CFL notes: Rankings, numbers and blunders

Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach Corey Chamblin during second half CFL football game in Regina,...

Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach Corey Chamblin during second half CFL football game in Regina, Saskatchewan July 8, 2012. The Roughriders won the game 17-1. (REUTERS)

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:17 PM ET

So far it's been nothing but sunshine and lollipops for coach Corey Chamblin in Saskatchewan.

And rightly so.

The former Tiger-Cats defensive co-ordinator has the league's flagship franchise in tiptop shape, cruising along with the league's only perfect record after three games. It's a far cry from the debacle of last season in Regina.

Aside from not letting the public watch his practices, Chamblin hadn't missed a step since taking over. That is, until late in Saturday's win over the B.C. Lions.

The Riders, facing a second-and-three from the B.C. 38, decided to send out their short-yardage team with 1:31 to go in the game. They had a three-point lead at the time. A first down would have all but sealed the win.

For reasons that cannot be explained, Saskatchewan took out quarterback Darian Durant and running back Kory Sheets and replaced them with third-string quarterback Drew Willy and Canadian fullback Neal Hughes. No offence to the latter two, but Durant and Sheets had been doing some good things up until that point.

We could understand if the Willy-Hughes tandem went out there for a second-and-one situation, but not second-and-three. It looks like the Rider coaches were out-thinking themselves.

Naturally, Hughes got stuffed for a loss, and the Riders were forced to attempt a field goal, which they missed. The Lions got the ball back and could have moved into a position to tie but Travis Lulay was intercepted.

It never should have come to that.

BY THE NUMBERS

$278 -- Price tag, in millions, for Saskatchewan's new stadium that is scheduled to be built in time for the 2017 CFL season.

$100 -- Loan, in millions, the Riders will pay back to the provincial government over 30 years for their part in the new stadium.

18 -- Big plays made by the Argos. According to the CFL, "big plays" are rushes longer than 20 yards, punt returns and passes longer than 30 yards, and kick and missed field goal returns of 40-plus yards.

10 -- Big plays made by the Lions, the next best team in that category.

5 -- Net rushing yards for the Alouettes in their 33-32 win over the Stampeders Thursday. Who says you need to establish the run?

16 -- Starts missed by Bombers QB Buck Pierce due to injury since the start of the 2010 season. He has started just 24 of 40 games.

THE WEEK AHEAD

Winnipeg at Toronto

The Bombers are reeling, and Ricky Ray is churning out the offence for the Boatmen. Argos by 8.

Saskatchewan at Calgary

The red-hot Riders always seem to play well in Cowtown, and this time will be no different. Roughriders by 3.

Edmonton at B.C.

Don't let the records fool you. These are two very different 2-1 teams, and the hosts will prove it. Lions by 16.

Montreal at Hamilton

Still waiting for Anthony Calvillo to bust loose. It should happen in the Hammer. Alouettes by 12

CFL POWER RANKINGS

1. (2) Saskatchewan -- The Roughies proved their defence is for real against Lulay and the Leos.

2. (1) B.C. -- They are perfect no more, but they fought valiantly against the resurgent Riders.

3. (4) Montreal -- Good teams find ways to win, and that's what the Als are doing.

4. (3) Calgary -- They're not as dangerous with Kevin Glenn at the controls.

5. (7) Edmonton -- They haven't produced any masterpieces, but they win when they need to.

6. (6) Hamilton -- Henry Burris and Co. finally find the win column, thanks to Chris Williams.

7. (5) Toronto -- A perennial team strength, special teams, is now hurting them big time.

8. (8) Winnipeg -- The Blue and Gold are winless, and Buck Pierce is on the shelf.

TWEET OF THE WEEK

"B4 show. Tonight."

-- Snoop Dogg, whose wearing of a Weston Dressler jersey Monday night in Saskatoon took the CFL by storm on Tuesday.

PENTON PREDICTS

Look out for Cory Boyd Wednesday night at Rogers Centre. The Argos tailback is the league's leading rusher, and the Bombers defence is allowing more than 100 yards per game on the ground. The Blue and Gold will be worrying about the arm of Ricky Ray, but Boyd's legs will do some damage.


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