LIVESTREAM PPV: CFL – Ottawa REDBLACKS @Saskatchewan Roughriders, Sat., Aug. 24, 5p (7p EDT, 1a Aug. 25, CEDT)

REGINA – It’s still too early to start calling games “must win,” but the Ottawa REDBLACKS need to get back in the win column. They will have the opportunity to do just that when they travel to Regina to take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday night.

The REDBLACKS are marred in a rough patch, having won just once in seven games and looking to claw their way back into the East playoff picture. Meanwhile, the Riders have been on a tear and are trying to cement themselves among the CFL’s best.

This is the second and final time the teams are facing off in the 2019 regular season. The first game in Week 2 was a good one – the teams combined for over 900 yards of offence, with Ottawa emerging 44-41 victors.

» Depth Charts: OTT | SSK

REDBLACKS quarterback Dominique Davis went off in Week 2 to the tune of 354 passing yards and three touchdowns. But Davis has not demonstrated the same level of dominance since. He now leads the league in interceptions with 11.

“We need to take care of the ball,” Head Coach Rick Campbell told “We need to find a way to score some touchdowns. We are able to go toe-to-toe with people, we’ve played several games that have gone down to the last possession, but that’s not the name of the game.”

Davis didn’t throw a pick in his team’s Week 10 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, but he completed just 50 per cent of his passes and was even benched for a short stint while Jonathon Jennings handled the offence.

“We didn’t put our best foot forward in that first half – it started with me,” Davis said following last week’s loss. “Coach Campbell decided to pull me so I could take a deep breath and see it from the sidelines. Just have to make throws and execute. I started off really slow, but I just have to play better. Long story short, just have to play better.”

While the REDBLACKS have been trending downward since that Week 2 matchup, the Riders have been looking good.

“We’ve got a healthy dose of respect for Ottawa,” Head Coach Craig Dickenson told “They’ve had some struggles – we’ve seen that, but they’ve got ability and a roster that can put it together. We know they’re a dangerous opponent.”

The Riders’ best receiver (statistically) this season has been Shaq Evans, but he’s been inconsistent. Through eight games played, Evans has four 100-yard receiving performances. He has notched just 74 yards in the other four contests, combined. The 28-year-old put up 160 yards against Hamilton in Week 8, but was only targeted three times against Montreal the very next week.

Ottawa has conceded the second-highest net offence in the league this year and the third-most passing yards-per-game, meaning Evans could be due to go off yet again.

The man getting Evans the ball is a revelation in Riderville. Since taking over as the starting pivot, Cody Fajardoowns a 5-2 record, helping Saskatchewan have the second-highest net offence in the league. His 74.2 per cent completion percentage is the best among starting quarterbacks and Fajardo has scampered for six touchdowns on the ground.

The 27-year-old played well in Week 2 against Ottawa, albeit in a losing cause. His 360-yard, interception-free performance in his first start of the season helped establish his confidence, and he’ll be looking to build on it this week.

The REDBLACKS are in for a nice boost on offence, with running back John Crockett set to return. The rookie missed Week 10 with an undisclosed injury, but is slated to start against the Riders.

Crockett has played well this season, averaging 5.6 yards per carry and rushing for more than 80 yards in three of his last four games. He has yet to find the end zone or have his first 100-yard performance and he’ll be in tough against Saskatchewan – the Riders boast one of the CFL’s best run defences and have only given up two rushing scores all season.

That defence is getting one of its key pieces back, with lineman A.C. Leonard returning to the lineup. Leonard will be facing his former team, having earned an all-star nod while with the REDBLACKS last year.

“They’re just our next opponent,” Leonard told “There’s a lot of new faces on their offence. They’re been taking a couple of Ls lately, but we can’t take them lightly. We’ve got to come in and stick to our game plan of playing fast and physical.”


69 – Lewis Ward’s consecutive field goals streak was halted last week at 69 straight. He made both his attempts after his first half miss.

3 – Straight wins coming off a bye week for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

70 – Different players who have suited up for a game for the REDBLACKS this year, the most in the league.

93 – Consecutive passes without an interception for Cody Fajardo.

– With files from and

AFI, Yare Media and the CFL

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LIVE STREAM PPV: CFL – Ottawa REDBLACKS @Saskatchewan Roughriders, Sat., Aug. 24, 5p (7p EDT, 1a Aug. 25, CEDT)

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