Vikings demolish Northern Colorado

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Joe Rubin show.


Rubin, who barreled his way to an astounding five touchdowns and 356 yards on 47 attempts, carried PSU to a 41-17 win over Northern Colorado at PGE Park. The Vikings’ running attack was unstoppable throughout the game and Rubin gave all of the credit to his offensive line.


“I gave everything I had man, everything,” said Rubin. “But, you know, my job was easy. All I had to do was run. The line did anything and everything that they could tonight; those are the guys that rushed for 356.”


Rubin now has 672 yards for the season and is the leading rusher in Division I-AA football.


Adding drama to Rubin’s feat was the fact that he was held out of practice the entire week with a toe injury.


“I hurt it in the Sacramento State game and it was actually getting to me in this one,” he said. “But I just played through it.”


With an impeccable ground game, PSU’s offense was able to open up the entire field, which allowed quarterback Sawyer Smith to show signs of life for the first time this year.


Smith was 13 of 21 for 145 yards. More important than his stats, however, was the fact that he stayed away from the mental mistakes that had plagued his play in the Vikings’ previous games. He consistently used out-routes and drop-off passes to his backs to slowly establish his passing attack.


Smith also seemed much more comfortable in the pocket against Northern Colorado than he had all season long.


“A lot of this stuff, we’ve been working on the whole year. Yet up to this point, it just wasn’t matching up scheme-wise. We did a good job tonight of staying within ourselves,” Smith said. “Things are going a lot smoother and I’m feeling a lot more confident now, compared to the first couple of games.”


The Viks’ 41 offensive points were a season high and they improved their overall record to 3-1. They are now tied with Idaho State for the lead of the Big Sky conference.


“Physically we won the game. We let them make some big plays that allowed them to stay with us. Overall though, I’m pretty happy,” said head coach Tim Walsh.


The Vikings defense continued to play strong. Jamal Abdullah had eight tackles and Odell Jackson and Ryan Friesen each contributed six. The PSU defense also forced two fumbles and Dominic Dixon came up with an interception.


The PSU defensive line stood out as well. Northern Colorado’s quarterbacks were constantly chased out of the pocket. As a result, the Bears’ passing game suffered.


“At halftime, we told the players, ‘We’re winning 14-10 but we could still lose this game.’ In the second half, we were all able to come out and pull together. Defensively, we came up big,” said Walsh.


“I’m glad we got the offense to score some points. We’ve got some good momentum going into our next game and that’s how we want to be. We want to be fired up,” Walsh added.

For the Vikings, their next game against Big Sky rival Eastern Washington, who are ranked 14th in the nation, might be their biggest game of the year. 


“It’s like our national championship,” said Rubin.

With the victory over Northern Colorado, PSU is currently riding a three game win streak. And with Rubin currently having the best year of any back in Division I-AA football, the Vikings now stand poised to put together their best season in years.


“We’ve just go to come out gunning,” said Smith. “Tonight, the offensive line blocked so hard.  I can’t say enough about the way that they played. We just need to bring this same game next week. If we do, we’ll be alright.”