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Montreal Alouettes Week 10 Takeaways: Coaching Staff Draw Up Perfect Game Plan in 41-12 Win Over Saskatchewan

The Alouettes coaching staff deserve some credit for bringing an effective game plan playing to their team’s strengths in a very dominant win without their starting quarterback. It was another game in which the Alouettes’ defensive core played extremely well.

Other Articles:

Mike Mitchell’s Week 10 Power Rankings

Week 9 First and 2nd Team Top Performers

Week 10 QB Weekly, Week 10 RB Weekly, Week 10 WR Weekly

Week 8 1st and 2nd Team

Week 9 QB Rankings, Week 9 RB Rankings, Week 9 WR Weekly

CFL First Period All-Star Team (Weeks 1-7)

@JonathanClink on Twitter

Previous Alouettes Takeaways:

Week 9, Week 8, Week 6, Week 5, Week 4, Week 3

Perfect Game Plan

Preparing for this game Cody Fajardo was a game-time decision after missing a practice and then being limited in the following practice preparing for the Roughriders. In his place, Caleb Evans got the start. What we saw from Evans was essentially more of what we have seen from Evans in the past. Evans is a 25-year-old quarterback who can cut defenses up with his ability to run. I believe in his potential as a passer but I think he has a lot of growing to reach that potential.

The coaches largely had the offense rely on run plays despite William Stanback missing the game. Walter Fletcher and Jeshrun Antwi shared carries and accounted for the majority of Montreal’s offensive production. This took a lot of pressure off of Evans allowing him to make plays when needed.

The defensive game plan was also great mixing in quite a few blitz packages to make life difficult for Saskatchewan’s inexperienced quarterbacks. Saskatchewan finished the game with only 127 yards of passing yards averaging only 4.4 yards per passing play.

Runningbacks Played Excellent

Walter Fletcher and Jeshrunn Antwi played great in the absence of William Stanback. Fletcher rushed 15 times for 73 yards (6.7 average) and Antwi rushed 7 times for 47 yards (4.9 average) with a great 19-yard touchdown in which he broke a tackle and pushed the safety the last 2 yards for the score. Fletcher also had a 68-yard reception on a screen play. They were both running hard and were often difficult to bring down generating extra yards after the initial contact. They accounted for 186 yards of Montreal’s 328 offensive yards.

A Reminder of the Importance of Cody Fajardo

Caleb Evans completed 8 of his 13 passes (62%) for 149 yards with a 56-yard touchdown that included 35 yards of YAC from Austin Mack. It was a great throw over a defender. He also had a 68-yard pass that came on a screenplay to Walter Fletcher. Without those 2 long plays that were in large part created by the receiver, he would have been just 6 of 11 passes (55%) for 25 passing yards.

Evans did also add 66 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns on 11 rushes. I do like Evans on the roster but the passing production was not great enough to feel comfortable in a scenario where say Fajardo is injured heading into a playoff game.

I would have liked to see Montreal utilize Davis Alexander on a series later in the game when the gap in score was great to give him an opportunity as well to show what he can do. Alexander actually looked much better in the preseason than Caleb Evans based on their reps in that window. I would have also liked to see Montreal take the leash off of Evans and make some passing plays when they were up 31-3 going into the 4th quarter. It could have been a great opportunity for him to get some meaningful reps and even if he threw an interception it would likely not affect the outcome of the game at that point.

A Good Day by the Offensive Line

Montreal only allowed 1 sack against Saskatchewan. They also did a good job creating holes for their running back. Saskatchewan last week against Ottawa had 6 sacks.

Montreal’s offensive line seems to play better the more the ball is ran and this was a good game for them although Anthony Lanier II was able to put pressure on Evans multiple times in this contest.

Defensive Players Played Great

Tyrice Beverette was a dog in this win scoring a defensive touchdown. I would say he was Montreal’s most impactful defensive player in this game generating multiple pressures on the quarterback throughout the game. He also had a lot of run stops in the 4th quarter. On a 1st and goal series he had a run stop on the 1st down and then again on 3rd and goal preventing a touchdown on that play.

On the line, Shawn Lemon had another sack. Jamal Davis II had at least 3 quality pressures and knocked the quarterback down twice. Avery Ellis had a sack-fumble that generated a touchdown. 

It was a great game for the secondary. Kordell Rodgers and Kabion Ento had good games at cornerback. Ento jumped a route for an interception. Rodgers had so many good tackles on short passes and also showed good pursuit on a run play forcing Jamal Morrow out of bounds.

Reggie Stubblefield will likely be disappointed to not have an interception but he had multiple breakups including a couple deep balls as well as breaking up a pass on the 2-point conversion attempt. Wesley Sutton provided great coverage all day such as a 3rd quarter deep ball targeting Shawn Bane Jr. Sutton also put pressure on the quarterback at times and was helping with the sack that led to a touchdown.

At safety, Marc-Antoine Dequoy helped in many ways such as by getting in the mix making tackles on short pass plays and run plays as well as a key breakup on a pass in the 2nd half targeting Samuel Emilus down the left sideline.

In Closing

The Alouettes demonstrated a complete football win without their starting quarterback and I believe they should be taken seriously as possible Grey Cup contenders.

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Jonathan Clink Reporter
Jonathan Clink joined CFL News Hub in early April of 2023. His primary responsibilities are covering the BC Lions and Montreal Alouettes. He self awarded himself the CFL Rookie Journalist of the Year in 2023 following the 2023 CFL season. He also proclaims himself to be a "really cool guy". He was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and lived a large portion of his childhood in Northwest Ontario. He currently lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan and misses being being able to have 4 months of skating every winter. Clink has written over 240 articles for CFL News Hub. He was the publication's boots on the ground at the 2023 Grey Cup in Hamilton. Clink has always had an obsession for sport and has a background in other sports as well having played hockey all his life and soccer, basketball, and lacrosse in high school. As a young child he used to log his hockey statistics after every game which is either an indication that he was destined for the role or perhaps and indication that he is rather strange.
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Joseph Blough

    August 13, 2023 at 11:53 pm

    Cody should have been given chance to play against his old team,he wanted to go,but coach said no. He would have had a huge game,the positives he would have received outweighed any risk.Now we are going to hear the haters talking about qb controversy. Let me guess,Caleb gets another start,if I hear anybody say,well we need to let Caleb face his old team,I will scream. Most likely we beat Ott with Caleb,however Ott realizing 1 dimensional running offence might win you an occasional game,but came out passing against Argos tonight. Cody is the starting QB and should start against Ott,though I fear it will be Evans again. You dont want to harm your starting qb by showing more confidence in his backup

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