The Saskatchewan Roughriders won't have history on their side as they chase a fifth Grey Cup title.

Saskatchewan (11-7), in the CFL playoffs for the first time since 2014, visits the defending-champion Ottawa Redblacks (8-9-1) in the East Division semifinal Sunday. The Riders secured a post-season berth as the crossover squad by finishing fourth in the West Division but accumulating more points than the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (6-12).

So the Riders will have to beat both Ottawa and the Toronto Argonauts (9-9) on the road to advance to the Grey Cup game later this month at TD Place. Now, that's possible given Saskatchewan defeated both teams this season and was not only 5-4 on the road but also a solid 6-2 versus East rivals.

Trouble is, no crossover team has ever made it to the Grey Cup since the rule was adopted in 1996. Saskatchewan becomes the 10th crossover team in league history but the visiting squad has just three wins in 12 playoff games.

Saskatchewan last won the Grey Cup in 2013. Edmonton beat Hamilton 27-24 in last year's East semifinal before losing 35-23 to Ottawa in the conference final at snowy TD Place.

Ottawa and Saskatchewan last met in the CFL playoffs in 1976 when Tony Gabriel's late 24-yard TD grab earned the then-Rough Riders a thrilling 23-20 victory at Toronto's Exhibition Stadium.

The season series was 1-1 with each game decided by a point.

Punter Josh Bartel's 55-yard single with under three minutes remaining earned Saskatchewan an 18-17 road win Sept. 29. Riders' starter Kevin Glenn registered his 100th career regular-season victory after completing 20-of-32 passes for 252 yards and an interception.

But Christion Jones registered the big play for Saskatchewan with a 97-yard punt return TD. The loss tarnished a stellar performance by Ottawa's William Powell, who ran for a club-record 187 yards as backup Ryan Lindley finished 17-of-31 passing for 164 yards with a TD and interception.

Two weeks later, Lindley's one-yard TD run on the game's final play gave Ottawa a 33-32 victory in Regina. Glenn threw for 387 yards with two TDs and two interceptions while Duron Carter registered 11 catches for 231 yards.

Trevor Harris, who threw for 262 yards and two TDs in the win, will make his first CFL playoff start for the Redblacks, who finished their regular season with three straight victories.

Glenn will make his 11th career playoff start for Saskatchewan but Ottawa must be wary of Brandon Bridge, a Mississauga, Ont., native, who has played well this season both coming off the bench and as a starter.

The six-foot-five 230-pound Bridge is a multi-threat player who can run upfield or buy his receivers time downfield. And with Carter (73 catches, 1,043 yards, eight TDs), Roosevelt Naaman (75 catches, 1,035 yards, eight TDs) and Bakari Grant (84 catches, 1,033 yards, five TDs), Saskatchewan has a solid receiving corps that also includes Chad Owens, Rob Bagg and Caleb Holley.

And there's also Carter's contributions on defence as a cornerback.

Saskatchewan kicker Tyler Crapigna made 36-of-42 field goal tries this year (85.7 per cent) and all 43 converts he attempted. He hit all seven field goals he tried in the two games against Ottawa.