Game Day: Week 1 Riders vs. Hamilton

The Saskatchewan Roughriders and Hamilton Tiger Cats will close out week one of the new CFL season when they square off this afternoon at Mosaic Stadium.

You can catch all of the action on the Roughrider Radio Network (CLICK HERE) starting at 3pm on CJWW with the View From The Sidelines.

The forecast for Regina sounds soggy as 15-25mm of rain is expected in the Queen City today.

The weather won’t dampen the spirits of Rider Nation as the club is set to not only honour the 2013 Grey Cup Champions but representatives from all four Grey Cup winning teams are expected to be on hand prior to kick-off at 5pm.

Here’s what to expect!

WEEK #1 • JUNE 26-28 • CFL NOTES & TRENDS

Saskatchewan Roughriders:

– Defending their title: The Riders will be trying to make it two Grey Cup wins in a row this season and match Montreal’s feat last done in 2009-2010. The Alouettes are the only other club to repeat as GC winners since 1982. For Saskatchewan, they have followed up their three previous Grey Cup wins with – 1966: a return to the GC but lost to Hamilton; 1989: Out of the playoffs in 1990; 2007: Out of the playoffs in 2009.

-Best of 2013: Grey Cup participants Hamilton and Saskatchewan led the way with the biggest improvements in 2013 with 4 and 3 more wins respectively than they had in 2012. The Riders had 6 more wins in 2013 than they had in 2011 (5-13).

-398 points allowed in 2013: The Riders allowed a league-low 398 points in 2013 (22.1, the first time they have done that since 2002 and their lowest point total since then (393, 21.8 per game). The Saskatchewan defence allowed only 36 TDs all year.

-Winning Early: All four Grey Cup winning coaches have won early in their tenure. The first winning coach Eagle Keys and current head man Corey Chamblin each won in just their second season. Kent Austin won in his first and Jim Gregory in his third year.

-SSK Turnover: Of the 46-man Active Roster for this week, only 26 played in the 2013 Grey Cup last year however 5 more were with the club in 2013 (31 total). The Riders have 15 players new to the club to start off 2014.

Rider Depth June 29

Hamilton Tiger-Cats:

-Kent Austin: As a head coach for the first time with two different teams, Austin has taken that club to the Grey Cup twice now in his CFL career. Austin joins Hugh Campbell as the only CFL head coaches (in modern day CFL since 1945) to take their team to the Grey Cup in at least his first two years. Austin is the only man to do that with two different clubs.

-10 wins in 2013: The 10-win season in 2013 for the Tiger-Cats was their first since an 11-7 record under Ron Lancaster in 2001. They reached the Grey Cup for the first time since back-to-back appearances in 1998-1999. They .500+ for the first time since the 2005 season when they were 9-8-1.

-HAM Turnover: Of the 46-man Active Roster for this week, only 25 played in the 2013 Grey Cup last year however 4 more were with the club in 2013 (29 total). The Ti-Cats have 17 players new to the club to start off 2014.

-Zach Collaros: Hamilton’s most significant off-season free agent signing, Collaros has made 8 career CFL starts with Toronto and they went 5-3 in those games. Collaros’ career passer rating is 99.4 and he has 15 TD passes in the 15 games in which he hasseen action at QB.

-C.J. Gable: Played 15 games last season and taken over an 18-game schedule his numbers (rushing: 738 yds, receiving: 600 yds), work out to 938 rushing yards and another 720 receiving. Along with Andrew Harris of BC, Gable may be a threat to become the first 1,000/1,000 player in CFL history.

-Last 12 meetings / In 2013: Hamilton has won three of the last 12 against Saskatchewan and last won in Regina on Jul 28/12 (35-34). Last year the Riders swept all three matchups including the Grey Cup and led by as much as 15, 37 and 29 points.

League Notes:

– All-Time CFL Roster: The league’s rosters currently have 101 ACTIVE first-year players on them to start 2014 (24% of the total of 414 active players). If all 101 play in 2014 Week #1, that will move the all-time CFL roster up to 9,479 players (with at least one game played) since full Inter-Provincial play began across the country in 1936.

– Riders Looking for two in a row: The Riders will be trying to make it two Grey Cup wins in a row this season and match Montreal’s feat last done in 2009-2010. The Alouettes are the only other club to repeat as GC winners since 1982.

– Playoff/10+ win runs: Montreal (18 years), BC (17 years), and Calgary (9 years) carry significant playoff appearance streaks into 2014. BC has been part of a Division Final in 8 of the last 10 years, while Calgary has been in 5 of the last 6. Calgary is the only CFL club to have recorded at least 10 wins in each of the last six years (and 8 of the last 9).

– Biggest Gainers in 2013: Grey Cup participants Hamilton and Saskatchewan led the way with the biggest improvements in 2013 with 4 and 3 more wins respectively than they had in 2012. The Riders had 6 more wins in 2013 than they had in 2011 (5-13).

– Close games: In 72 games last year, just 16 were decided by 4 points or less compared to 21 in 2012. However, 34 games were not settled until the final 3:00 of the game in 2013.

– Longest current win streaks: No team has a regular season winning streak longer than two games heading into 2014 as the league returns to a nine-team format for the first time since 2005.

– Competition for playoff spots: The final standings in 2013 made it close primarily because Winnipeg and Edmonton were a combined 7-29 (.194) with the rest of the CFL finishing at 65-43 (.602). The West will again be a five-team race meaning clubs will have to be better than two rivals to make the post-season as opposed to just one opponent in the East (barring cross-overs).

– The Longest Rivalries: Heading into 2014, the longest rivalry in Canadian football stands between Hamilton and Toronto who met one way or another 299 times since 1907. Toronto has matched up with Montreal clubs 263 times while Ottawa Football Clubs (Roughriders and Renegades and now REDBLACKS) have met the Argonauts 241 times in regular season play. Ottawa and Hamilton have met 245 times while out West, Saskatchewan and Winnipeg have played 219 times since 1936.

 

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