Field of bad dreams

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:41 AM ET

What is it with Taylor Field in Regina?

The Edmonton Eskimos haven't won a regular-season game in Saskatchewan in three years.

In fact, the Green and Gold haven't been close to the Roughriders on the scoreboard.

In 2004: Riders 40 - Eskimos 16.

In 2003: Riders 32 - Eskimos 14.

In 2002: Riders 45 - Eskimos 11.

In three years, the tale of the tape reads: Saskatchewan 117 points - Edmonton 41 points.

STRANGE TWIST OF FATE

"It is so strange," said head coach Danny Maciocia. "When I was with the (Montreal) Als for five years we never lost at Taylor Field."

With a veteran-laden club, there are several key Eskimos with memories of all three horror flicks.

"Saskatchewan definitely plays better at home than they do anywhere else," said Edmonton linebacker A.J. Gass.

"They overachieve at home."

As usual, the well-spoken Gass hits the nail on the head.

In 84 career games in Regina versus the Eskimos, the Riders hold the series lead 45 wins to 39 losses.

However, when the two teams meet in Edmonton, the Eskimos hold a huge edge with 59 victories compared to 27 losses. The Riders haven't won a regular-season game in Edmonton since Oct. 28, 2000.

"For whatever reason we go (to Regina) and we haven't been able to match their intensity," said quarterback Jason Maas, who started the last game the Eskimos played in Regina last year.

At halftime of that game, the Riders were leading 31-1.

"It's just a hard place to play," said linebacker Singor Mobley. "(The Riders) get really jacked playing in front of their fans.

"But (the losing streak) is something that we need to snap really quick."

Added quarterback Ricky Ray, who has never won a regular-season game in Regina: "(The Riders) are pretty fast on that turf and the weather is usually pretty wild there.

"But we need a win."

With 14 points after 11 games, the Eskimos sit alone in second place with a four-point cushion. However, a Saskatchewan win on Sunday would put the Riders two points behind the Eskimos in the race for second and home-field advantage in the western semifinal in November.

On the positive side for the Eskimos, this team does know how to win a big game at Taylor Field. Edmonton defeated Montreal in the 2003 Grey Cup in Regina.

ROAD WARRIORS

And this team has already won more road games this year (three) compared to the entire 2004 season, which featured just two victories away from Commonwealth Stadium.

"It seems like we are playing with a different type of attitude on the road (compared to last year), which is good," said Maciocia.

"We are going to walk into a hostile environment (Sunday), which is going to require us to come out of the gate and make sure we are not trailing 10, 14 or 17 points because then it is going to be an uphill battle."


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