A sign of things to come

Portland State fans let out a collective groan as Jerry Glanville’s highly hyped Vikings lost their first game to McNeese State, 35-12 on Sept. 1.

Portland State fans let out a collective groan as Jerry Glanville’s highly hyped Vikings lost their first game to McNeese State, 35-12 on Sept. 1. Now, after their second loss in the home opener to University of California, Davis on Sept. 8, many are questioning the team’s potential.

But a rocky start isn’t the Vikings’ worst problem—injuries to two key players on offense could hamper Portland State’s attack for the remainder of the season.

Quarterback Tygue Howland suffered an injury to his left foot during the third quarter of the game against McNeese State. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) later revealed that Howland sustained an injury to the second metatarsal of his left foot, a severe injury that will require surgery and bar the sophomore from playing for the remainder of the season.

Howland will be missed, but the biggest loss might be sophomore fullback Bobby McClintock, who was injured just one play prior to Howland. During the third quarter, McClintock went down with an injury to his right knee, which an MRI uncovered as a torn ACL and lateral meniscus that will keep him sidelined for the rest of the season.

“The game plan won’t change,” Glanville said. “You keep repping and do what you do and the amount of mistakes will become less and less. But that is football. You don’t throw out your game plan after the first game.”

A tough loss to McNeese State

The 10th-ranked Cowboys turned the Vikings inside out, leaving Portland State unable to get on track on either side of the ball.

“We made errors, but errors can be fixed,” Glanville said. “Everything that is broken we can fix. For instance the defense had 11 drives and on five of those we made mistakes. If we hadn’t made those mistakes it’d be a different story. Today is correction day.”

The veteran Cowboys, who walked away with the Southland conference title last year, stonewalled the 13th-ranked Vikings’ six attempts in the red zone, resulting in four field goals. McNeese State had no problems on offense, racking up 395 yards of total offense against Glanville’s pro-style 3-4 defense.

“I think the good news is it’s important to the players to change their mistakes,” Glanville said. “Say we have X number of mistakes and the players recognize where the things went wrong. Now we have to hustle, hit and chase, but it’s important to me to have the players believe that they can limit their mistakes.”

The Viking offense accumulated 266 total yards against the Cowboys and finished with minus 10 yards rushing.

Portland State’s quarterback battle continued as offensive coordinator Darrel “Mouse” Davis played both quarterbacks, with sophomore Howland taking snaps in the first and third quarters and senior Brian White, during the second and fourth.
Howland completed 12 of 24 passes for 126 yards and was sacked four times. White finished 11 of 18 for 150 yards and endured two sacks. Neither quarterback was able to orchestrate a flawless series or lead the Vikings to a touchdown. 

It’s not exactly the way Glanville wanted to start the season, but he holds firm to a tradition that he and his wife have after a tough loss.

“The first thing my wife says to me after a loss is, ‘can you fix it?’ and my answer with every job has always been yes,” Glanville said. “We just have to go to work.”