Since I haven't had a chance to post after the Saskatchewan Roughriders' last two (mostly meaningless) regular-season games, I'll quickly preview today's West semi-final in Calgary.
To start with, it's always an open question as to whether Darian Durant can put together a virtuoso performance - and he's certainly managed the feat in the playoffs before against more distinguished defences than the one he'll face today. But the 'Riders offence has been at best consistent rather than explosive over the latter half of the 2012 season - and I'd hope the team won't need a 35-point outburst to stay in the game against the Stampeders.
That means the most important matchup should involve the greatest strength for each team: a Calgary offence built around two of the toughest players in the CFL to tackle, facing a Richie Hall defence built around limiting running room for opposing offences. And John Hufnagel has only raised the stakes by inserting Drew Tate at quarterback, trading off Kevin Glenn's well-honed passing skills for a quarterback with more ability to rack up yards on the ground.
While I wouldn't be brave enough to predict a Saskatchewan win based on that showdown, the 'Riders have risen to the occasion before - particularly by meeting a challenge to shut down Cornish in their previous meeting with the Stamps. And it'll likely take a repeat performance to give the 'Riders the upper hand today.