The B.C. Lions are offering a guaranteed jackpot of $100,000 for their 50-50 draw, and are running a whole host of kid-friendly fan activities, giveaways and promotions to try and get fans into the stadium.NEXT GAMESaturdaySaskatchewan Roughriders vs. B.C. Lions4 p.m., B.C. Place Stadium, TV: TSN; Radio: TSN 1040 AMKEY MATCHUPRoughriders DE Charleston Hughes vs. Lions OT David FoucaultThis could really be Riders defensive co-ordinator Jason Shivers vs. Lions O-line coach Bryan Chiu.It’s no secret the Lions’ O-line has struggled this year, but Hughes was a demon last week with 10 tackles and three sacks. It’s unimaginable that Chiu would leave Foucault — or whomever gets the tackle assignment against Hughes — on his own. There has to be help through the blocking scheme to allow Reilly time to actually make some plays.FIVE THINGS TO WATCH1. Rush the passerThere’s an axiom in modern football: Protect the passer, rush the passer and you’ll have success. The Lions spent a ton of dough bringing in QB Mike Reilly, but if they can’t protect him, their season is done.It won’t be easy Saturday afternoon, as the Riders’ Hughes showed last week. He’s on track to be the oldest sack leader in CFL history. Reilly has suffered the most sacks in the CFL with 21. That’s 3.5 sacks per game and that must change ASAP.
If the Lions offensive line can’t keep Mike Reilly upright, it’s going to be another long game for the embattled quarterback.
Troy Fleece /
2. Rush the passer, Part 2Then this is the other shoe to drop. The Lions only have seven sacks on the season, the only team with fewer is Montreal with a paltry four, albeit the Als have played one less game. They catch some sort of a break with guard Philip Blake being out with a broken leg. The Lions simply have to get more pressure on the passer if they want to have any shot at winning this game.3. Make it specialWhile all three facets of last week’s matchup between the two teams played a part, an argument can be made that the game really hinged on Marcus Thigpen’s 100-yard kickoff-return touchdown just before halftime.The Riders have an edge in the return game while the Lions may boast the better kicking game. Whichever one of the two steps up may be the decider in this one.4. Catch and releaseRoughriders receiver Shaq Evans was the CFL Player of the Week on offence after hauling in five catches for a career-record 158 yards. Whether that falls squarely on Lions CB Gary Peters, or a combination of help from others in the secondary, letting Evans run free like that again would mean essentially a repeat of last week’s result.5. Flagging interestAs with any CFL game, penalties can be the talking point, and often the decider in close games. Last week the teams both had nine flags but the Lions had three on special teams that impacted field position.Often in the second game of back-to-backs you see an inflammation of emotions, and the team that is more disciplined in this rematch will have a sizable advantage.INSIDE THE GAMEVisiting Regina is always a tough assignment. Visiting B.C. Place isn’t. The Lions are struggling at the box office, and the lack of crowd noise, atmosphere and general fan apathy gives little boost to the home team. The Lions are offering a guaranteed jackpot of $100,000 for their 50-50 draw, and are running a whole host of kid-friendly fan activities, giveaways and promotions to try and get fans into the stadium.With a 4 p.m. kickoff on a sunny day, it’s going to be interesting to see how many fans make the game a priority to try and give the hometown boys an advantage. Lions coach DeVone Claybrooks has tabbed the game a “must-win.” Dropping to 1-6, which would be two games behind the Roughriders, could all but end playoff hopes for the Lions.PREDICTIONB.C. 27, Saskatchewan 21CLICK HERE to report a typo.Is there more to this story? We’d like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Email firstname.lastname@example.org