It’s not going to get any easier for Calgary’s newly-minted starting quarterback Kevin Glenn.
With Drew Tate electing to have shoulder surgery that will sideline the quarterback for the rest of the CFL season, Glenn has stepped into the starter’s role but is off to a shaky start.
Glenn threw a costly interception late in the game against Montreal and the Alouettes rallied to beat Calgary 33-32.
He said he’s put that game behind him and is ready to guide Calgary in an important divisional match against the unbeaten Saskatchewan Roughriders on Thursday at McMahon Stadium.
“The biggest thing for us as an offence is to stay on the field, keep their offence off the field and put points on the board,” said Glenn on Wednesday. “What we can do is we can come out here and give 100 per cent on the field and try our best to produce wins for the fans.”
Glenn, 33, started his career in Saskatchewan, where he played three seasons with the Riders from 2001-03 before going on to suit up for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the Tiger-Cats and now the Stamps.
He knows Rider Nation will be on hand to give Saskatchewan a boost in its bid to remain the league’s only undefeated team.
“It’s crazy because I played in Saskatchewan and when we used to come to Calgary, I used to say, ‘Man, we’ve got a lot of fans’,” said Glenn, who took over the starting role when Tate suffered his non-throwing shoulder injury during a 39-36 road loss to the Toronto Argonauts on July 7.
Roughriders quarterback Darian Durant has no doubt that Glenn has the ability to bounce back with a solid performance after two straight road losses.
“He’s never really been a guy that gets down after a big game,” Durant said. “He always bounces back. He always gives his team an opportunity to win. We know that we have our work cut out for us. It’s not going to be easy. Every team is coming after us. It’s definitely going to be a dogfight and we look forward to it.”
Saskatchewan’s rookie head coach Corey Chamblin hopes the vocal Riders fans help his team to a fourth straight win to start the season.
“We’re 3-0 and hopefully there’s more green than red here, then I’d really love it,” Chamblin said. “It’s a good feeling right now. It’s definitely a lot better than being 0-3, but there’s a lot of games left.”
Glenn, however, would like nothing more than to help the Stamps (1-2) stop the Rider roll with help from Calgary’s faithful.
“The red and white will swallow up that green and white once game time comes,” said Glenn. “I think the Calgary fans, they’re some really good fans, so I think they’ll do a good enough job to come in here and try to outdo the Saskatchewan fans.”
Defensive lineman Odell Willis, who the Riders acquired in the off-season from Winnipeg, begs to differ with Glenn.
“Rider Nation is some of the best fans in the CFL,” said Willis, who played 10 games for the Stamps in 2009 to start his CFL career before being dealt to Winnipeg. “I get pumped when I see them excited about what we’re out there doing.”
Although first-year Calgary cornerback Fred Bennett has yet to experience the rivalry between the Stamps and Riders, he’s heard all about it.
“Everybody will be pumped up and ready and I’m sure I will be too,” said Bennett, who has played in the NFL with the Houston Texans, San Diego Chargers, Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals.
“We’ve just got to go out there and put on a show and hopefully we come away victorious.”
“We’re playing a very good Saskatchewan team that’s undefeated,” added Calgary coach and general manager John Hufnagel. “They’re flying high. It’ll be an emotional game on both sidelines. I’m looking forward to it.”