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Vikings in search of road win

The Portland State football team will try to keep the glimmer of a playoff spot alive against Eastern Washington this Saturday. Last weekend’s win over Montana State put the Vikings (3-2) ahead of the Eagles (2-3) in the Big Sky standings.

Last time the two teams met, the Eagles ousted the Vikings 27-24. Eagles running back Jesse Chatman put up 145 yards on 26 carries and three trips into the end zone. Portland State leads the all-time series against EWU 13-9-1, but the Eagles lead the Big Sky series, 3-2.

The Vikings defense had a great, if not its best, game against Montana State. The defense will have to step up again when it faces the Eagles’ Chatman, the nation-leading rusher and leading scorer. Chatman averages 17 points a game with 187-yard average to back him.

The Eagles total offense is ranked first in the Big Sky and the nation, putting up an average of 44 points a game and an average of 507 yards. Portland State is ranked second in the conference averaging 28 points a game. Portland State will try to even things out with its first ranked passing offense and league leading passer Juston Wood.

Another amazing number put up by the Eagles offense is their league leading 75 percent 4th-down conversion rate.

Portland State’s pass defense is ranked second and will work against the third rank passing offense of the Eagles.

“Offensively, they are the best in the nation. They have five outstanding receivers with great speed and possession guys. Combined with Jesse Chatman, who I think is the best player in the Big Sky, they are scary,” coach Tim Walsh stated in a recent press release.

Portland State needs to get under way early, establishing the run, and cannot afford to fall behind.

The high-powered offense, fueled by Chatman, can put up some big numbers. The Vikings, who have a tendency to fall behind early, can’t afford to lag behind the Eagles. The Vikings need to keep up their great pass defense from the previous week and keep Chatman from breaking free.

Portland State will travel to Eastern Washington Saturday, kickoff is at 1 p.m. The game can be heard on KFXX 910 AM.