WSU vs Portland State – Getting To Know The Vikings

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The Vikings defense has struggled and is only returning 4 players from last years team. So far this season they have allowed 29 points in a loss to Oregon State and 38 points in their win last week. They had 91 tackles for a loss and 27 sacks while forcing 21 turnovers last year. This season they only have forced 3 turnovers coming from 3 fumbles.

Senior linebacker Corey Crowder leads the team with 14 total tackles but has only started in 1 game this season. Fellow linebackers Jeremiah Lutuli and Anthony McNichols are also in the top 10 in tackles with 11 for Lutuli and 9 for McNichols.

Following Crowder is basically the secondary with safety Patrick Onwuasor, and corners Aaron Sibley and Xavier Coleman who all have 12 total tackles and are 2, 3, and 4 on the rankings.

Aug 30, 2014; Corvallis, OR, USA; Oregon State Beavers running back Storm Woods (24) lunges for extra yards against Portland State Vikings at Reser Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings defense does a great job at forcing fumbles as they have forced 5 so far this season.

The defense is not a stranger to going against a team that is not afraid to air it out. Last week the Western Oregon quarterback threw the ball 61 times completing 32 of them for 413 yards and 3 touchdowns. The defensive backs have had their practice this season and so has the defensive line when it comes to getting sacks.

The Vikings have 8 different players on the team who have recorded a sack. Defensive end Brandon Tobias leads the team with 2.5 sacks and Sadat Sulleyman follows him with 2 sacks. Four out of the top 5 players who have recorded a sack are all defensive ends and Michael Doman (1.5) and Dame Ndiaye (1) finish out the 4 ends. Crowder is the only 1 on the top 5 who is not a DE but is a linebacker and he has 1 sack as well.

The defensive line of the Vikings is undersized and should not be an issue for the bigger and bulkier offensive line of the Cougars. It should allow Connor Halliday get the protection he needs and allow the offensive line to get a good push on the defensive line to open up some running lanes.