Football schedule

The Portland State Athletic Department last Wednesday released the 2007 football schedule.

The Portland State Athletic Department last Wednesday released the 2007 football schedule.

PSU will begin the season playing three of its first four games outside the Big Sky Conference. The Vikings’ biggest non-conference challenges will come from McNeese State and the University of California, Davis.

The Vikings’ first contest will be an away game against the McNeese State Cowboys, who finished the 2006 season 7-5 overall and 5-1 in conference. With a 5-1 mark in conference play, the Cowboys were crowned Division I-AA Southland Conference champions last season. McNeese State advanced to the Division I football championship, falling victim to Big Sky Conference champion Montana, 31-6.

Portland State head coach Jerry Glanville’s PGE Park coaching debut will come against a Division I-A opponent in UC Davis at 6:05 p.m. on Sept. 8. Last year, the Aggies compiled a 6-5 record overall but struggled against conference foes, finishing second to the bottom in the Great West Conference with a 1-3 record. UC Davis is the only Division I-A squad the Vikings will face in 2007. Portland State played New Mexico, Oregon and California last season.

The most significant modification to the schedule will be the kickoff times. Instead of starting games in late evening, three home games later in the season will be moved to mid-day or early-afternoon starts.

Glanville said reasons for changing the kickoff times become apparent after having multiple discussions with students concerned with the late-evening games. According to Glanville, the students requested that games be earlier on Saturday nights because Portland is a city full of late-night opportunities and activities for college students. He said the students he spoke to told him they would be more enticed to attend a game that starts earlier in the day.

Aside from drawing more casual student fans, athletic director Michael “Torre” Chisholm referenced a few additional advantages to afternoon start times.

“I really think changing the kickoff times will create a more traditional college football experience,” Chisholm said. “We had a lot of discussion about this, and decided days games would make a greater overall environment. The weather will be better, which will entice more fans and get folks to stay later into the games.”

Although Portland State athletics opted to move the majority of home games to daytime starts, the first two home games, versus UC Davis and Sacramento State, will be customary evening kickoffs.

“I like the fact that the schedule is really a hybrid of afternoon and evening kickoff times,” Chisholm said. “The way the schedule is set up, the evening games are at the beginning of the season when the weather is better, and the afternoon games fall later in the season when the weather will be colder at night.”

-Additional reporting by Nathan Hellman

2007 Portland State football schedule

School Day Time

McNeese State Sept. 1 5 p.m.

UC Davis Sept. 8 6:05 p.m.

Sacramento State Sept. 15 6:05 p.m.

San Diego State Sept. 22 3:30 p.m.

Eastern Washington Sept. 29 6:05 p.m.

Northern Arizona Oct. 6 1:35 p.m.

Idaho State Oct. 20 2:05 p.m.

Weber State Oct. 27 2:35 p.m.

Montana Nov. 3 11:05 a.m.

Montana State Nov. 10 1:35 p.m.

Northern Colorado Nov. 17 11 a.m.

Games in bold will be played at PGE Park