LIVESTREAM CFL: Saskatchewan Roughriders @ Montreal Alouettes, Aug. 12, 01:30 CET (1:30 am, 7:30 pm Aug. 11 EDT)

MONTREAL — The Saskatchewan Roughriders can make it back-to-back wins over East Division opponents when they make the trip east to take on the Montreal Alouettes on Friday night at Percival Molson Memorial Stadium.

Brett Lauther kicked a game deciding field goal late in the fourth quarter to secure a 26-24 victory over Ottawa in Week 9, while Montreal was busy taking care of Hamilton 27-14.

It’ll be the first meeting of the year between the two teams.

The Alouettes have held their opponents under 20 points in each of their last two games and should provide quarterback Mason Fine with another challenge. Fine threw for 296 yards and a touchdown against a tough REDBLACKS defence and got strong play from multiple receivers, including ones not named Shawn Bane Jr. and Tevin Jones.

Depth Chart: SSK | MTL

Jake Wieneke has looked more like himself since returning from injury and Jarreth Sterns caught all seven passes thrown his way for 71 yards, proving the still injury-hampered receiving corps can find new ways to move the ball through the air.

Fine feels like he’s continually played better each passing week and expects more of the same from himself against the Als.

“I’m going to keep my head down and keep working,” Fine told reporters. “I’m going to continue to focus on myself, continue to grow as a leader for that sideline. I’m going to be whatever quarterback and player it is to win games and make our offence more efficient.

With the Als holding opposing run games to under 100 yards, Jamal Morrow will again be put to the test after accumulating just 47 yards on 13 carries against Ottawa. Morrow has one touchdown on the year in what has historically been an offence that has found success on the ground.

He’ll will be going up against a run defence led by defensive lineman Shawn Lemon who has made an immediate impact through a pair of games with his new team. Lemon has four tackles, a sack, an interception and a forced fumble in two games.

The key to the Riders offensive output will largely depend on where they begin their drive, and no one has put his team in a better position than returner Mario Alford. Alford has a 1,082 combined yards on punt and kick returns. The closer the offence gets to the red zone, the less pressure will be put on Fine and Morrow.

When the Riders defence looks across the line of scrimmage, it’ll likely be a familiar face in Cody Fajardo in the Alouettes pocket and they know first hand the impact getting to him can have on the outcome of the game.

Watch live. Saskatchewan Roughriders @ Montreal Alouettes, Aug. 12, 01:30 CET (1:30 am, 7:30 pm Aug. 11 EDT)

Fajardo is listed as a game-time decision after suffering a shoulder injury last week and if he can’t go, Caleb Evans will step in to fill the void.

The Alouettes have allowed the second most sacks with 29 and the Riders are coming off their most impressive game in that category as they had six against the REDBLACKS. Anthony Lanier II had three and is joined by fellow physical linemen Pete Robertson and Micah Johnson. As a unit, the defence has 18 on the season and will be looking to add to that total against an offensive line that’s struggled to keep their quarterback comfortable.

No team has been better against the pass than the Riders, who are holding opposing quarterbacks to 231.3 yards per game. With the line sure to make the quarterback move in the pocket, it’ll allow the secondary of Jayden DalkeNelson Lokombo and Nic Marshall to make plays downfield.

But Fajardo is no stranger to dealing with opposing linemen and linebackers breathing down his neck and despite it has still thrown for 1,877 yards this season.

With Kaion Julien-Grant out, it’s been Austin Mack and Tyler Snead who he’s targeted the most.

Mack and Snead led the way with 106 and 90 receiving yards against the Ticats but Fajardo targeted eight receivers at least once. If Quartney Davis and Tyson Philpot can prove to be reliable options, it’ll make Fajardo’s job easier.

In the midst of a back and forth season that sees them with a 4-3 record, Fajardo believes his team’s best football is still ahead of them.

“We’re just going to continue to get better from these experiences and that’s what’s got me excited,” Fajardo told reporters. “We haven’t played our best football yet but we’re still an above .500 team.”

The receiving corps will need to be good as running back William Stanback is out. Stanback had rushed for 106 yards against the Ticats and appeared to be turning his season around. For at least this week however, the combination of Walter Fletcher and Jeshrun Antwi will be relied upon to fill the hole left by Stanback.

A big part of the Als defensive success over the past two weeks has been their ability to limit yardage in the pass game. While they sit right in the middle of the league surrendering 257 yards through the air over seven games, they’ve performed better than that recently, including holding the Ticats to 202 a week ago.

The strong play has come from multiple sources. The always reliable Marc-Antoine Dequoy and Wesley Sutton will again lead the way, but J.R. Reed had a pick in Hamilton. Containing the Riders receivers will allow the defensive front to focus on getting to Fajardo and shutting down the legs of Morrow.

The Riders can crawl back above .500 with a win.

The Alouettes are trying to further distance themselves from Hamilton and Ottawa while getting a step closer to division leading Toronto.

Watch live. Saskatchewan Roughriders @ Montreal Alouettes, Aug. 12, 01:30 CET (1:30 am, 7:30 pm Aug. 11 EDT)

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