Portland State 2015 FCS Football Playoff Capsule

Portland State Vikings
Big Sky


Portland State made a few statements this year. It started in week one when the Vikings went to Pullman, Washington and beat Washington State 24-17. At the time, it seemed like a decent FCS team beating a bad FBS team, but WSU has turned out to be a very, very good team and that win has looked more impressive each week. Speaking of bad FBS teams, Portland State now owns the record for the largest margin of defeat of an FBS school by an FCS school. The Vikings crushed North Texas 66-7 in October. And the Vikings looked really good against Big Sky opponents too.

2015 Record: 9-2, 6-2
Coach: Bruce Barnum

Big Wins: 9/5 at Washington State (24-17), 10/10 at North Texas (66-7)
Bad Losses: 10/3 North Dakota (17-19), 11/7 at Northern Colorado (32-35)

Portland State wants to keep the ball on the ground and the offense has been very successful and efficient with that mentality. Senior back David Jones has rushed for 1,080 yards and eight scores on the year and Nate Tago, Steven Long and Paris Penn are capable backups who have combined to rush for 15 touchdowns this season. But perhaps the biggest rushing threat is quarterback Alex Kuresa. The junior college transfer, who spent some time at receiver with BYU, has rushed for 707 yards and seven touchdowns on the year. Portland State wants to run first, but that opens up big plays in the passing game and Kuresa has taken advantage of those opportunities. He is not going to put up a ton of yards, but Thomas Carter and Darnell Adams are big play receivers who will stretch the field and Kuresa will hit them deep a time or two per game. Kuresa also takes care of the ball and with some help from interception machines Patrick Onwuasor and Xavier Coleman on defense, this team has one of the best turnover margins in the country.

Onwuasor and Coleman are great defensive backs and they deserve a lot of credit for creating big plays for the defense, but they are also part of a secondary that is average at best when it comes to passing yards allowed. The defense has some other playmakers like Davond Dade at defensive end and Jeremy Lutali at linebacker, and they have certainly made their mark. However, the concern is if Portland State is not creating turnovers, is the defense good enough to consistently stop a high powered offense that they will definitely see in the playoffs if they hope to make a serious run.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: David Jones, RB, 1,080 yards
Passing: Alex Kuresa, QB, 1,870 yards
Receiving: Darnell Adams, WR, 444 yards
Tackles: Jeremy Lutali, LB, 86
Sacks: Davond Dade, DE, 6.0
Interceptions: Patrick Onwuasor, S, 9

2015 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 257.7 (10th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Passing Offense: 176.9 (88, 11)
Total Offense: 434.6 (25, 5)
Scoring Offense: 36.0 (15, 3)
Rushing Defense: 172.8 (71, 5)
Pass Defense: 205.8 (50, 6)
Total Defense: 378.6 (57, 5)
Scoring Defense: 20.8 (28, 2)
Turnover Margin: 1.50 (2, 2)
Sacks: 2.20 (46, 4)
Sacks Allowed: 1.60 (42, 3)

Recent Playoff Appearances:
2000    First Round    Lost to Delaware

*all team stats through 11/14


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