The Portland State Vikings continued their Big Sky Conference win streak from last season to six games and ended their five game loss streak to ranked teams when they outlasted FCS No. 21 Eastern Washington 28 to 21.
“We didn’t execute our offense at times,” said Eagles Head Coach Paul Wulff. “What you do is address it and try to get better with it.”
The Eagles entered the game having given up only one sack all season, 27 less than Portland State.
Eagles Quarterback Matt Nichols was sacked five times on the night; meanwhile, the Eagles only reached Vikings Quarterback Brian White once, after he had come into the game as the most sacked quarterback in the FCS with 28.
“Sometimes we breakdown and that’s sometimes on the offensive line and sometimes the quarterback,” said Wulff. “We didn’t check the protection right. If you look back at it, we had a breakdown in all of the spots of the offense.”
The Viking offensive line paved the way for their feature back Olaniyi Sobomehin to run for 141 yards on 25 carries and one touchdowns. They entered the game averaging a mere 21.8 yards per game.
Vikings Quarterback Brian White led his third-ranked Viking pass offense completing 29 of 47 for 329 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Vikings receiver Reggie Joseph caught 10 of those for 120 yards and a touchdown.
Transfer Terry Mixon picked off Brian White in the second quarter and returned it 57 yards to set up a 10 yard touchdown catch by Tony Davis.
Minutes later, Davis separated his shoulder, but fellow receiver Brynsen Brown shined grabbing five balls for 139 yards, including an 85-yard pass that set up a one-yard touchdown by Alexander. The other weapon at receiver, Aaron Boyce, sparked a late game comeback grabbing back-to-back balls, including a 23-yard touchdown catch with less than three minutes left in the ball game.
“Hopefully we get him back soon,” said Wulff. “Honestly, Tony’s one of our better players so we need Tony back. When we lost him it set us back a little. He’s an added spark and we didn’t have that in the second half.”
The Eagles trailed 21-28 with 2:34 left and failed to recover a pivotal onside kick. They had one more chance with 23 seconds left in the game and got the ball in reach of a potential hail Mary touchdown. With :05 seconds to go, Nichols’ prayer was intercepted.
The loss puts the Eagles at (3-1) on the year. They travel to No. 1 ranked Montana on Oct. 6. Game time is 12 p.m. Pacific Time.
“We’re going get a game plan, get our kids ready to play hard, go in and execute and go in and win the ball game,” Wulff said.
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