Riders' offence aims to remain strong against 'dynamic' B.C. defence

By Arielle Zerr/CJME News Staff
July 16, 2016 - 10:12am

The Roughrider offensive line has been strong in protecting the quarterback this year, but they may be in tough against B.C.

Darian Durant has been sacked just once in two games, but B.C. has managed an average of three sacks a game since the beginning of the season.

“B.C.’s got a great front,” head coach Chris Jones said after practice earlier in the week. “So we’ll have our hands full I’m sure.”

In fact, Lions defensive end AlexBazzie alone has had three of the team’s nine sacks this season, but consideration also has to be paid to arguably the best linebacking pair in the CFL: Adam Bighill and Solomon Elimimian. The duo lead the team with a combined 37 defensive tackles.

“If you’ve watched as much film as I have, those are two dynamic football players,” Jones said. “We’ve got to know where they are at all times.”

Still, between his own defensive reads, receivers being open and the strong play of the offensive line, Durant is pleased with how things have been going.

“We played against two real good defences, two real great fronts and they’ve done a great job of keeping me upright,” he said.

And hopefully it can continue.

This week the Riders will likely be without regular centre Dan Clark, who left practice with a limp earlier in the week. However, Durant said he isn’t worried about the change, putting his faith in likely back up Andrew Jones.

“Ever since the first day of camp he’s been rotating at centre, getting reps, just in case a scenario like this week happens, so he’s ready to go,” Durant said. “He knows all the calls, he’ll have all the guys going in the right direction and we’ll be fine.”

“We can’t let one person not being there, be the demise of us,” Jones added. “We got to be prepared … we’ve done our homework.”

The Lions have done their homework too, and head coach Wally Buono stressed to his team that the Riders 0-2 start should be ignored.

“There’s not much that you would say between a winning team and a losing team,” Buono said Friday. “(If) you take the Edmonton game and you break it down they were very, very productive offence, defensively they gave Edmonton a lot to deal with and they’re good on teams. You make six inches you might end up with the win, you don’t make six inches you end up with a loss. Is that how close this league is? I think it is.”

Kick off is at 5 p.m. at Mosaic Stadium.

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Durant injures ankle in 40-27 loss to B.C.

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