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Vikings face last year’s spoiler

The Portland State football team (2-3) looks for revenge this Saturday when it faces the Weber State Wildcats (1-5), who handed PSU its first loss (41-9) of the 2000 season last year, at PGE Park.

The Vikings have dropped out of the top 25 poll for the first time since Oct. 11, 1999. A win over Weber State would be a big lift for the Vikings who are coming home after two losses on the road. Just as the Viking offense had been struggling, so has the Wildcat defense, giving up 37.5 points a game and allowing an average of 493 yards of total offense. On the offensive side, however, the Wildcats have played efficiently.

The efficient offense of Weber State will keep the Vikings’ defense busy. Wildcats quarterback Tyler Gladwell has averaged 295 yards passing at 59 percent with 12 touchdowns. But WSU’s biggest weapon will be running back Johnnie Gray who has rushed for 795 yards, with seven touchdowns in six games. The last time Gray faced the Vikings he ran for 106 yards and two touchdowns.

“They have moved the ball on everybody, including Arkansas. They have a tailback in Johnnie Gray who may be the best back in the league. He is a threat in a lot of ways, and they find ways to get him the ball. As he goes, so goes the team,” coach Tim Walsh stated in a press release.

The strong running of Gray will be a large concern of the Vikings, who are giving up 247 yards rushing a game. The key to the game looks to be defensively stopping Gray from piling up yards and getting the offense going early.

Portland State looks to get back in the top 25 this Saturday at PGE Park. Kickoff is at 6:05 p.m.