PORTLAND - The Idaho Vandals (2-4) are hitting the road to Oregon this Saturday to take on the Portland State Vikings (3-3) in Big Sky Conference play.
The Vandals are coming off of a rough 41-35 loss to Weber State plagued by turnovers. Three fumbles from quarterback Mason Petrino were really the difference in that one, as the Vandals still found themselves an onside kick away from making things really, really interesting late.
Perhaps an even bigger story coming out of that loss to Weber State is the health status of tight end Jeff Cotton. Cotton exited the game early with what seemed to be a lower body injury and did not return. Cotton is by far one of Petrino's most reliable targets, catching 43 balls for 473 yards and three touchdowns in the teams first five games. Losing him would be a massive blow for this offense.
For the Vikings of Portland State it has been an up and down season to this point, as they have alternated wins and losses each week thus far. Portland State enters this game coming off of a 52-31 home victory over Southern Utah last week, which based on the current pattern should line things up for a Vandal victory this weekend, right? In each of Portland States wins so far they have put up a minimum of 52 points on the scoreboard. On the flip side, in their three losses, they have scored a combined total of just 47.
Junior quarterback Davis Alexander from Gig Harbor, WA is straw that stirs the drink for this offense. The duel threat is just as capable of throwing for 300 yards, as he is to run for 100 yards. In each of his teams losses, he is completing less than 50% of his passes and averages less than 200 passing yards per game.
If they are able to take down the Vandals, the Vikings will have back to back wins for the first time in 2019. Neither of these teams look like they are close to contending for a Big Sky Conference Championship, so this will be a good test to see where each team lies as we approach the mid-season mark of college football.