2021 FCS Season Preview: Portland State Vikings

Portland State has not competed since 2019 according to the team website, likely as an effort to cover up the fact that they lost by a 41-point margin to Montana in a spring exhibition contest. 2019 was a year of many close games for the Vikings as they could have finished with three more wins if they scored on four drives they wish they could get back including a close FBS game with Arkansas. The top recruiting class from just a few years ago seems to be on of mostly duds. Can the Vikings set sail for a legacy bigger than their high school home field?

Schedule

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Hillsboro Stadium. Capacity 7,600. Photo via gbdarchitects.com

Key Players

Davis Alexander – Quarterback – 6’0″ 195 lbs. – Senior

Alexander is a true dual-threat quarterback as he rushed for over 500 yards and threw for nearly 3,000 yards and 25 touchdowns in 2019. On a team that is not known for its offense, Alexander puts the spark into the offense with his never-say-die attitude and always falling forward for extra yards.

Anthony Adams – Safety – 6’0″ 185 lbs. – Junior

Adams is on all of the all-conference and award lists that he possibly can be for a safety, which is even more impressive for that position. On defense, Adams has a true instinct for the ball and how to bring down the ball carrier. In 2019, Adams tallied 56 tackles, 2 TFL, 5 INT, and 1 blocked kick.

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Coach Bruce Barnum. Coaching Record 21-37 (All Portland State). Photo via espn960sports.com

Predicted Finish

Eleventh. Despite having a Buck Buchanan Award finalist on the team it will take more than an individual effort to overcome the challenges ahead. Tough FBS competition from Hawaii and Washington State combined with having Montana State, Weber State, and Eastern Washington spell out five virtually automatic losses. There is talent defensively, but the Viking offense looks fairly bleak outside of Davis Alexander.

Records
Best: 5-6
Worst: 1-10
Predicted: 2-9 (1-7)

One comment

  1. I’m predicting 3-8. Class of ’87 here, so I’ve seen alot of Portland State football over the years; the good and the bad. From Mouse Davis (great!) to Jerry Glanville (horrfic), in between and after. The team desperately needs new head and offensive coaches that can connect with players and recruit consistent FCS level talent. The 2015 9-3 record was great, but it was Nigel Burton’s team. I’ve seen at least four games over the past three years that offensive play-calling, lack of discipline, and coaching has lost games. The Montana game was an embarrassment. It looked like a one player team, and that comes from poor coaching. Even my wife, when we were at a game two years ago in Hillsboro, asked: “aren’t they supposed to be going the other way?” I feel for the players. The school complains that it doesn’t have fans. When I went there, Pokey Allen was coach and there were fans. Put a decent product on the field and fans will come. Hopefully the new A. D. will understand this concept: Good coaching + good community relations = alumni support and fans.

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