The Portland State Vikings trundled into the NCAA playoffs after a 34–31 win against Eastern Washington on Saturday.
PSU began the rout in the opening play with a recovery at the 11 by Trent Wiley after a fumble by Eastern Washington. David Jones brought it in, opening the scoreboard at 6–0 within the first minute. The Eagles turned it around after a scrappy first quarter, pulling ahead of the Viks by the end of the first half at 17–13.
But that was the end of the Eagles’ lead. The Vikings pulled ahead at the beginning of the third and kept up the charge for the distance. Eastern Washington kept up an admirable fight to the end, but proved unable to push past the Viks’ defense to break the 34–31 final.
The Vikings’ narrow victory puts the team in the university history books with the highest seasonal record as a Division I team, at 9–2. The most recent STATS FCS poll ranks PSU fifth, and Head Coach Bruce Barnum has been recognized as a National Coach of the Year finalist for his leadership during the team’s 2015 ascent.
PSU will host the Vikings’ second-round playoff match on Dec. 5, the first of its kind for the university since 2000.