Week 2 of the CFL season brings a familiar matchup to the table when the Montreal Alouettes take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders. As always, TSN will handle the television coverage with NFL Network carrying this game as well at 1:00 p.m. (PT) on Saturday.
Montreal is the two-time defending Grey Cup champion and each year they defeated Saskatchewan to win the title. In fact, the last time neither of these two squads made the championship was back in 2004.
At this time on the Don Best odds screen, Montreal is a 2-point road favorite with the total set at 54½.
The Alouettes are coming off an opening week win at home against the B.C. Lions. Montreal jumped out to a 27-10 first half lead that proved to be enough for the game. They only scored three points in the second half but still won, 30-26.
Quarterback Anthony Calvillo started his 2011 campaign strong as he hit 22-of-30 passes for 312 yards and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Jamel Richardson continued where he left off in last year’s championship game. The 2010 Grey Cup MVP racked up nine grabs, 162 yards and two scores.
There was some bad news for Montreal as defensive back Jerald Brown was carted off the field with an ankle injury and may miss the rest of the season.
For the Roughriders, their first outing was indeed rough. Though the Edmonton Eskimos may not call it an upset, it was a shock as they defeated the defending Western Division champions, 42-28.
Saskatchewan’s signal caller Darian Durant threw three picks and the whole team had four turnovers which certainly helped Edmonton out. A Wes Cates rushing TD got the 'Riders within seven points at the end of the first half, but the game continued to get away from them in the second.
It may continue to be a difficult start to the year for the Roughriders because the Alouettes are in their heads. While Saskatchewan scored a thrilling opening week overtime victory over Montreal a season ago, they have lost six out of their last seven head-to-head matchups. Two of those were, of course, for the Grey Cup title.
When one squad consistently dominates another, especially in championship games, that can be a tough pill to swallow for any team.
The ‘over’ is 7-1 in the last eight meetings in Saskatchewan between these two teams which includes last year’s season-opener where they combined to score 105 points.
It should be a clear day of 73 degrees for kickoff.