Stats paint ugly picture for Stamps

IAN BUSBY, CALGARY SUN

, Last Updated: 8:33 AM ET

REGINA -- Delving into the stats, picking a winner of the West semifinal should be a no-brainer.

The Calgary Stampeders are the most penalized team in the CFL (231 flags for 1,978 yards), have committed a league-worst 54 turnovers and have lost six of their last seven.

On the other side, the Saskatchewan Roughriders have won five of their last six, are the least penalized team (161 flags) and tied for a league-best 32 giveaways.

With a howling wind expected at Mosaic Stadium today (3 p.m., CBC), those little mistakes could decide the contest.

"I would say the Stampeders have better talent than we do," said Roughriders general manager Eric Tillman.

"Games aren't won on paper ... We've been unselfish, played smart and hard.

"If you look at those stats and how this team has played unselfishly, that's why we've won 12. It's not because the GM has assembled a super team."

Despite those stats, the Stamps still managed to win seven games, although their record is 6-3 when positive or even on turnovers and 1-7-1 when negative.

JOLLY ST. SCHULTZ

If the Roughriders felt like kids on Christmas Eve last night before their first home playoff game in 19 years, defensive tackle Scott Schultz would be the perfect Santa Claus.

"I won't be eating any cookies, though," said the rotund and colourful Schultz. "I have to keep my sugar down at night in order to sleep. I'm probably borderline diabetic as it is.

"I say I would like to not eat the cookies, but I'm a man. I have wants and needs like anybody else."

Schultz admitted he was going to have trouble sleeping anyway because of his excitement.

"I have to ask my wife to keep the baby away so I can be a hermit in the basement," he said. "I will need to collect my thoughts because this is a pretty big deal."

BATTLE PROVEN

Playoff experience is always a factor at this time of year, and the Roughriders have a surprising edge in that category.

The players on the Riders roster have 172 playoff games under their belts, while the Stamps have only 119 contests in their past. The Stamps do hold an edge with 10 Grey Cup rings between them to seven for the Riders.


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