Time is running out for the Toronto Argonauts to right the ship and make a playoff run.
When the Argos travel to Saskatchewan to take on the Roughriders Saturday night (9 p.m. ET), Toronto will need a win to keep pace in the post-season race.
The Argonauts are last in the CFL, sporting a 3-10 record for six points. With just five games remaining in the season, they are four points behind the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for the final East playoff berth.
Head coach Bart Andrus will start Kerry Joseph at quarterback for Saturday’s tilt in Regina. Joseph hasn’t started a game since Toronto’s shutout loss to Montreal on Aug. 7.
However, Joseph’s teammates aren’t concerned who is under centre.
“In the last two games, we have had reps with both quarterbacks and they both have good huddle presence,” offensive lineman Jeff Keeping told Argonauts.ca on Thursday.
“We are comfortable with both [quarterbacks] so we don’t really notice a difference”.
Neither Joseph or Cody Pickett have been particularly effective during Toronto’s current three-game winless streak, putting more pressure on the ground game.
Running back Jamal Robertson picked up 77 yards on 15 carries during Toronto’s 27-8 loss to Montreal last Saturday, scoring the team’s lone touchdown. He has also had the bulk of the carries for the Argos in recent games.
Last year’s special teams player of the year, Dominique Dorsey, has been used solely on kick and punt returns. The five-foot-seven running back shared carries with Robertson last season.
An advantage of having Joseph behind centre on Saturday will be his mobility. The 2007 CFL’s Most Outstanding Player runs significantly better than Pickett, possibly opening up the passing game.
Thus far, Joseph has not had any luck with his offensive coordinators. Both Steve Burratto and Andrus have shown a preference to a pocket passing game, a weak point in Joseph’s skill set.
If the team can find a way to put points on the board, its defence will give them a chance to win. The Argonauts defence held Montreal to just one offensive touchdown last week, and kept the score to within a major until into the fourth quarter.
Toronto will be facing a Saskatchewan squad that is in the thick of a playoff race in the West. The Roughriders are in second in the division with a 7-6 record, just two points behind Calgary for top spot.
Saskatchewan has not won its division since 1976, the longest drought for any CFL team.
The Green Riders are coming off of a tough 19-16 loss to the Lions. After Saskatchewan tied the game with less than three minutes to go, B.C. kicker Sean Whyte’s 33-yard field goal with less than 10 seconds remaining won the contest.
These two teams have not met since the Riders 46-36 victory on July 11, which spoiled Toronto’s home opener. Saskatchewan has won the last three meetings over the Argos, averaging just less 40 points a game.