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Portland State Vikings Scouting Report

BWahlberg

Well-known member
DONOR
Late getting this up, lots of events around homecoming that’s kept me pretty busy and today I’ve been sidelined with what seems like a migraine. On the mend now so I’m getting this report together now.

Rebound week for the Griz, PSU comes to WaGriz in a game that I expect should be all out war. They’ve got a very good defensive front and a highly efficient offense, they’re loaded with drop down talent, and it seems whenever they’re here in WaGriz it’s always a wild game.

PSU: 3-2 record

51-17 win vs Eastern Oregon. It was over pretty quickly, PSU was up 36-0 before EOU got on the board. PSU ran for 405 yards and passed for almost 275. They also forced 6 turnovers, but I see they lost 4 fumbles of their own too.

23-31 loss vs Cal. PSU held a 20-10 lead in the 2nd qtr, they had stung Cal early with an 85 yard TD pass in the 1st minute of the game. Cal woke up a bit in the 2nd and scored 17 unanswered points to get a 27-20 lead. PSU tacked on a fieldgoal to make it 27-23 at the half. Early in the 3rd PSU grabbed the lead back on a McDonagh TD, 30-27. However from there PSU was held scoreless, they had 6 more possessions end with 4 punts, 1 turnover on downs, and 1 missed fieldgoal. Meanwhile Cal grabbed the lead back by scoring 10 more points in the 3rd and then shut down PSU the rest of the game. Cal passed for 485 yards on PSU, that’s insane, meanwhile PSU had big numbers on offense as well, 245 rushing, 308 passing. PSU had two costly turnovers plus a turnover on downs.

43-6 win vs Humbolt St. PSU’d 2nd D-2 game of the season they stomped Humbolt. 235 rushing, 390 passing. I see PSU had another bad day holding on to the ball, 4 lost fumbles. Looks like 3 of the 4 lost fumbles PSU had was by starters and not 2s/3s in junk time. 8 sacks for PSU in this game.

41-10 win vs UCD. PSU’s defense held the hapless UCD offense to a combined 258 yards, meanwhile PSU rushed for almost 430 yards and passed for 174. Portland had 3 interceptions, I’m seeing a trend, they turn over the ball quite a bit, no lost fumbles though. PSU also had 3 sacks in this game, which is interesting to note because some of the other games were bigger numbers against lesser teams.

38-34 loss vs CPSLO. Best indicator of PSU’s talent, facing off against another good team. PSU was up big early, 21-7 but Poly then scored 24 unanswered points over the course of the 3rd quarter and into the 4th. That put Poly up 31-21. Just 15 seconds after Poly went up 31-21, PSU scored on a long pass to make it 31-28, but Poly answered with another TD to put the lead up to 10 points again. PSU had a chance to make it a game but had a drive die on the Poly 16 after a costly penalty. They got the ball back and tacked on a late TD but couldn’t grab the onside kick. PSU had their first game where their rushing attach was largely stuffed, 185 yards on the ground, although they did have 305 passing. Poly meanwhile rushed for 431 and passed for about 90 yards. Both teams were heavily penalized, 22 penalties combined and 202 penalty yards.

Players to Watch[/p]
#10 DJ Adams, running back – A strong rusher this year, so far Adams 617 rushing yards leads the Big Sky and his 7 TDs is 2nd only to Cody Kirk’s 10. Adams averages 123 rushing per game and 25 receiving per game. He’s a huge threat all the time and challenging Zach Bauman as arguably the best running back in the Big Sky.

#4 Kieran McDonagh, quarterback – Get used to hearing this guy’s name. Started as a true freshman last year, he’s a bigger QB for being a mobile guy, 6-2, 245 pounds. He’s averaging 266 passing yards per game and about 50 rushing yards per game. He’s got 11 passing TDs and 3 rushing TDs. His passing accuracy isn’t the best, 55% and he’s got 5 interceptions this year.

#89 Kasey Closs, wide receiver – a 6-3 WR who transferred to PSU from a JuCo, he’s got 588 receiving yards and 5 TDs this year, his yardage leads the Big Sky, his TD total is tied for 1st. This guy appears to be their one big play threat. He’s got 24 catches, the next WR has 14. He’s got 5 of McDonagh’s 11 TD passes, and accounts for almost 50% of PSU’s passing yards.

#2 Shaq Richard, running back – Look for him to get a lot of carries as well, I remember him playing for PSU two years ago as well. Richard has 260 yards and 3 TDs this year, he’s 2nd on the team in rushing yards. He’s a smaller/quicker back.

#21 Dean Faddis, safety – Faddis currently leads the team in tackles with 47, he’s also got 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, and a team leading 4 pass deflections.

#6 Jaycob Shoemaker, linebacker – Shoemaker has 43 tackles this year and 5.5 TFLs. No forced turnovers yet but a guy that seems to be around the ball quite a bit.

#56 Jeremy Boone, defensive end – One of three PSU players with a team high 2.5 sacks, the JuCo transfer is 6-4, and 260 pounds. He’s got 16 tackles and has forced 2 fumbles and recovered 1 as well.

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General Stats

- PSU is scoring 41 points per game while the UM defense is allowing 17.8 points per game. PSU’s offense is averaging 300 rushing and 290 passing per game. UM’s defense is allowing 115 rushing and 202 passing per game.

- PSU’s defense is allowing 21.6 points per game while the UM offense is averaging 37 points per game. PSU’s defense allows on average 178 rushing yards and 257 passing yards. While UM’s offense averages 199 rushing and 262 passing.

- PSU is -4 in turnovers this year while the Griz are +4

- PSU is very efficient in the redzone, they score 78% of the time and have 18 TDs on 23 visits. Interestingly enough they’ve not kicked a fieldgoal in the redzone, just scored TDs (more on that in a minute). UM’s defense allows scored 64% of the time, but TDs just 38% of the time.

- PSU’s defense allows scores 77% of the time but TDs just 45% of the time. UM’s offense scores 80% of the time and 65% are TDs.

- PSU appears to have some major kicking issues. Their kicker is just 1-4 and they’ve gone for it quite a bit in the red zone. They’ve missed 3 PATs as well, but it looks like from going through some box scores they’ve also made a few 2-point attempts and missed on at least 1 I think. They have a 2nd kicker to kickoffs, not sure if they’ll travel with him though.

- No shock here, this has always been PSU’s M.O. – they are a highly penalized team, they average almost 95 penalty yards per game.

- PSU’s offense with its scheme is a quick-strike offense for sure, they average just about 25 minutes in TOP. You’d think a heavy rushing attack would chew the clock but that’s actually the opposite.

- PSU is 2nd best in the Big Sky with 17 sacks. However it’s worth noting that their two biggest sack totals came against Humboldt (8) and Cal (5). The other three games they had 4 total sacks. Tough to say here if they’re a great pass-rush team or just had two big games that inflated their stats.

- Looking at PSU’s scoring it’s impressive how consistent they are. Their scoring per quarter is pretty even. Meanwhile their defense seems to be tough in the 1st quarter (just 10 points allowed in 5 games) but then backs off the rest of the game. (Meanwhile compare to UM whose offense opens big and cools in the middle of the game and the Grizzly defense which opens allowing more points in the 1st half than the 2nd).

- Montana and PSU are ranked #1 and #2 in punting average

- PSU rarely kicks the ball into the endzone, probably an extension of their kicking issues.

- PSU averages the 2nd most 1st downs per game and their defense is worst in the league allowing 25 first downs per game.

- PSU has the 4th worst 3rd down defense in the Big Sky (Montana has the 2nd best)

---------------------------------
Keys to a Grizzly Victory

- Do your 1/11. We hear this a lot as a talking point on defense. PSU runs a tricky pistol/option offense. They’ve got a stable of a few backs that can run & catch the ball, they’ve got a big mobile QB that can beat teams running the ball and passing, and they’ve got a big-play WR that loves to burn defenses deep. Our defense is going to be challenged against the top-scoring offense in this. There’s lots of ways PSU can score on a team. NAU took advantage of some Grizzly defenders getting out of position, PSU is going to look to do the same.

- Win the turnover battle. PSU turns the ball over quite a bit, while UM doesn’t – and when they do, they lose (last week). Take advantage of PSU fumbles and snag a few interceptions. That will be huge.

- Prevent the deep ball. It’s pretty obvious that Closs is kind of like a Calvin Johnson type of WR (when Johnson played for Georgia Tech). He’s a guy that you have to continually respect on the deep ball who will get a lot of looks.

- Light up the scoreboard. PSU’s pass defense is suspect, this could be a huge game for Jordy and his receivers. However as we saw against NAU the passing game will need a mix and not just home-run deep shots.

- Let PSU shoot themselves in the foot. The Viks might’ve won that game against Poly if it weren’t for some bad penalties. They do this a lot, personal fouls, holding penalties, chop blocks. Watch your knees, let them hurt their momentum, and don’t retaliate.

- Protect Jordy. I saw in an interview Will Poehls mentioned how rough of a game the O-line had. These guys are fierce competitors and I’m thinking they’re going to want to prove NAU was a fluke game. For a group that prides themselves on being mean, tough, and dominant they had to have been humbled by the game, the follow up, and the feedback they had on it. Plant the PSU defenders flat on their add, keep Jordy clean, and win the day.

- Dominate on special teams. Looking at UM vs PSU in most special teams categories I see some advantages. PSU does not seem to have found much traction in punt or kick returns, meanwhile their kickoffs aren’t very long and they tend to give up good field position. The Griz have shown some good success with punt returns too. The kicking game comes into play as well, PSU has to be pretty nervous if the game comes down to their kicker.

-----------------------
What I like about this matchup is that I expect the Griz to come into this game angry and with something to prove. It’s at home, the crowd should be pretty amped up to get the team back on track. PSU isn’t going to be overly phased by the noise since they played @Cal this year but a rowdy atmosphere could be something they’ve not seen. Cal proved you can pass on their defense and Poly proved you can run on them, additionally they’re turnover prone. All good stuff.

On the other hand there’s the PSU pass run and their dangerous offense that takes advantage of teams that get out of position and can’t cover well 1-on-1 in the passing game. The NAU game planted a lot of seeds of doubt that the Griz defense is as dominant as hoped. This will be a game that could show us if those fears were over-stated or on-point.

Me personally, I see a Grizzly victory here, but in a game that will probably go down to the wire. This could be something where the Griz wear out PSU by the end and win it by a score or two. Something like 48-38. That’s assuming our front 7 does enough to keep PSU from scoring with good consistency and that we can make sure all of our trips into the red zone end in scores. If the Griz leave too many points off the board then PSU certainly has a great chance to escape with a win.
 
mtgrizrule said:
Good preview. I am glad you mentioned the penalties being a key. I mentioned this on another thread.

With maybe 1 year as an exception it's been a staple of the Nigel Burton coaching era there. Looking at the team's average penalty yards since 2010:

2013: 95 yards
2012: 75 yards
2011: 97.5 yards
2010: 64.9 yards

Compare to UM in the same time frame:

2013: 51 yards
2012: 51 yards
2011: 52 yards
2010: 62 yards
 
mtgrizrule said:
Good preview. I am glad you mentioned the penalties being a key. I mentioned this on another thread.
So did I, and part of that is worth repeating here. PSU does indeed lead the Big Sky in penalties as of now: 474 yards from 51 penalties (five games ... that's 95 the yard/game).

But here's another interesting point. CP racked up over half its penalty yards for the year in the PSU game. Their total for the year is 212 yards on 23 penalties -- with 110 yards in the one game against PSU.

The point: The Griz will need to react in a more disciplined way than CP did to the PSU tactics.
 
PSU fans ratcheting up the smack, have been talking this game up for a while.

[tweet]https://twitter.com/MontanaPSU/status/315304134179962881[/tweet]

[tweet]https://twitter.com/WillardJackson/status/384168920413773824[/tweet]



Also some player tweets giving us some insights on what they're looking at. This one they're obviously hoping Canada, Van, and Johnson keep putting the ball on the ground.

[tweet]https://twitter.com/psuvik6/status/384876098846064640[/tweet]

And if the team didn't need any more motivation, NAU has already been running their mouths about beating Montana. While looking back proves nothing I hope this gives fuel to the Griz as they plan to get back on track.

[tweet]https://twitter.com/McPeetiePie17/status/384178978509946880[/tweet]
 
BWahlberg said:
PSU fans ratcheting up the smack, have been talking this game up for a while.

[tweet]https://twitter.com/MontanaPSU/status/315304134179962881[/tweet]

[tweet]https://twitter.com/WillardJackson/status/384168920413773824[/tweet]



Also some player tweets giving us some insights on what they're looking at. This one they're obviously hoping Canada, Van, and Johnson keep putting the ball on the ground.

[tweet]https://twitter.com/psuvik6/status/384876098846064640[/tweet]

And if the team didn't need any more motivation, NAU has already been running their mouths about beating Montana. While looking back proves nothing I hope this gives fuel to the Griz as they plan to get back on track.

[tweet]https://twitter.com/McPeetiePie17/status/384178978509946880[/tweet]

Be nice for the Griz to see NAU in the playoffs!
 
BWahlberg said:
PSU fans ratcheting up the smack, have been talking this game up for a while.

[tweet]https://twitter.com/MontanaPSU/status/315304134179962881[/tweet]

[tweet]https://twitter.com/WillardJackson/status/384168920413773824[/tweet]



Also some player tweets giving us some insights on what they're looking at. This one they're obviously hoping Canada, Van, and Johnson keep putting the ball on the ground.

[tweet]https://twitter.com/psuvik6/status/384876098846064640[/tweet]

And if the team didn't need any more motivation, NAU has already been running their mouths about beating Montana. While looking back proves nothing I hope this gives fuel to the Griz as they plan to get back on track.

[tweet]https://twitter.com/McPeetiePie17/status/384178978509946880[/tweet]
Wouldn't it be nice for the Griz to run into them in the playoffs... :twisted:
 
GE1963 said:
I would pay special attention to the VIKS #1, Victor Dean.

I watched this game and was impressed by Dean. I think he had 3 touchdown catches against Cal Polly. 6'6'' with decent speed...tough matchup for our corners.

YITB
 
I read on egriz somewhere that psu had more fbs drop downs than any other bsc school...they have talent and we need to come out with our hair on fire imo...go griz !!!!!
 
BWahlberg said:
PSU fans ratcheting up the smack, have been talking this game up for a while.

[tweet]https://twitter.com/MontanaPSU/status/315304134179962881[/tweet]

[tweet]https://twitter.com/WillardJackson/status/384168920413773824[/tweet]



Also some player tweets giving us some insights on what they're looking at. This one they're obviously hoping Canada, Van, and Johnson keep putting the ball on the ground.

[tweet]https://twitter.com/psuvik6/status/384876098846064640[/tweet]

And if the team didn't need any more motivation, NAU has already been running their mouths about beating Montana. While looking back proves nothing I hope this gives fuel to the Griz as they plan to get back on track.

[tweet]https://twitter.com/McPeetiePie17/status/384178978509946880[/tweet]

#perennialchokers #whatareplayoffs
 
BWahlberg said:
PSU fans ratcheting up the smack, have been talking this game up for a while.

[tweet]https://twitter.com/MontanaPSU/status/315304134179962881[/tweet]

[tweet]https://twitter.com/WillardJackson/status/384168920413773824[/tweet]



Also some player tweets giving us some insights on what they're looking at. This one they're obviously hoping Canada, Van, and Johnson keep putting the ball on the ground.

[tweet]https://twitter.com/psuvik6/status/384876098846064640[/tweet]

And if the team didn't need any more motivation, NAU has already been running their mouths about beating Montana. While looking back proves nothing I hope this gives fuel to the Griz as they plan to get back on track.

[tweet]https://twitter.com/McPeetiePie17/status/384178978509946880[/tweet]

I wonder what the other 42 fans of PSUs have to say?
 
I will say this. Cal Poly had no success early running to the outside PSU has a lot of speed and they play very physical football. Cal Poly had some success when they ran A gap right at em up the middle. If the Griz can do that I think they should be right there at the end. O-line has to take care of business this week if the Griz are going to win the game.
 
grizaremoregooder said:
I will say this. Cal Poly had no success early running to the outside PSU has a lot of speed and they play very physical football. Cal Poly had some success when they ran A gap right at em up the middle. If the Griz can do that I think they should be right there at the end. O-line has to take care of business this week if the Griz are going to win the game.
from, what I have seen UM has had more success running outside, so it may be a difficult matchup.

But I am thinking that Delany will go with what has worked so far this year(UND, APP), and that is the slow developing passing game.
 
I thought PSU would be good under Glanville, they weren't. I then thought they would be good under Burton, they haven't been yet and I think their team was more talented a couple years ago then they are now. Kavanugh and White were both better than the kid playing QB now. I see the griz handling them pretty easy at home.
 
Thanks BW! Gonna be an emotional game! After what happened last week @NAU, and it being Home Coming, I feel like this O-line is gonna come out looking to make a point.
It seems like ever since Glanville coached PSU, they've prided themselves on high emotion and cheap shots (they make a lot of foolish mistakes)! They have a tendency to be over zealous and blitz happy. Quick slants, bubble screens, and the running game will solve the problem!
Defense will play rested and the home field advantage will make a difference!

Go Griz! :shock: (My son, Rocky-a future Griz strong safety-wanted the smilie!)
 
Bjorn Bjornstein said:
GE1963 said:
I would pay special attention to the VIKS #1, Victor Dean.

I watched this game and was impressed by Dean. I think he had 3 touchdown catches against Cal Polly. 6'6'' with decent speed...tough matchup for our corners.

YITB

Agree completely, dude's a load, could give our DB's problems. Hopefully we get some pressure with the guys up front.
 
indian-outlaw said:
I thought PSU would be good under Glanville, they weren't. I then thought they would be good under Burton, they haven't been yet and I think their team was more talented a couple years ago then they are now. Kavanugh and White were both better than the kid playing QB now. I see the griz handling them pretty easy at home.

Agree to an extent, their QB doesn't appear to particularly accurate...but if he has time to lob it up to their big WRs it could cause problems. Let's hope your last sentence is accurate, I think it's not going to be a cakewalk.
 
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