(Photo credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports)
With only three downs to move the chains, CFL teams traditionally tend to throw the ball more often than run. But as the season winds down and the weather starts impacting games, the running game becomes more important.
That's why the BC Lions are hoping that Taquan Mizzell's 112-yard rushing performance last week at Edmonton is the start of a trend. They'd like to see Mizzell back that up with another big game Friday night in Vancouver when they host the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Mizzell rushed for two touchdowns in a 37-29 win over the resurgent Elks, giving BC (10-4) a share of first place in the West with idle Winnipeg. It came at the right time in the mind of coach Rick Campbell.
"We talked last week about getting more out of the running back position -- whatever that means, from pass pro to running the ball to getting the ball in his hands out of the backfield," he said. "We said to (him), 'We need more out of you,' but we also need to help him out with blocking and play calls."
While the Lions try to stretch their winning streak to four games and clinch a home game in the playoffs, Saskatchewan (6-8) is attempting to stop a three-game slide that has kept Calgary (4-10) and Edmonton (4-11) in contention for the West's third spot.
The Roughriders are coming off a 36-28 loss last week in Ottawa that redefined sloppy. They were penalized 11 times and turned the ball over three times while allowing the Redblacks to rush for 193 yards. Saskatchewan has allowed a whopping 123 points during its losing streak.
In an attempt to change his team's fortunes, Roughriders coach Craig Dickenson has opted for less practice time this week and more time in the film room.
"We feel like our legs are a little tired right now," he said. "The idea was to just get out there, less on-field time and more time in the meetings. At this stage of the year, the mental side is even more (important)."
The teams have split two previous meetings this year, each winning at home. Saskatchewan notched a total of nine sacks in those games.
--Field Level Media