The Portland State football team (2-1 in conference) will travel to Missoula this Saturday to face conference co-leader Montana (3-0 in conference).
The Vikings will attempt to end Montana’s Big Sky record 16-game winning streak. The last time the Grizzlies lost a conference game was a 51-48 overtime defeat to the Vikings in Portland in 1999.
With only the top three seeded teams heading to post-season play, PSU is still in the race for a playoff berth. But a win Saturday, would certainly help. A second league loss would mean the Vikings will rely on the fate of other conference teams.
If the Vikings can get past Montana, they could be faced with an equally important game on Nov. 3 against Montana State. The Bobcats are also 3-0 in conference play, and host Northern Arizona this Saturday.
Montana, with a 6-1 overall record, is ranked second in the nation in Division I-AA. The Grizzlies are three-time defending Big Sky Conference champions.
Defensively, Montana may pose the toughest challenge to PSU’s offense this season. The Grizzlies lead the Big Sky in scoring defense, allowing an impressive low 18 points per game.
Head coach Tim Walsh echoed this, “Their (Montana’s) defense is the best in the league, and with the tradition they have on offense, they are tough to beat. Seeing how they beat Northern Arizona last week makes them a legitimate national championship contender.”