Portland State football lost its last chance at a winning season last Saturday when it gave a 24-point lead to the Weber State Wildcats. The Vikings go on to play their last game, in this losing season, against the Montana State Bobcats on Nov. 15.
Head coach Tim Walsh seemed very disappointed by the Vikings’ loss last Saturday, but he was also ready to begin preparing for the team’s next opponent. After Portland State’s homecoming game, Walsh commented, “Next week, we play a better team than we played tonight. Their (Montana State’s) defense is real. We’ve got to have a better week of practice and we’ve got to be ready to play better football.”
Walsh is right. Montana State’s defense is real. In fact, with the number-one defense in the Big Sky, the Bobcats are arguably the best team Portland State has yet to face. Not only do they have a kick-ass defense, but they also play good, strong, all-around football. Unlike the Vikings, who earn most of their yardage through passing plays, the Bobcats move the ball with a more well-rounded offense.
Montana State is armed with versatility. Quarterback Travis Lulay is 60 percent in passing and averages 203 yards per game. Lulay has thrown 10 touchdown passes in nine games this season. The Bobcats average 163 yards rushing per game and are lead by Bruce Molock. Rushing for at least 73 yards each game, Molock has earned seven of the Bobcats’ 17 ground-gained touchdowns.
After losing to Weber State 45-21, the Vikings now stand at 4-6 for the season and 1-5 in the Big Sky Conference. Portland State has officially given up any chance of a fifth-straight winning season, which must be a letdown for Walsh.
“I have an empty feeling in my stomach,” Walsh said. “Because when you know what an opponent is going to do and you prepare well, and I think we had a pretty good week of practice; I’m searching. I’m numb and at a loss for words for why we are not playing better.”
Weber State’s pass defense was too much for the Viks to handle on Saturday. Quarterback Joe Wiser was only able to round up 147 passing yards. When compared to Wiser’s 250-yard passing average, the severity of the Vikings’ loss to the Wildcats seems almost unbelievable. In fact, Weber State held PSU to its smallest number of total offensive yards this season (181).
If the Vikings are going to be ready to beat Montana State this Saturday, they are going to have to come up with more threatening numbers than last week. Saturday’s game will begin at 6 p.m. in PGE Park. This is the last chance PSU students will have to support their football team; so get out there and catch the action.