He is not a doctor, but head coach Jerry Glanville has diagnosed himself as “sick.” The diagnosis came at a soggy practice Monday morning, as Glanville repeatedly scanned the sheet detailing Weber State’s drives in Saturday’s 31-21 Vikings loss, shook his head and emphatically said, “It makes you sick.”
He is not a doctor, but head coach Jerry Glanville has diagnosed himself as “sick.”
The diagnosis came at a soggy practice Monday morning, as Glanville repeatedly scanned the sheet detailing Weber State’s drives in Saturday’s 31-21 Vikings loss, shook his head and emphatically said, “It makes you sick.”
What Glanville was referring to is the number of times Portland State prematurely halted one of the Wildcats’ drives only to come up short in the end.
“To play like that and not win–it just kills you,” Glanville said.
Weber State had 18 possessions Saturday and scored on five of them (with one coming via an interception return for a touchdown), punted nine times, turned it over twice and ended both halves with the ball.
Glanville was most impressed that his defense forced the Big Sky’s best team to punt the ball nine times and then caused two turnovers on top of that. He also marveled at how Portland State held the Wildcats to less than seven yards on six of their drives, including three with zero or negative yards.
But the fact that really has Glanville stirred up is that the Vikings still lost. And he is not the only one. “It’s tough,” said senior linebacker Andy Schantz. “To know you had them on the ropes and let them off.”
While the Portland State defense was solid for about 90 percent of Saturday’s game, it was the other dubious 10 percent that cost the Vikings a monumental victory.
Glanville counts three big offensive plays that allowed Weber State to prevail.
The first was a 29-yard completion to junior receiver Tim Toone in the first quarter, setting up a one-yard touchdown dive for junior running back Treyvn Smith. The second came on a 70-yard, second-quarter touchdown scamper for Smith.
And the final backbreaking play was a 32-yard touchdown reception for junior tight end Cody Nakamura. Weber State capitalized on a Vikings interception to start the second half, setting up Nakamura’s score and extending the Wildcats’ lead to 31-0.
“We had three mental errors and they had three touchdowns,” Glanville said. “That tells you how good they are.” While the Weber State offense struck gold with a few huge plays, the Vikings struggled to finish what looked like promising drives.
Portland Sate failed to score on its first 10 possessions, turning the ball over to the Wildcats five times, with three interceptions, one fumble and an unsuccessful fake punt attempt.
To make matters worse, the Vikings were two of 13 on third-down conversions.
Offensive coordinator Mouse Davis called the performance “disappointing,” following the game, and caulked it up as simply poor execution.
“This is the ultimate team game,” Schantz said. “You have to stand by both sides of the ball.”
The Vikings were much improved in the second half, as three different quarterbacks led Portland State to scoring drives to tighten up the game to 31-21, with a little less than six minutes to play.
Despite Portland State’s relatively balanced offensive attack, with 354 passing and 101 rushing yards, two reoccurring themes once again surfaced Saturday: the Vikings’ subpar play on the road and the team’s inability to execute for four quarters.
Both Glanville and Davis fretted over Portland State’s less-than-stellar play away from PGE Park, as the Vikings are now 0-5 on the road and 3-0 at home.
Glanville said some of the difference in performance stems from youth.
“Why do you struggle on the road? Because you’re so young and some stuff happens on the road that you just have to forget about,” Glanville said.
Some of the misfortunes Glanville is referring to include a bus breaking down, a plane running late or, like what happened in Ogden, Utah, last weekend, a hotel that was so warm that players and coaches could hardly sleep the night before the game.
“It adds up on the road,” Schantz said. “Everything feels magnified on the road, and you have to be able to overcome that.”
While the road has plagued the Vikings, so has the inability to play a complete game as a team.Throughout this season, there have been many instances where the offense has played extremely well but the defense struggles, and vice versa.
Glanville believes there have been flashes–like the Vikings’ shutout of Idaho State or back-to-back impressive first-half offensive showings against UC Davis and Sacramento State–but Portland State has been unable to sustain the solid play.
“We’re all optimistic,” Schantz said. “We see glimpses of what could be.”
But Glanville said sometimes seeing those glimpses and knowing your team is so close to putting it altogether is more frustrating than having everything go awry.
And this was the case when the head coach watched a replay of his team’s loss to Weber State Sunday night.
“If you watched that film, you’d cry,” Glanville said with a grimace. “It’s that close.”