FIRST LOOK: Griz start conference slate by hosting Portland State – Skyline Sports – Skyline Sports

FIRST LOOK: Griz start conference slate by hosting Portland State – Skyline Sports – Skyline Sports

Montana fans would be forgiven for thinking that the Grizzlies’ season actually begins this week. After three expected and easy wins in the summer heat, the No. 2 Griz open their Big Sky Conference schedule Saturday against Portland State in Missoula.
Oh, and it’s Homecoming for Montana, an occasion that the Vikings have some experience with spoiling. It’s not the season opener for the Griz, but it feels like the next best thing. PSU is coming off a bye week and started the season 0-2, with one near-FBS upset against San Jose State in a 21-17 loss and one FBS blowout, a 52-6 loss at Washington.
Mascot: Vikings
Location: Portland, Oregon
Stadium: PSU doesn’t have a football stadium on its campus. The Vikings have used Hillsboro Stadium, a municipally-owned stadium that seats 7,600, exclusively since 2019 after being kicked out of Providence Park in downtown Portland due to scheduling conflicts with the Portland Timbers of the MLS and the Portland Thorns of the NWSL.
Founded: 1946
Enrollment: 23,181
Famous alumni: Courtney Love, musician; Mark Dacascos, actor; Casten Nemra, president of the Marshall Islands
After starting his coaching career in 1986, it took Barnum until 1998 to establish himself at the Division I level, when he took a job as the offensive line coach at Idaho State under Tom Walsh. Barnum stayed in Pocatello until 2006, spending his last six years there as the Bengals’ offensive coordinator. After three years as the OC at Cornell, he returned to the Big Sky as Nigel Burton’s offensive coordinator at Portland State in 2010. Burton was fired in November 2014 and, after originally being named the interim head coach, Barnum was promoted to the job later that year.
He beat Washington State in his first game in charge to open the 2015 season and beat another FBS team, North Texas, later that year en route to a 9-3 record, a playoff appearance and a national coach of the year award. Two years later, the Vikings were 0-11. They haven’t been that good or that bad since, with Barnum generally keeping PSU around the middle of the Big Sky. They’ve won five games in each of the last two seasons.
QB Dante Chachere, 6-3, 185, RS So.
Thrown into one of the toughest situations in the Big Sky by replacing multi-year starter Davis Alexander, the dual-threat youngster from Fresno, California, looked very good in the opener and less good last time out against the Huskies.
WR Beau Kelly, 5-9, 170, RS Sr.
The most underrated player in the Big Sky, Kelly is a slot dynamo who led the conference in all three receiving categories last year and can also be a dangerous punt returner.
CB Anthony Adams, 6-0, 185, Sr.
Adams has played free safety, strong safety and boundary cornerback so far in his career at Portland State, was an All-American at the latter two spots, and is the current active FCS leader in pass breakups.
DT VJ Malo, 6-1, 270, Sr.
The big transfer from Golden West College arrived fully formed at Portland State, racking up 20 TFLs (10 1/2 sacks) in 2021, his first year on the Park Blocks, and two in two games so far in 2022.

Andrew Houghton grew up in Washington, DC. He graduated from the University of Montana journalism school in December 2015 and spent time working on the sports desk at the Daily Tribune News in Cartersville, Georgia, before moving back to Missoula and becoming a part of Skyline Sports in early 2018.
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