The Vikings continued their recent hot-streak of offensive dominance on Saturday, Oct. 27, garnering a 41-14 victory on the road against Sacramento State. The win placed Portland State in a tie for fifth place in the Big Sky conference, furthering their ascent through the rankings during a season where the Vikings appear to have a fighting chance of competing for a top conference spot.
Although Davis Alexander has excelled throughout the season as a quarterback with exceptional offensive capabilities, Saturday’s game against Sacramento featured another talent at the QB spot: sophomore Jalani Eason. Eason played a monumental role in securing Portland State’s third consecutive win, running for a monstrous 82-yard touchdown during the fourth quarter and finishing the game with 165 total rushing yards and two TDs.
Wide receiver Mataio Talalemotu also had an exceptional game, going for three receptions and a career-high 143 yards as well as a touchdown. Talalemotu, a freshman from Beaverton, Ore., has excelled during his first year with the Vikings football team and currently leads the team in receptions with 19 total for the season.
Also key to the Vikings’ success this season has been its defense, which currently ranks second in the Big Sky conference in points allowed per game, yards allowed per game, sacks and turnover margin. This defensive performance has been a monumental improvement over last season, where the Vikings’ defense allowed over 40 points per game.
The Vikings will have a crucial matchup at Hillsboro Stadium in Hillsboro, Ore., on Nov. 3 where they will host the Idaho State Bengals, a team that is currently ranked one place above Portland State in the Big Sky conference standings. A victory against the Bengals could cause Portland State to ascend the Big Sky rankings yet again and further cement themselves as a true contender in a conference where, just last season, they placed dead last with zero wins.