Rob Vanstone: Saskatchewan Roughriders’ rotation wreaked devastation

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats did not have a solution for the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ line of defense rotation throughout Saturday’s season opener.

The tone was set on the opening sequence, when defensive finish Pete Robertson pressured a fumble by Tiger-Cats quarterback Dane Evans and, for good measure, recovered the free soccer.

Robertson had two sacks on the day — and he didn’t even play two-thirds of the snaps!

You are reading: Rob Vanstone: Saskatchewan Roughriders’ rotation wreaked devastation

A contemporary begin to the season was aided by the Roughriders’ potential and inclination to maintain contemporary defensive linemen on the sphere.

A comparable method was taken with defensive tackles Anthony Lanier II (78.0%), Garrett Marino (66.1%) and Charbel Dabire (52.5%).

The cross rush by committee helped the Roughriders amass eight sacks — just one fewer than the opposite seven groups mixed — throughout Week 1.

Robertson led the best way with two sacks, one in every of which pressured a fumble that he recovered.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats running back Don Jackson is tackled by Roughriders linebacker Derrick Moncrief on Saturday at Mosaic Stadium.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats working again Don Jackson is tackled by Roughriders linebacker Derrick Moncrief on Saturday at Mosaic Stadium.Picture by Kayle Neis /Regina Chief-Publish


Nevertheless, Saskatchewan’s working assault was sturdy compared to that of the Tiger-Cats. Hamilton handed off to a tailback (Don Jackson) solely 5 instances, with the consequence being one yard (and an extended achieve of three).

All of this received me considering — which, admittedly, is harmful — so I reached out to CFL statistical guru Steve Daniel whereas making an attempt to use some historic perspective to Saturday’s lack of dashing yardage.

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I requested Steve how usually a workforce has had negligible (or adverse) dashing yardage. He was in a position to uncover 10 video games up to now 35 years, or thereabouts, wherein a workforce has registered zero or fewer dashing yards.

Staff-wise, a nadir was reached when Hamilton had 19 carries for (get this) minus-20 yards in a 1985 recreation.

Individually, Jamal Robertson of the 2009 Argonauts had one recreation wherein he had six carries for minus-5 yards. On the day, Toronto, er, rushed eight instances for zero yards.

The most effective recorded run defence in Roughriders historical past? Rewind to June 20, 2004, when Calgary eked out six yards on 10 carries in a 33-10 Roughriders loss at Taylor Area. Calgary’s main rusher was quarterback Marcus Crandell, with six yards on two carries. Stampeders working backs and fullbacks mixed for zero yards on eight carries.

The worst recorded working recreation in Roughriders historical past? Nicely, it depends upon your interpretation.

Saskatchewan was credited (?) with minus-8 dashing yards on Oct. 14, 1985, after they misplaced 51-14 in Hamilton.

Percival Mercury Sales Ltd. ad from the Oct. 15, 1985 Leader-Post.
Percival Mercury Gross sales Ltd. advert from the Oct. 15, 1985 Chief-Publish.Picture by Regina Chief-Publish information

(Appropriately, a automotive vendor’s commercial within the following day’s version of the Regina Chief-Publish trumpeted a “FALL BLOW-OUT!”)

Nevertheless, the numbers had been skewed by the dashing totals of quarterback Joe Paopao, whose statistical line included three carries for minus-43.

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At present, these doomed performs can be written off as workforce losses as a substitute of being listed within the dashing totals. Paopao’s misadventures apart, the Roughriders had 13 carries for 35 yards.

In the event you subtract that recreation from consideration, in mild of the anomaly referring to Paopao, what’s the Roughriders’ low-water mark?

It could very nicely date again to Aug. 30, 1981, when the Roughriders rushed simply 4 instances for minus-one yard(s).

Greg Fieger paced Saskatchewan’s floor recreation with one carry for one yard. Lester Brown chipped in with minus-2 yards on three carries.

Regardless of the absence of a working recreation, the Roughriders threw a scare into an Edmonton powerhouse that overcame a 31-29 deficit and received 44-34 at Commonwealth Stadium.

Roughriders quarterback Cody Fajardo received airtight protection from his offensive line Saturday against Hamilton.
Roughriders quarterback Cody Fajardo acquired hermetic safety from his offensive line Saturday in opposition to Hamilton.Picture by Kayle Neis /Regina Chief-Publish


As referenced earlier, Saskatchewan didn’t allow a sack on Saturday. It was an surprising displaying, contemplating the porous nature of the offensive line in 2021 and the widely ravenous nature of the Tiger-Cats’ defensive linemen.

Oddly sufficient, although, it was the second time in a span of three video games of consequence wherein the Roughriders held the foe and not using a sack.

Kian Schaffer-Baker, right, celebrates a touchdown with fellow Roughriders receiver Shaq Evans on Saturday.
Kian Schaffer-Baker, proper, celebrates a landing with fellow Roughriders receiver Shaq Evans on Saturday.Picture by Kayle Neis /Regina Chief-Publish


Upon accepting the snap from Clark, Fajardo momentarily froze the defence by feigning a cross towards the left (the place Morrow was located). Schaffer-Baker, in the meantime, took off on a path to the suitable nook and received behind defensive again Richard Leonard.

Fajardo was granted ample time by the aforementioned offensive linemen, together with Awachie (who took care of Howsare) and Tuck (who impeded linebacker Jovan Santos-Knox).

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