Saturday, Oct. 9: Vandals 42, Vikings 35
Big picture: Another slow start cost Portland State. Idaho scored five first-half touchdowns and led by as many as 28 but had to hold off a Portland State comeback. A slow start from the defense and a failure to finish a few drives ultimately cost the Vikings a second-consecutive win. PSU did have a Hail Mary pass on the final play, but it was batted down. … Portland State is 2-4 (1-2 Big Sky). Idaho is 2-3 (1-1 Big Sky).
Notable numbers: PSU quarterback Davis Alexander was 32 for 48 for 424 yards and four touchdowns without an interception. He was sacked only once, but it came on a fourth down play near midfield. Alexander also ran for a score. … Portland State out-gained Idaho 588-444, ran 32 more plays and had a 34-17 edge in first downs. But Idaho's 236 rushing yards, 175 of them in the first half, and Portland State's failure to finish drives, including two missed field goals, were critical. Receiver Mataio Talalemotu, in his return from injury, caught 12 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns. … Beau Kelly caught seven passes for 119 yards and two TDs, including a catch on an untimed down at the end of the second quarter that made the halftime score 35-14. … Malik Walker carried 26 times for 132 yards, the first 100-yard rushing game for Walker and the first by a Viking in 10 games. … Portland State is 0-9 at Idaho (0-2 Big Sky).
Reaction: "We started slow again," Portland State coach Bruce Barnum said. "We all have to find a way to get off the bus, hit the stadium and go. We have to find a way to start like we end, offense, defense and special teams."Â
Added Barnum: "We have to be able to bring four quarters together, from an energy standpoint and the speed of the game. We're a good team when we play four quarters. When we slog through the early parts, it hurts us. We know the problem. We can fix it. We can score. We can stop people."
Up next: Idaho State at Portland State, 2:05 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16 (Hillsboro Stadium).
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