Running game's fading

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 11:52 AM ET

WINNIPEG -- The running game has become a major problem for the Edmonton Eskimos - in more than one way.

While Troy Davis can't get on track this year, the Esks' formerly feared run defence from last year has disappeared.

Edmonton entered Week 3 with the most running yards against in the CFL and they added to the bad statistic last night, giving up another 127 yards.

It means the Esks are allowing an average of 136 yards on the ground a game.

"It is starts with my position," said middle linebacker Quincy Stewart, who has started every game this year in place of veteran A.J. Gass.

"Obviously, A.J. has been a great leader here and he took control of the defence and that is what I have to do."

QUESTIONS ABOUT ESKS DEFENCE

It's unclear if Stewart will remain in the middle of the defence for Friday's game against the first-place B.C. Lions.

With Gass straining his right hamstring yesterday, it's unknown if he'll be able to play.

But Stewart isn't worried about that issue. He just wants to correct the gaping holes in the front seven.

"We just aren't playing sound defence," he explained.

"We have the personnel to get it done, but we just have to do it."

Edmonton had the No.-1 ranked run defence in 2005.

11 YARDS JUST DOESN'T CUT IT

On offence, Davis had a brutal night, rushing the ball for just 11 yards on eight carries.

That equals a 1.4-yard average per carry, a stunning reversal from his usual 5.6-yard average.

But the Eskimos also had to abandon the running game in the second half, giving Davis little opportunity to make amends.

LOW MARK: For the first time in 12 years, Edmonton gave up more than 600 yards of total offence. To be precise, they were torched for 601 yards last night.

The last time they relinquished more than 600 yards was July 14, 1994 - ironically in Winnipeg in a 50-24 loss.

The Green and Gold were burned for 793 yards that day.

SHORT HIT: It was a good and bad night for Sean Fleming.

He successfully nailed a 24-yard field goal to help his battered confidence in the first half, but then likely watched that confidence dip again in the third quarter when holder Jason Johnson bobbled the snap, aborting the field-goal attempt in the process.


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