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Riders' O-line feeling bruised after Stampeders stomping

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REGINA — Marc Parenteau feels Darian Durant's pain.

Parenteau, the Saskatchewan Roughriders' right guard, was still bothered Tuesday that his struggles during Saturday's 40-20 CFL loss in Calgary resulted at times in Durant — the Roughriders' starting quarterback — getting rocked by Stampeders pass-rushers.

"That's what pissed me off the most," Parenteau said after Saskatchewan practised at the University of Regina. "No one likes to lose, but to see your quarterback get hit three or four times that first half because of me, that's what hurts. It's like seeing your brother get hit in the face and you can't do anything about it. That was very disappointing."

"The worst thing in the world as an O-lineman," added left guard Chris Best, "is to look back and see your quarterback getting hit by the guy you're supposed to be blocking."

The Roughriders surrendered only two sacks to the Stampeders, but Calgary keeps track of what it calls "delivery sacks" — legal hits on a quarterback just as or right after he delivers the ball. The Stamps say they had 10 against Saskatchewan, with defensive tackle Tom Johnson responsible for five of them.

Johnson, who was a menace throughout the contest, did most of his damage against Parenteau.

"I always hate when we beat a team and they say, 'It was our fault,' and they never give credit," Parenteau said. "But I'll give credit to Johnson. He had a very good game against me."

Parenteau noted he did everything the same way leading up to Saturday's game, from watching extra video to working on his technique in practice. As he put it, "it just didn't click that game."

"It's hard to explain why," he continued. "I don't even know why. Looking at the tape, I know I did some stuff wrong that I didn't realize I was doing in the game and those are things that maybe I have to catch faster in the game.

"Usually if I've had a bad set, I'm pretty good at correcting things for the rest of the game. It just wasn't the case this game."

He wasn't alone.

Best admitted he has to play better, saying Saturday's showing "was a long way from my best game." Right tackle Dan Goodspeed noted "we just didn't feel like we were in synch," then added the video showed what the linemen did right and what they did wrong.

And that was ...?

"What we did wrong was we lost the game," Goodspeed said. "What did we do right? It's hard to say because when you lose, nothing feels right."

Roughriders head coach Ken Miller said his charges didn't have trouble with the Stampeders' scheme, noting instead that it was one-on-one matchups that were the problem. That must be addressed before the Hamilton Tiger-Cats visit Mosaic Stadium on Saturday.

"It does concern me a little bit that (Durant) got hit, but I feel really good about the fact that our offensive line is a veteran group and has proven that they have tremendous ability," Miller said.

"It wasn't so much scheme as we were just out of synch a little bit in that game (in Calgary) and I fully expect us to recover fully in that area."

Practice this week no doubt will focus on technique and assignments as the offensive linemen look to rebound. Asked if he bought Durant an extra doughnut or something this week, Best chuckled.

"What we can do for him is do our jobs better so that he doesn't get hit anymore," the guard said. "That's probably the best thing we can do for him."

"I bought him a lot of ice," Parenteau added, tongue in cheek. "After games, I never sleep well. I always think about the bad plays. Well, two nights in a row, I thought about those plays.

"They stick with you. That's extra motivation this week to make sure I get better and make sure my brother doesn't get hit again."

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