WSU vs Portland State – Getting To Know The Vikings

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Washington State will play in their first game on a Saturday as well as their first game in the new and improved Martin Stadium when they host Portland State this weekend.

The Portland State Vikings are 1-1 and are coming off of a 7-point a win over Western Oregon while the Cougars are 0-2 and coming off two very disappointing losses. The Cougars and the Vikings are set to meet on Saturday at 5 pm on PAC-12 Networks.

So, who are the Vikings?


Kieran McDonagh is the quarterback for the Vikings and has gone 20-41 for 218 yards and 2 touchdowns as well as 2 interceptions. On the ground McDonagh is the teams 4th leading rusher with 47 yards on 10 carries and also has 1 touchdown.

The Vikings have used three different quarterbacks in both of their games so far but McDonagh has started both of them. Paris Penn and Darnell Adams have both seen the field. Penn is more used out of the two as he has gone 6-17 for 81 yards and a touchdown.

Aug 30, 2014; Corvallis, OR, USA; Portland State Vikings quarterback Paris Penn (15) heads up field against the Oregon State Beavers for a touchdown at Reser Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Penn is more of their do it all type of guy as he is also one of the Vikings leading rushers behind their starting running back. The running game is the main focus as they rush for 208.5 yards a game. Most of that 208 yards is coming from Shaquille Richard and Penn who each average around 85 yards a game.

Richard has gotten 175 yards on 24 attempts and has scored just once while averaging 7.3 yards per carry. Penn has scored 3 times on his 14 carries for 170 yards this season while averaging just over 12 yards a carry. Nate Tago has played in just one game this season and is already the teams 3rd leading rusher with 31 yards on 6 attempts.

The main target for McDonagh is Kasey Closs who has 147 yards on 10 receptions and 2 touchdowns. The other 3 starting receivers are Cam Sommer, Alex Toureen, and Thomas Carter. Both Sommer and Toureen have 4 catches and no touchdowns on the season while Sommer has 59 yards and Toureen has 51. Carter has 3 receptions on the season for 24 yards. Adams, Richard, Penn, and Tago have also all had at least 1 reception.

In the opening game, the Vikings turned the ball over 5 times against Oregon State with most of them coming off of fumbles.

Last season, Closs had 1,167 yards on 63 receptions and helped the Vikings average 540.2 total yards per game.

The Portland State offense was able to keep up with high power offenses after losing to Oregon State by 15 and only losing to Eastern Washington by 1 point last season.

The Vikings are returning 7 of the 11 players from last years team.