20 July, 2023


In an instant classic rematch against the Calgary Stampeders, the Saskatchewan Roughriders faced a nail-biting 33-31 defeat. Despite the loss, the game was exciting right until the final play. Mason Fine, stepping in for the injured Trevor Harris, took the reins as the starting quarterback and displayed promising signs, keeping the fans intrigued about his potential.

The game began with a special teams showcase, as Mario Alford returned a punt for a dazzling 67-yard touchdown. The Stampeders responded with Rene Paredes’ 28-yard field goal, making it a close 7-3 game at the end of the first quarter.

Mason Fine demonstrated his ability to lead the offense, orchestrating a 92-yard touchdown drive, capped off by a seven-yard touchdown connection to Tommylee Lewis. The Stampeders went into halftime with a 20-10 lead after another touchdown pass from Maier to Hakunavanhu.

The second half saw more thrilling moments, with Alford returning another punt for a 92-yard touchdown, fulfilling his halftime prediction. However, Trevor Harris suffered a leg injury and was replaced by Mason Fine, who showcased his skills with several impressive throws and rushing first down.

The Riders fought back with a spectacular Hail Mary completion from Fine to Tevin Jones, resulting in a 69-yard touchdown that tied the game at 31-30. However, the Stampeders managed to set up a game-winning 50-yard field goal by veteran kicker Rene Paredes, sealing their narrow victory.

While the loss was disheartening, fans are intrigued by Mason Fine’s potential and scrappiness as the starting quarterback. With the offensive line and starting receivers facing challenges, Fine’s performance provides optimism for the team’s future games.

Fans Weigh In

After the intense game against the Stamps, Rider fans shared their sentiments on the team’s performance. The word cloud of fan reactions revealed a mix of emotions, with words like “agonizing,” “exciting,” “nail-biter,” and “tough” dominating the conversation, reflecting the intense nature of the game. Fans are eager to see how Mason Fine will continue to grow and adapt in his role as the starting quarterback and remain largely hopeful.

Despite facing challenges early on in the season, the Roughriders have leveraged their strengths and effectively addressed areas for improvement from the previous year. Let’s examine the fan sentiments and the aspects they highlighted as strengths and areas for improvement:


Special Teams (44%): The special teams unit once again proved its value with Mario Alford’s outstanding performances on punt returns. Alford’s two return touchdowns showcased his agility and speed, making him a game-changer for the team. His 67-yard and 92-yard returns displayed his ability to read the field and find the gaps, providing a significant edge in crucial game moments. With Alford’s contributions, the special teams remain a major strength for the Roughriders.

Team Chemistry (28%): Despite the challenging circumstances of having an unproven quarterback stepping in mid-game, the team’s chemistry remained evident on the field. Mason Fine quickly established a connection with the running backs, and his ability to scramble and find open receivers demonstrated the team’s cohesion and adaptability.

Talent (15%): The team’s talent was fully displayed during the game, with players like Mason Fine stepping up in critical moments. Despite being doubted as an unproven quarterback, Fine’s impressive throws and decision-making showed his potential and skill. The defensive line, led by players like James Vaughters and Mike Rose, also showcased relentless pressure on the opposing quarterbacks.


Injuries (43%): One of the major concerns raised by fans was the team’s injury situation. Trevor Harris’s unfortunate leg injury required him to leave the game, putting the team in a challenging position. However, Mason Fine’s ability to step up in Harris’s absence provided a glimpse of hope for the team. The Roughriders will need their players to recover swiftly to maintain a strong roster and overcome their injury challenges.

Offensive Line (35%): Fans identified the offensive line’s performance as an area that requires improvement. With an offensive line consisting of players like Cody Grace and Brett Lauther, protecting the quarterback and improving blocking capabilities are crucial for the team’s success. Fine’s 5-foot-11 height poses a challenge for throwing over taller linemen, making enhanced protection essential for the young quarterback’s development.

Defending the Pass (23%): The defence faced difficulties defending the pass against the Stampeders’ aerial attacks, allowing crucial completions in critical moments. Jake Maier’s 315-yard and two-touchdown performance showcased the need for improved pass coverage from the secondary. Players like Deontai Williams must step up their game to limit the opponents’ passing game.


Following the thrilling game and the injury to Trevor Harris, the Grey Cup Confidence Index (GCCI) for Roughrider fans now stands at -83. The confidence has slightly decreased due to the challenges presented by injuries and the unproven nature of the quarterback situation. However, the fans remain hopeful that Mason Fine’s development and the team’s resilience will keep them in the hunt for the Grey Cup.

Week 7 Predictions

In the upcoming week, the Riders face a tough test against the 4-1 B.C. Lions. With Fine stepping up as the starting quarterback, the team remains focused on staying in the winning category.

It’s now Mason Fine’s moment to shine, and Rider Nation sounds ready to rally behind their young quarterback as he faces this new challenge.


Join us to discuss the coaching choices, players’ performances, and anything Rider-related at LetsGoRiders.com – one of Canada’s only fan analytic sites. It’s free, it’s fun, and it’s your way to join in on the community discussion.

Sharday Torgerson,

Lets Go Riders

The Let’s Go Rider Dashboard is a fan analytic hub develop to support the weekly tracker answered by Saskatchewan Roughrider fans. Powered by Insightrix Research, our on-demand data will break down each game from the fan’s perspective.

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