Portland State continued its winning ways, using its run game to beat Northern Colorado 38-30 Saturday afternoon at Greeley, Colorado.
The Vikings (5-3 overall) improved to 3-1 in the Big Sky with its third victory in a row.
Northern Colorado fell to 1-7, 1-3
PSU quarterback Davis Alexander completed 8 of 14 passes for 170 yards and one touchdown, with no interceptions. He also ran 12 times for 60 ayds and a TD.
Sirgeo Hoffman of the Viks ran 28 times for 221 yards and two touchdowns.
The Vikings had 514 yards total offense, gaining 344 yards on 55 carries, while UNC totaled 497 yards, 197 rushing and 300 passing.
For the Bears, quarterback Jacob Knipp hit on 20 of 37 throws for 300 yards, with two TDs and two interceptions.
The Vikings met little resistance on their first possession, with Alexander and his running backs picking up yardage easily in a seven-play, all-on-the-ground 42-yard drive that gave them a 7-0 lead. Malik Walker ran up the middle almost untouched for the final five yards.
Later in the first quarter, Cody Williams left no doubt with a 56-yard field goal — his career longest and taking advantage of the wind and 4,675-feet elevation — for a 10-0 lead.
Sirgeo Hoffman ran up the middle easily from 14 yards to give PSU a 17-0 advantage.
The Viking defense, faced with its own short-field situation, surrendered a touchdown drive of 44 yards in five plays as the Bears closed to within 17-7 at the 7:24 mark of the second quarter.
Hoffman had a 37-yard carry on Portland State's next possession. Great pass protection gave Aleander time to find Mateo Talalemotu for 17 yards to the 2, but Hoffman fumbled near the goal line on the next play, and the Bears came up with the ball in the end zone to deny the Viks a score.
But the big turnaround was just to come.
Knipp ran 74 yards to the PSU 24, but offensive pass interference wiped out a touchdown throw that would have gotten Northern Colorado to within a field goal of the Vikings, and the Bears were intercepted on the next play by defensive back Greg Oliver.
And two lays later, Alexander hooked up with wide receiver Emmanuel Daigbe for 76 yards and a touchdown and 24-7 lead.
Northern Colorado did score with 19 seconds left in the half, though, to close the gap to 24-14. Tight end Chase Lanckriet barreled into the end zone to complete an 18-yard TD hook-up with Knipp.
Early in the third quarter, Knipp and Noah Sol teamed up for a 53-yard touchdown pass, getting UNC to within 24-21.
The Bears missed a field-goal try to tie a little later in the quarter, and PSU went back to its start-of-game approach, simply running the ball on the Bears. The result was a TD run of 31 yards by Hoffman for a 31-21 lead.
A Northern Colorado field goal on the final play of the third quarter made the score 31-24.
Alexander's 4-yard run for a touchdown gave PSU a 38-24 lead with 11:08 left in the game.
With 7:07 remaining, the Bears scored on a 2-yard run by Milo Hall, but PSU blocked the PAT, leaving the score at 38-30.
Anthony Adams, a Portland State defensive back, intercepted a long pass try by the Bears with 3:38 to go to help preserve the win.
Portland State has four games left in the regular season, starting with next Saturday's 3 p.m. PT visit to Northern Arizona
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