Portland State football gets its earliest start ever when it opens the 2017 practice schedule on Monday, July 31, at Stott Community Field on the PSU campus. The early start is necessitated by the earliest game in program history as the Vikings open the season on Aug. 26 at BYU on a game televised by ESPN.
Head Coach Bruce Barnum returns for his third season and welcomes back 40 letterwinners and 14 starters (6 o, 7 d, 1 st). After a breakthrough 2015 season (9-3, NCAA playoffs), the Vikings regressed in 2016 (3-8) with a hard-luck campaign featuring too many injuries and late-game losses. Portland State seeks a bounce-back effort in 2017.
PRESEASON PRACTICE SCHEDULE
The Vikings Football will open practice on July 31 with an evening workout at Stott Community Field. The early start to the practice schedule was necessitated by the earliest start to a season in Portland State history. The Vikings will play BYU on Aug. 26 in Provo, UT in a nationally-televised game on ESPN. The previous earliest game date for a Viking season was Aug. 29, 2013.
Following that first practice, PSU will have a standardized schedule throughout fall camp, with practices from 8-10 a.m. daily. Scrimmages will on occur on Aug. 9 and 16 – both of which are Wednesday mornings – during the regular practice time.
All practices are open to the media and the public.
PRESEASON PRACTICE SCHEDULE
July 31, 5-7 p.m.
Aug. 1-5, 8-10 a.m.
Aug. 7-12, 8-10 a.m. (scrimmage Aug. 9)
Aug. 14-19, 8-10 a.m. (scrimmage Aug. 16)
Aug. 21-24, 8-10 a.m.
Aug. 25, Travel Day
Aug. 26, Game at BYU
2017 BIG SKY CONFERENCE PRESEASON POLLS
1. North Dakota (6), 130
2. Eastern Washington (2), 124
3. Northern Arizona (2), 119
4. Cal Poly (1), 108
5. Weber State (1), 103
6. Montana (1), 83
7. Southern Utah, 80
8. Montana State, 69
9. Portland State, 62
10. Northern Colorado, 60
11. UC Davis, 35
12. Sacramento State, 26
13. Idaho State, 15
1. North Dakota (15), 298
2. Eastern Washington (5), 271
3. Northern Arizona (3), 236
4. Cal Poly, 224
5. Weber State, 209
6. Montana (1), 204
7. Southern Utah, 175
8. Montana State, 156
9. Northern Colorado, 135
10. Portland State, 104
11. UC Davis, 62
12. Sacramento State, 61
13. Idaho State, 44
SIX TELEVISED GAMES FOR THE VIKINGS THIS SEASON
Portland State will have six televised games in 2017. That is the most televised games since 2012 and the second-most in school history.
The Vikings open the season on ESPN against BYU (Aug. 26), followed by a Pac-12 Network game at Oregon State (Sept. 2).
PSU appears on Root Sports twice: Oct. 7 at Montana State and Nov. 18 at Eastern Washington. Two home games have been added to the Eleven Sports Network schedule: Sept. 16 vs. UC Davis and Oct. 28 vs. North Dakota.
THE 2017 SCHEDULE
Year in and year out Portland State football has one of the most challenging Football Championship Subdivision schedules in the country, and 2017 will be no different. The Vikings will open the season with a pair of FBS opponents sure to be popular with local fans, and conclude with four straight opponents who were participants in this year’s FCS Playoffs.
The Vikings will travel to BYU for the first time in history on Aug. 26, then play Oregon State for the fifth time ever on Sept. 2. Montana (home) and Montana State (road) return to the schedule, and the Vikings will also play 2016 FCS playoff teams North Dakota, Cal Poly, Weber State and Eastern Washington over the final four weeks of 2017. In all, the Vikings will have five home games at Providence Park and six road games.
PSU has its earliest start ever to a season when it plays BYU on Aug. 26. The Vikings and Cougars are allowed to play on “zero week” as Brigham Young plays a game at Hawai’i in 2017. The NCAA thus allows the program to schedule a 13th game.
BYU was 9-4 in 2016, winning the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl over Wyoming.
Portland State returns to Corvallis to play Oregon State on Sept. 2. The schools last met in 2014, a 29-14 OSU victory. The Beavers lead the all-time series, 4-0.
Oregon State (4-8 in 2016) will be the seventh Pac-12 opponent in the last six seasons for the Vikings, and the 13th dating back to 2006.
PSU will have a bye on Sept. 9, then host its home opener on Sept. 16 against UC Davis. Although the Aggies are members of the Big Sky, the game will be played as a non-conference matchup. PSU beat UC Davis, 51-29, in Davis on Nov. 5 and leads the all-time series, 11-4.
The following Saturday will also be a bye for the Vikings, then they play eight straight Big Sky Conference games, alternating home and road.
PSU hosts Montana in its Big Sky Conference opener on Sept. 30. The teams did not meet in 2016 due to the Big Sky having 13 members. The last meeting was a 35-16 PSU win in 2015. The Grizzlies were 6-5, 3-5 in Big Sky games in 2016.
Portland State will travel to Montana State for a game on Oct. 7. PSU and MSU also did not play in 2016. The Vikings won the last matchup, 59-42, at Providence Park in 2015. The Bobcats were 4-7, 2-6 in Big Sky games in 2016.
On Oct. 14, the Vikings will be back at Providence Park to face Northern Arizona. It marks the third straight week PSU plays a team it missed in 2016. In fact, the last meeting was in 2014, a 21-17 NAU win. The Lumberjacks were 5-6 in 2016, 4-4 in Big Sky Conference games.
PSU has won at Idaho State in its last three trips to Pocatello and will get another chance on Oct. 21. Overall, the Vikings have beaten the Bengals six times in the last seven years, including a 45-20 decision this past season in Providence Park. ISU finished 2016 with a 2-9 record, 1-7 in the Big Sky.
PSU’s final four games of 2017 will be against the top four teams in the Big Sky in 2016, all of whom played in the FCS Playoffs.
The Vikings welcome North Dakota to Providence Park on Oct. 28. The teams did not play in 2016 and UND won the most recent meeting, 19-17, in 2015. The Fighting Hawks (9-3, 8-0) were Big Sky Conference co-champions in 2016.
Cal Poly (7-5, 5-3) will host the Vikings on Nov. 4 in San Luis Obispo. The Mustangs won last year’s meeting at Providence Park, 55-35, advancing to the NCAA playoffs. They lead the all-time series, 12-11.
PSU’s home finale will be against Weber State. The Vikings will try to avenge a narrow, 14-10 loss to the Wildcats suffered last season in Ogden. Weber State was also 7-5, 6-2 in Big Sky play, and made it to the opening round of the FCS Playoffs.
The regular season finale will take place in Cheney, WA as PSU and Eastern Washington square off in their annual Dam Cup rivalry game on Nov. 18. The Eagles took a close win in this year’s regular season finale, 35-28. Portland State leads the all-time series, 20-18-1. Eastern went 12-2 in 2016, getting all the way the FCS National semifinals.
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