Game #9 - Weber State (1-7, 0-4) at Portland State (4-4, 1-3)
Saturday, Nov. 2 • 1:05 p.m. (PDT)
Portland, OR • JELD-WEN Field (18,627)
Radio: KLO 1430 AM/103.1 FM
Online video: WatchBigSky.com
Live audio: WeberStateSports.com
Live stats: goviks.com
Twitter: @weberstate, @weberstatefb
Series: Weber State leads 20-12
Streak: Weber State 5 wins
In Portland: series tied 8-8
Last Meeting: 11/19/11 - Portland - WSU 48, PSU 33
• After a week off the Weber State Wildcats begin the final stretch of the 2013 season this Saturday when they take on the Portland State Vikings in Portland.
• Weber State is 1-7 on the season and 0-4 in Big Sky play. The Wildcats are coming off a 34-16 loss on Oct. 19 to fifth-ranked Montana State and had the week off last week. The Wildcats have lost seven straight games heading into Saturday.
• Portland State sits at 4-4 on the season and is 1-3 in Big Sky play. The Vikings picked up their first Big Sky win 14-10 over North Dakota last week.
• The Vikings lead the Big Sky and are fourth in the nation in total offense.
• Weber State leads the all-time series 20-12 over Portland State.
• The Wildcats have won five straight games over the Vikings.
MEDIA FOR SATURDAY’S GAME
Saturday’s game with the Vikings will kickoff at 1:05 p.m. Pacific time (2:05 p.m. MDT) from JELD-WEN Field in Portland. The game will be broadcast live on KLO 1430 AM and 103.1 FM with Carl Arky and former Wildcat Ty Sparrow calling all the action. It can also be heard online at kloradio.com and WeberStateSports.com.
The game can be seen online for free at WatchBigSky.com. Live stats are available at goviks.com and WeberStateSports.com.
WILDCATS FALL 34-16 TO NO. 5 MONTANA STATE
In their last game before the bye week the Wildcats lost 34-16 to fifth-ranked Montana State Oct. 19 at Stewart Stadium. WSU had a season-high in total yards and had one of its best offensive games of the season, however the Wildcats did have two fumbles and an interception, while the Bobcats had no turnovers.
The Wildcats held a 10-6 lead after the first quarter and cut the lead to 19-16 late in the third quarter but could not overcome the Bobcats who scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to seal the victory. Montana State is currently 6-2 overall and tied for first in the Big Sky at 4-0.
SEASON-HIGHS FOR WILDCATS IN LOSS
Despite the loss the Wildcats had some positives in the game against the fifth-ranked team in the nation. Weber State posted a season-high of 497 yards of total offense, more yards than the Bobcats. WSU also had a season-high of 309 yards passing in the game and recorded 188 yards on the ground.
AUSTIN CHIPOLETTI HAS BEST DAY OF SEASON
Weber State true freshman quarterback Austin Chipoletti had the best game of his young career against Montana State. The Jacksonville, Fla., native finished the game 26-38 passing for a season-high 309 yards with one interception. He also rushed for 10 yards and had his first career rushing touchdown.
After eight games this season Chipoletti is completing 58 percent of his passes and has thrown for 837 yards and two touchdowns. He has started the last six games for the Wildcats.
BO BOLEN WITH SEASON BEST RUSHING DAY
WSU junior Bo Bolen had a season-high 124 yards rushing against Montana State. The Aurora, Colo., native had 20 carries in the game and also rushed for a 19-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter. This season Bolen ranks 10th in the Big Sky in all purpose yards at 104.9 yards per game. He has 85 carries for 417 yards rushing with four touchdowns on the season.
Bolen moved into 16th place in WSU history in career rushing yards, now with 1,563 yards. He is also fourth in WSU history in career all purpose yards at 4,315 and needs just 185 more yards to pass Tim Toone and move into third place on the Weber State career list.
ERIK WALKER CONTINUES STRONG PLAY
WSU senior wide receiver Erik Walker had career-high nine receptions against Montana State for a total of 106 receiving yards. It marked the second time this season he has posted more than 100 yards receiving in a game. Walker had a season-best 41 yard reception in the third quarter that set up a Wildcat touchdown.
After eight games this season Walker, a native of Park City, Utah, is Weber State’s leading receiver with 41 catches for 449 yards and one touchdown. In Big Sky games he ranks eighth in receiving yards per game at 75 and is fifth in the league in receptions per game at 6.8.
Walker has played in 38 career games at Weber State and has 979 career receiving yards. He needs just 21 more yards to reach 1,000 career receiving yards.
SHAUN MCCLAIN KNOCKS DOWN 50-YARD FIELD GOAL
Weber State senior Shaun McClain made his first field goal attempt of the season and it was a career-high 50-yard field goal. McClain, a native of Redlands, Calif., knocked down the 50-yard field goal in the first quarter of the game with the Bobcats. It was a career-long and he became the first Wildcat since Joe Johnson in 2005 to make a field goal of 50 yards or more. It was the 16th field goal of 50 yards or longer in Weber State history.
McClain moved into a tie for fifth in WSU history in career field goals made with 34. He has played in 33 career games at Weber State.
ANTHONY MORALES RETURNS TO LEAD WILDCAT DEFENSE
After missing two games due to a hamstring injury, Weber State senior and captain Anthony Morales returned to lead the Wildcat defense against Montana State. The Edmond, Okla., native finished with a game-high 13 tackles against the Bobcats with six solo tackles and seven assisted tackles. He had 1.5 tackles for loss, including his first sack of the season. This season Morales ranks eighth in the Big Sky in tackles at 9.2 per game.
The 13 tackles moved Morales into seventh place in WSU history in career total tackles, now with 297 for his career. He has played in 36 career games with the Wildcats and also ranks seventh in career assisted tackles.
SECOND QUARTER STRUGGLES CONTINUE
Despite scoring 16 points against fifth-ranked Montana State, the Wildcats continued their season-long struggles in the second quarter. Weber State has been outscored 131-6 in the second quarter this season. The only game the ‘Cats have scored in the second quarter this season was at Eastern Washington.
‘CATS GETTING BIG CONTRIBUTIONS FROM FRESHMEN
Weber State continues to get valuable contributions for freshmen. In the game against the Bobcats, 20 freshmen or red shirt freshmen saw action in the game for the Wildcats, including three starters.
AROUND THE BIG SKY
The Big Sky Conference has four teams ranked in the top 14 in the Sports Network national poll. Eastern Washington is third in the poll,with Montana State ranked fifth. Montana is ranked 12th and Northern Arizona is 14th.
Eastern Washington and Montana State are tied for first at 4-0 in conference play with Northern Arizona right behind at 4-1. Sacramento State is 3-1, followed by Montana, UC Davis and Southern Utah at 3-2.
‘CATS HAVE PLAYED THREE TOP FIVE TEAMS
Weber State has played one of the toughest schedules in the nation this season. The ‘Cats have played three teams that are currently in the top five in the latest Sports Network national poll. WSU has played No. 3 Eastern Washington, No. 4 McNeese State and No. 5 Montana State. WSU will play at Montana on Nov. 16. The Grizzlies are currently 12th in the nation in the latest poll.
ABOUT PORTLAND STATE
The Portland State Vikings enter Saturday’s game at 4-4 overall and 1-3 in Big Sky play. They are coming off a 14-10 home win over North Dakota last Saturday for their first Big Sky win of the season.
The Vikings started the season 3-1 with a narrow seven-point loss at Cal as the only defeat in that stretch. Since then they are 1-3. They opened Big Sky play with a home loss to Cal Poly and then had road losses at Montana and Southern Utah before picking up the win over North Dakota Saturday. The Vikings are in the midst of playing three of four games at JELD-WEN Field where they are 3-1 so far this season.
Portland State leads the Big Sky and ranks fourth in the nation in total offense at 518.9 yards per game. They rank second in the Big Sky in rushing at 251.2 yards per game and are fourth in passing offense at 267.6 per game. They lead the nation in passing yards per completion at 16.73 yards. PSU is also second in the country in tackles for loss allowed at 3.44 per game and leads the Big Sky in sacks allowed at just 0.5 per game. The Vikings defense is tied for second in the conference in sacks at 2.5 per game.
The Vikings have had struggles on special teams and are just 1-7 on field goals this season, last in the Big Sky. They are also last in punt return average at 2.2.
Senior running back DJ Adams is second in the Big Sky in rushing at 106.8 yards per game. Adams has 854 yards and nine rushing touchdowns this season. He is also fifth in the league in all purpose yards. Sophomore quarterback Kieran McDonagh ranks fifth in the conference in total offense at 274.1 per game and is sixth in passing yards at 227.6. Junior Kasey Closs is second in the Big Sky in receiving yards per game at 99.4.
Junior Kyle Loomis is first in the Big Sky and in the nation in punting, averaging 47.3 yards per punt. On defense senior Jaycob Shoemaker is fifth in the conference in tackles at 9.3 per game and senior David Edgerson leads the Big Sky and is fifth in the country in interceptions with four. He had two interceptions last week and earned Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week honors.
HEAD COACH NIGEL BURTON
The Vikings are coached by Nigel Burton who is in his fourth season at Portland State. Burton enters Saturday’s game with a career record of 16-25 at PSU and is 9-19 in Big Sky games. Prior to becoming head coach at Portland State, Burton was an assistant coach at South Florida, Oregon State, Nevada at Portland State. He is 0-2 in his career against Weber State.
Weber State holds a 20-12 all-time series advantage over Portland State and the Wildcats have won five straight games against the Vikings. The last Portland State win in the series came in 2006 in Ogden. The two teams did not play last season.
In games played in Portland the series is tied 8-8 all-time but the Wildcats have won the last three games in Portland. The ‘Cats last lost in Portland in 2005. In 2007 WSU defeated the Vikings in a wild 73-68 win, won 36-29 in 2009 and 48-33 in 2011.
LAST MEETING - 11/19/11 - PORTLAND - WSU 48, PSU 33
In the last meeting on Nov. 19, 2011 in Portland, the Wildcats picked up a 48-33 win over the 25th ranked Vikings in the final game of the season and the final coaching game for Ron McBride.
The Wildcats sent coach Mac out on a high note with a come- from-behind win. Junior C.J. Tuckett led the Wildcats, finishing with 211 yards rushing and five touchdowns, becoming just the second Wildcat to ever have five rushing touchdowns in one game.
Weber State led 27-20 at halftime but the Vikings tied the game at 27 after three quarters and then took a 30-27 lead early in the fourth. But Tuckett had three touchdowns in the last eight minutes of the game to seal the victory for the Wildcats.
Portland State gained 496 yards of total offense, compared to just 374 for the Wildcats. However, Weber State finished with 268 yards rushing and held the Vikings to just 120 yards rushing.
Junior quarterback Mike Hoke finished the day 9-14 passing for 106 yards and one touchdown with Shaydon Kehano pulling down five catches for 68 yards and one touchdown.
Nick Webb led the ‘Cats with 14 tackles and also had one blocked punt and one fumble recovery. Anthony Morales had 12 tackles, including one for a loss and the big interception to help seal the victory. Tony Epperson finished with 10 total tackles.
WSU junior linebacker Luke King has missed the last two games with a knee sprain and is likely out two to three more weeks.
WSU junior wide receiver Shaydon Kehano has not played yet this season with a leg injury suffered during fall camp but could make his return as soon as this week. Kehano suffered a similar injury to the same leg last season in the third game of the year and missed the rest of the season.
Freshman linebacker Spencer Unga missed the Montana State game with a concussion and is likely out this week as well. WSU senior wide receiver Kela Marciel (patella tendon) and freshman Ryan Tuiasoa (ankle) will both miss the rest of the season with injuries.
Coach Sears has selected four team captains for the season. Bo Bolen, Anthony Morales, Connor Myers and Shelton Robinson will serve as the Wildcat team captains for the year. Morales is serving as captain for the third straight season. Combined the four players have appeared in 126 games for Weber State.
WILDCATS COME FROM ALL OVER
Weber State’s roster this season includes players from 13 states and Canada. A total of 25 of WSU’s roster come from the state of Utah. The ‘Cats have 14 players coming from the state of Florida and 12 from California. Eight players come from Idaho, six from Hawaii, five from Oklahoma and four from Texas. The ‘Cats also have players from Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Louisiana, Nevada, and Washington, as well as one from Alberta, Canada.
WSU OPENS NEW INDOOR FOOTBALL FACILITY
Last week marked the grand opening of the renovated Weber County Sports Complex, located west of the Dee Events Center at Weber State University.
The 73,000 square-foot expansion will bring community members, students, athletes and sports fans together underneath one roof. Weber State University and Weber County shared the cost of the year-long, $9.2 million remodel. WSU provided $3.4 million for the construction of this project with the support of approximately 80 percent coming from donors, including the Marquardt family, the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation and former WSU football athlete and alumnus Roger Trinchero. In recognition, the facility includes the Robert L. and Annette Marquardt Field House and the George S. Eccles Field.
Weber County, in conjunction with WSU, received a $2 million grant from Weber County RAMP to bring this new recreation facility to the community.
The two-story addition to the former Weber County Ice Sheet includes a new NHL-size ice rink, training and locker rooms on the ground floor, and an indoor practice field and state-of-the-art strength and conditioning complex for university athletes. It also includes the 60-yard George S. Eccles Field. The synthetic turf field is marked to accommodate football, soccer and softball, and also has drop-down batting cages for softball.
After this week’s game the Wildcats will have two of the final three games at home beginning Nov. 9 when they host Southern Utah. WSU will play at Montana Nov. 16 and finish the season hosting Idaho State on Nov. 23.