EDMONTON – The Edmonton Elks cross-Canada tour is officially on the road.
Edmonton kicks off the most grueling road trip in CFL history Saturday afternoon in Regina, taking on the Saskatchewan Roughriders at Mosaic Stadium at 2 p.m. MT (3 p.m. CT).
Saturday’s matinee is the start of three games in a week for the Elks, who finish the season with three consecutive road games for the first time in franchise history.
Matchups against the Toronto Argonauts (Tuesday, November 16) and B.C. Lions (Friday, November 19) loom on the schedule, but first there’s a weekend stay in the Queen City to take care of.
Edmonton is looking to snap a four-game winless skid against the Roughriders after last week’s narrow 19-17 loss to the Green and White at The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE ELKS GAME NOTES
Expect this game to feature the most ‘normal’ roster for the Elks, who will then add some reinforcements in the form of a five additional active roster players against Toronto and B.C. (more on that in Quick Hitters).
Quaterback Taylor Cornelius and running back Walter Fletcher enter the week after strong games respectively in Week 14.
Cornelius had his best statistical start of the season against Saskatchewan, throwing for 322 yards and two touchdowns. While the Oklahoma State product had more passing yards back in Week 9 against Ottawa (334), last week’s game came without an interception. It was the third consecutive game for Cornelius without a turnover, as the rookie pivot continues to settle into the Canadian game.
As for Fletcher, he returns atop the running back depth chart for a second consecutive week and will be sure to factor heavily, especially with snowy and windy conditions possible.
The Ball State product was outstanding in his first start for the Green and Gold last week, doubling his season total for carries to 28, accumulating 74 yards on the ground, and adding 66 receiving yards.
Defensively, Nafees Lyon looks to build on back-to-back strong outings in place of the injured Jonathon Mincy at cornerback. Lyon led the Elks in tackles during his Week 13 debut with six, and then added an interception last week.
Two new faces draw into the lineup this week, as defensive lineman Chris Casher and running back Bruce Anderson will make their Elks debuts. Casher inked with the Elks back in September and enters the lineup thanks to Mike Moore being added to the one-game injured list, while Anderson was also a September signing and is second on the running back depth chart with both James Wilder Jr. and Terry Williams out.
On the Saskatchewan side of the equation, the Riders are one game away from clinching second in the West Division and a home playoff date. The Riders could have a November 28th playoff date in the bag before kickoff Saturday, as a B.C. win over Calgary on Friday Night Football would do the trick for the Green and White.
|GAME DAY INFORMATION|
|DATE | TIME||Saturday, November 13 | 2:00 p.m. MT (3:00 p.m. CT)|
|LOCATION||The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium | Edmonton, AB|
|TV||TSN | Dustin Nielson (PBP), Glen Suitor (Colour), Sara Orlesky (Sideline)|
630 CHED | Morley Scott (PBP), Dave Campbell (Colour), Blake Dermott (Analyst)
The Countdown to Kickoff pre-game show starts at 1:00 p.m. MT
|50/50 TICKETS||Click here to purchase your James H. Brown & Associates 50/50 tickets.|
|DEPTH CHARTS||Edmonton (click here) | Saskatchewan (click here)|
|COACH||2021 TEAM RECORD||OVERALL RECORD (REG. SEASON)|
|EDMONTON||Jaime Elizondo (1st season)||2-9-0||2-9-0|
|SASKATCHEWAN||Craig Dickenson (2nd season)||8-4-0||21-9-0|
|QUARTERBACK||2021 STATS||REG. SEASON CAREER STATS|
|EDMONTON||Taylor Cornelius (1st season)||11 GP | 104-of-174 | 1384 YDS | 6 TD | 6 INT||11 GP | 104-of-174 | 1384 YDS | 6 TD | 6 INT|
|SASKATCHEWAN||Cody Fajardo (5th season)||12 GP | 258-of-372 | 2725 YDS | 11 TD | 10 INT||74 GP | 639-of-913 | 7441 YDS | 34 TD | 19 INT|
HOP ON BOARD
Edmonton’s charter flight will have less room than usual, as the practice roster will join the club on the road.
With three games in such a short period of time, you can expect the Green and Gold to lean on the extra bodies heading into Tuesday’s game against Toronto and the season finale against the Lions on Friday.
The Elks, along with the Toronto Argonauts and B.C. Lions, will dress an additional five players to help ensure their are enough healthy bodies to close out the season.
Sometimes the stats just aren’t on your side.
And sometimes they are and it doesn’t matter.
That seems to be the case this season for the Elks, who statistically are far better than 2-9 in several key categories, but have lost some pivotal key moments, as evidenced by Edmonton’s -16 turnover ratio.
In terms of stats that tell you this edition of the Elks is better than the numbers say: the team is fourth in net offence (347.5/game – Sask is eighth at 314.7 for comparison), and fourth in opponent net offence (328.5/game – Sask is fifth at 329.6).
The Elks have also been above average through the air – both for and against – ranking fourth in passing yards (268.4/game) and second in passing yards against (228.1/game). In the pass heavy CFL, you’d think those two numbers would bode well in the win column.
UNIVERSITY GREEN AND GOLD
Shout-out to the Alberta Golden Bears, who travel to Winnipeg this weekend for a Saturday Hardy Cup Semifinal against the Manitoba Bisons (3 p.m. MT / 4 p.m. CT).
Led by Double E alumni Chris Morris, the Bears posted a 3-3 record in Canada West conference play to finish third behind the Bisons (4-2) and Saskatchewan Huskies (5-1).
The Bears are looking to avenge a 31-17 loss to Manitoba back on October 1 and earn their first trip to the Hardy Cup since 2010. You can bet Bears turned Elks Hugh O’Neill, David Beard, Cole Nelson, and Shaydon Philip are rooting for their alma mater.
If you want some two-screen sport viewing (with the other being the Elks-Riders, of course), you can watch Alberta and Manitoba on Canada West TV, or TELUS Optik channel 998.
- Cross-Canada Tour counter: After flying to Regina, the Elks have covered just 692 KM of their 6,891-KM trip.
- Three sacks for Derrick Moncrief was a nice way for the Elks defender to re-introduce himself to his former Saskatchewan teammates. The former CFL all-star was stellar last week, posting the highest total for an Elk in a single-game this season.
- The Double E’s recent struggles against the Riders are rare, as the current four-game losing streak marks just the third time ever Edmonton has lost four or more games in a row to the Riders.
- Edmonton lost five games to Saskatchewan between 1968-69 and nine games back in 1962-65.
- Heading into this week, the Elks have used 10 different defensive starting lineups this season, and 10 on the offensive side of the ball. Weeks 10 & 11 were the only identical starting rotations on defence, while you have to go all the way back to Weeks 1 & 2 for continuity on offence.
|HOME||ROAD||COMBINED||LAST 10 (STREAK)|
|ELKS RECORD||74-34-2||48-58-0||122-92-2||4-6-0 (lost 4)|
|RECENT MEETINGS||19-17 L (Nov. 5, 2021)||23-13 L (Nov. 2, 2019)|