October 11, 2018 3:55 pm
Updated: October 12, 2018 8:10 pm

Blue Bombers host Saskatchewan in potential CFL West playoff preview

Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Saskatchewan Roughriders' Fans tailgate ahead of the 15th annual Banjo Bowl

Michael Draven / Global News
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The Winnipeg Blue Bombers will try to cool off the red-hot Saskatchewan Roughriders when the teams square off for the third and final time in the regular season on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Investors Group Field.

The broadcast for Bob Irving’s 800th game covering the CFL for 680 CJOB gets underway at 11 a.m. with the pregame show.

And now Ed Tait of bluebombers.com serves up some of the more compelling story lines going into this critical match-up for both teams.

FIVE THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  1. This is the third and final meeting of the regular season between the Bombers and Riders, although there is a very real possibility the two squads could meet again in the playoffs.
  2. The Riders have won the first two games, capturing the Labour Day Classic 31-23 in Regina and then the Banjo Bowl 32-27 a week later here in Winnipeg. The Bombers turned the ball over a whopping eight times in those two games, including throwing two Pick 6’s in the Banjo Bowl loss. The Riders are led by a dominant defence, which has forced 17 interceptions, returning seven of them for touchdowns. They also have one kickoff-return touchdown and three more on punt returns, making them one of the most balanced teams in the CFL.
  3. The Bombers lead the league in scoring, averaging 31.1 points per game. Winnipeg’s ground attack is the CFL’s best, averaging almost 132 yards per game. Further to that, Andrew Harris is coming off a superb game in Ottawa in which he rushed 20 times for 132 yards. Harris now trails Ottawa’s William Powell by just three yards in the race for the CFL rushing crown, although Powell does have a game in hand.
  4. Winnipeg has won three straight games and looks to win four in a row for the first time since last summer, when the club won five consecutive during a stretch from July 27 to Aug. 24.
  5. Saskatchewan’s Zach Collaros is the only quarterback in the CFL’s Top-rated pivots with more interceptions than touchdowns so far this season. Collaros has thrown nine TDs against 11 interceptions. By comparison, the Bombers’ Matt Nichols has 15 passing TDs and 13 picks.

  6. Story continues below

NOTABLE:
Saturday, Oct. 13 is Family Day at Investors Group Field. The pre-game tailgate area will open at 11 a.m. and will give kids the opportunity to meet their favourite TV characters, including SpongeBob Square Pants, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, PAW Patrol, and Dora the Explorer.

There will also be inflatables, face painting, games, airbrush tattoos while Assiniboine Zoo will be in attendance handing out free youth admittance vouchers (limited quantities).

NEXT:

The Bombers will enjoy their third and final bye week after Saturday’s game against the Riders. They return to play host to the Calgary Stampeders on Friday, Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m. For tickets, call: 204-784-7448 or visit bluebombers.com/tickets.

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