1975 Ottawa Rough Riders season
Head Coach George Brancato
Home Field Lansdowne Park
Record 10–5–1
Place 1st, East
Playoff Finish Lost Eastern Final
Previous season Next season
1974 1976

The 1975 Ottawa Rough Riders finished in 1st place in the East division with a 10–5–1 record.


The Hamilton Tiger-Cats sent Tony Gabriel off to the Rough Riders because Gabriel suggested that the players should get a raise when the East increased the number of games played from 14 to 16 in 1974. Gabriel would lead the Rough Riders and the Eastern Division in receiving.

Quarterback controversyEdit

Jerry Keeling was projected as the starting quarterback for the Rough Riders while Condredge Holloway was expected to be the quarterback of the future. Holloway was selected in the 12th round of the 1975 NFL Draft by New England Patriots [1] but they were projecting him only as a wide receiver or defensive back.

General Manager Frank Clair made five trips to try to get Holloway signed. Clair pursued another well known college quarterback, Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Tom Clements. Clements had just been dropped from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers negotiation list and following a substantial bonus offer, signed with Ottawa. After the acquisition of Clements, Holloway soon signed with the club.[2]

Bill Robinson, a Canadian quarterback who led schools to appearances in the 1973 and 1974 Vanier Cup [3] was trying to earn a spot on the roster as a quarterback.

Robinson competed for the spot against Notre Dame quarterback Tom Clements and Tennessee quarterback Condredge Holloway. Before training camp, Robinson was treated poorly by the organization as his $13,000 contract was mailed to him. The contract stated that there was no signing bonus and no negotiation.[4]

Tony Gabriel stated that Robinson was the best passer in camp. Even Tom Clements stated that Robinson threw better than him. In an intra squad game, Robinson completed 10 of 13 passes.[4] In his first preseason game, Robinson completed 3 of 6 passes, included a 48 yard pass to Tony Gabriel.[4]

In the three remaining preseason games, Robinson only had 8 minutes of playing time. CFLPA president George Reed was furious at the Rough Riders organization. Fans were highly critical of the poor treatment that Robinson received. The problem was that the Rough Riders guaranteed the contracts of Clements and Holloway.[4] Robinson would be placed on the 21 day injury list with tonsillitis although his tonsils had been removed years earlier. He would make the team as a defensive back and special teams player. Surprisingly, Holloway and Clements developed so quickly that Brancato decided to trade Keeling to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats prior to the season-opener.


Week Date Opponent Score Result Record
A July 1 at Edmonton Eskimos 21–20 Loss 0–1
A July 3 at BC Lions 41–31 Loss 0–2
B July 9 vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders 20–16 Win 1–2
C July 16 vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats 21–19 Loss 1–3

Regular seasonEdit


Eastern Football Conference
Team GP W L T PF PA Pts
Ottawa Rough Riders 16 10 5 1 394 280 21
Montreal Alouettes 16 9 7 0 353 345 18
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 16 5 10 1 284 395 11
Toronto Argonauts 16 5 10 1 261 324 11


Week Date Opponent Score Result Record
1 July 24 at Toronto Argonauts 18–16 Win 1–0
2 July 30 at Hamilton Tiger-Cats 31–9 Win 2–0
3 Aug 6 vs. Toronto Argonauts 16–14 Loss 2–1
4 Aug 12 vs. Montreal Alouettes 34–31 Loss 2–2
5 Aug 21 at Calgary Stampeders 23–6 Loss 2–3
5 Aug 24 at Saskatchewan Roughriders 23–16 Win 3–3
6 Bye
7 Sept 3 at Montreal Alouettes 17–11 Win 4–3
7 Sept 7 vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats 56–31 Win 5–3
8 Sept 13 at Montreal Alouettes 19–13 Loss 5–4
9 Sept 17 vs. Edmonton Eskimos 38–25 Win 6–4
10 Sept 27 vs. Toronto Argonauts 13–9 Win 7–4
11 Oct 1 at Hamilton Tiger-Cats 16–11 Win 8–4
12 Oct 8 vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats 31–4 Win 9–4
13 Oct 19 at Winnipeg Blue Bombers 25–25 Tie 9–4–1
14 Oct 25 vs. BC Lions 25–15 Loss 9–5–1
15 Nov 2 vs. Montreal Alouettes 46–6 Win 10–5–1


Round Date Opponent Score Result Record
East Final Nov 17 vs. Montreal Alouettes 20–10 Loss 10–6–1

Player statsEdit


Player Attempts Completions Percentage Yards Touchdowns Interceptions
Tom Clements 252 14457.120131313
Condredge Holloway[2]148 60 40.598469


Player Games Played Receptions Yards Average Long Touchdowns
Tony Gabriel[6]16 65 111517.24610
Art Green 47 53711.4393


Player Rushes Yards Average Touchdowns Long
Art Green25811884.61147

Awards and honoursEdit


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.