The defending Grey Cup Champions struggled to get much going on offence as the Saskatchewan Roughriders defence keeps the Toronto Argonauts in check.
It appears that Charleston Hughes still has the Toronto Argonauts number as he helped lead the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ defence to a convincing win over the Double Blue.
The former Calgary Stampeders lineman had three sacks proving that he is still one of the most feared pass rushers in the league. The Argos offensive line struggled to keep the 34-year-old contained which made life miserable for Ricky Ray.
Both defences were strong early on but Zach Collaros was able to get into a groove and put together thanks in part to a 30-yard penalty by T.J. Heath. However, the Argos defence was able to minimize the damage early on but wasn’t able to keep them off the board entirely.
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Really the Argos defence wasn’t the problem in this game, rather it was the Roughriders defence which made life miserable for Ray and the offence. There were times that he felt rushed in the pocket, had balls knocked down and a pick-6 which proved to be the dagger.
It wasn’t until the fourth quarter where the team started to find a groove with Ray starting to spread the ball around more getting Armanti Edwards and James Wilder Jr. more involved.
Let’s not forget that the starters did not play in preseason action so the fact that they struggled to get things going isn’t a big surprise.
As Frank Ziccarelli of the Toronto Sun notes, the Argos had more punts in the opening half than completed passes, safe to say that’s not going to cut it.
A big problem was the fact that the team could not establish the run game as they only had 54 yards on the ground while Saskatchewan had 111. Jerome Messam came up with some big runs that helped keep the Argos defence on their toes.
Another issue was the Argos play on second down which they only averaged 2.8 yards per play while the Roughriders averaged 7.2 yards.
That’s one area that Trestman will look to improve on as the team prepares to host the Stampeders in their home opener.