Lions need to make some noise in Saskatchewan 0
Courntey Taylor of the B.C. Lions dives for a touchdown in front of Eric Fraser of the Calgary Stampeders in CFL action at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Alta. on Friday October 11, 2013. The Stamps were trying to stave off the Lions in a fight for first place in the West Division. (LYLE ASPINALL/ QMI AGENCY)
Anytime you hear loud music blaring at a B.C. Lions practice, it's pretty easy to tell which team they are preparing to visit. After all, that's one way to get ready for what they call Rider Nation in Saskatchewan.
But the noise factor is just a small part of the storyline in yet another matchup between the Leos and the Roughriders. Saturday's game has big implications, much more so than the last time B.C. went to Regina — where they came away with a last-second victory.
A loss this time around means B.C. will finish third in the West Division and will miss out on a home playoff date.
"The mindset is one that we need to win," head coach Mike Benevides said. "The mindset is one of preparation that we have to go there and play a very intense game … and it's no different than the last time we were there.
"We're tired of what's going on right now. We need to find a way to win, get momentum going."
After two straight losses, the team currently trails Saskatchewan by two points with three games to go. A win by the Roughriders means they take the season series — which serves as the tie-breaker — and a four-point advantage in the standings. Coming away with a victory this weekend would at least give the Lions an opportunity to not have to return to the rowdy atmosphere in a playoff setting three weeks from now.
"We got to take care of our own business," defensive back Ryan Phillips said. "If we do, then we go ahead and set ourselves for what we want, which is a home playoff game. Beating two teams that we may have to see in the playoffs as well, we want to establish that we can beat those teams and establish the fact that we can be dominant going into the playoffs."
Looking to rebound will be the defence, after the team allowed 40 points to Calgary. The Leos gave up 398 yards — including 139 rushing — and allowed three touchdowns to the Stamps offence.
"Winning will solve pretty much everything, but we just need to get back into the mindset that we had going into Saskatchewan when we played there," defensive lineman Keron Williams said. "We have to be poised and confident in what we're doing."