(Photo credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports)
The Saskatchewan Roughriders will try to plug their leaky run defense when they visit the Ottawa Redblacks on Friday night.
The Roughriders (6-7) have lost two in a row while chasing a playoff berth, giving up 51 points to Winnipeg on Sept. 9 and allowing four more touchdowns in last Friday's 36-27 home loss to Edmonton.
Saskatchewan has surrendered a league-high 40 touchdowns and 389 points this season. They gave up a whopping 263 rushing yards to the Blue Bombers and 265 more to the Elks.
"We invite people to run the ball," Riders defensive coordinator Jason Shivers said, per the Leader Post. "We just got to do better with fits, on the perimeter, stopping the ball, boxing it, setting a new boundary, setting the ball back so our interior guys can run down the line and make plays."
Saskatchewan won the first meeting with Ottawa (3-10) by a 26-24 score on Aug. 6 in Regina, limiting the Redblacks to just 222 net yards of offense and only 92 on the ground (on 26 rushing plays).
The Roughriders have lost their last four road games, however, outscored by a 142-40 margin.
Ottawa is on a seven-game losing streak after allowing 23 unanswered points in the fourth quarter of a 41-37 loss at the B.C. Lions last Saturday.
Despite being all but eliminated from playoff contention, defensive lineman Nigel Romick said the Redblacks are still fighting.
"These guys care so much," he said, per the Ottawa Sun. "... We're here every day, putting in a lot of work. That's the most frustrating part, putting all this work in.
"You just go out there and prepare the exact same. There's still a chance."
The Roughriders listed eight players out on the injury report, including running back Jamal Morrow, defensive lineman Anthony Lanier II and defensive back Nelson Lokombo.
The Redblacks will be without kicker Lewis Ward, linebacker Deshawn Stevens, running back Jackson Bennett and wide receiver Nate Behar.
--Field Level Media