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Riders take on Tiger-Cats in 101st Grey Cup on TSN

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TSN.ca Staff
11/24/2013 1:40:26 PM
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The Saskatchewan Roughriders will attempt to become the third consecutive Canadian Football League team to capture a championship on their home field when they face the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at the 101st Grey Cup at Mosaic Stadium in Regina.

TSN's pre-game coverage is underway live NOW, with kickoff at 6pm et/3pm pt. You can also follow TSN's digital platforms throughout the game with in-game highlights and TSN.ca's GameTracker.

To follow in the footsteps of the 99th Grey Cup Champion B.C. Lions and 100th Grey Cup Champion Toronto Argonauts, the Roughriders are going to have to beat a team that took an almost identical route to the title game as them in the Tiger-Cats.

Both teams finished second in their respective division and after earning home semi-final victories, were forced to go on the road as underdogs to book their places in the final.

In the West title game, the Roughriders knocked off the Calgary Stampeders 35-13, leading from the mid-point of the opening quarter right to the final whistle.

After opening the regular season by winning eight of their first nine games, the Roughriders struggled through the second half of the campaign before getting things back on track heading into the playoffs.

The Tiger-Cats, meanwhile, overturned a halftime deficit in the East Final to knock off the defending champion Argonauts and get to the Grey Cup.

The Ticats also overcame a 1-4 start to the season before everything came together late in the season, especially on the defensive side of the ball, and they stayed hot through the playoffs.

The Roughriders offence will be led by eight-year CFL veteran quarterback Darian Durant, who threw a career-high 31 touchdown passes as well as topping the 4,000 yard mark for the third time in his career. He also set a new personal benchmark with a 95.7 passer rating.

This will be Durant's third crack at leading the Roughriders to the Grey Cup, as he was behind centre during both the 2009 and 2010 losses to the Montreal Alouettes. He will have one of the CFL's most dynamic backs by his side in Kory Sheets, who finished the year with 1,598 yards - good enough for second overall. Sheets, in his second season in the league, contributed 12 touchdowns for the Roughriders.

Speaking of veteran leadership, Henry Burris will be the pivot for the Tiger-Cats and he brings with him 15 years of CFL experience and the pedigree of leading the Stampeders to a championship in 2008. He also led the league this season with 4,925 passing yards as he continues to shine at the QB position.

C.J. Gable will also be counted on to make an impact from the RB position for the Ticats, as the rookie finished fourth in rushing with 782 yards this season.

One of the major storylines of this game will be Tiger-Cats head coach Kent Austin, who is a Roughriders legend; having led the team to championships as a quarterback in 1989 and as a head coach in 2007. Though he will be coaching against what will be a very partisan crowd against his team, a banner with his picture still hangs outside of Mosaic Stadium.

Six players and one coach enter the game with the chance to win back-to-back titles. Ricky Foley, Tristan Black and Ejiro Kuale of the Roughriders or Evan McCullough, Brandon Isaac, Joel Reinders, and defensive coordinator Orlondo Steinauer of the Tiger-Cats will be finishing the season with the big prize for the second year in a row.

The Roughriders have not captured the Grey Cup since Austin coached them there in 2007, while the Tiger-Cats haven't been crowned champions since 1999.

TSN's coverage of the 101st Grey Cup gets underway with SportsCentre hosts Jennifer Hedger and Darren Dutchyshen kicking things off from Mosaic Stadium at 1pm et/10 am pt.

Then, hosts Dave Randorf and Brian Williams take over at Mosaic Stadium at 3pm et/Noon pt alongside the CFL On TSN panel featuring Chris Schultz, Matt Dunigan, Jock Climie, Milt Stegall, and Paul LaPolice.

The Pre-Game Show also checks in with Cabbie, as he hosts the Sun Life Grey Cup Fan March from Victoria Park to Mosaic Stadium and delivers another special edition of Cabbie Presents from Regina.

The 101st Grey Cup gets underway at 6pm et/3pm pt live on TSN, TSN Radio, and TEAM Radio. TSN's acclaimed broadcast team of Chris Cuthbert and Glen Suitor are in the broadcast booth providing play-by-play commentary and game analysis during the game on TSN.

Prior to kick-off, TSN will feature a performance by Saskatchewan natives The Sheepdogs as part of the CFL's special Kick-Off Show. At halftime, TSN has live coverage of the SiriusXM Grey Cup Half-Time Show featuring Canadian multi-platinum pop group Hedley.

101st Grey Cup (Photo: TSN)

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(Photo: TSN)
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