expect Fine to find success, keeping him on his feet will be critical.

A backup quarterback might be just what the Lions secondary needs when it comes to upping their interception numbers. The defensive backs, led by T.J. LeeGarry PetersMarcus Sayles and Quincy Mauger have combined for just two. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t been strong against the pass as they’re holding opponents to a league-low 205.6 yards through the air per game.

A win would do wonders for Fine and the Riders, while also tying them with the Lions in the West Division.

The Lions will attempt to take advantage of a banged up team in hopes of creating separation in the standings.

Watch live. Saskatchewan Roughriders @ BC Lions, July 23, 01:00 CET (1 am, 7 pm EDT July 22)

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