Portland State's 2013 football schedule has a little of everything. It features five home games, six road games, another Pac-12 opponent, a rare Friday night game against an old friend, a return to matchups with past Big Sky Conference rivals, and two NCAA playoff participants from 2012.
In 2013, Portland State will go back to facing Montana, Weber State and Sacramento State - three teams they played for the first 16 years of their Big Sky history. The Vikings did not play those three in 2012 due to league expansion to 13 teams. Rolling off the Vikings' schedule in 2013 is Montana State, Northern Arizona and Northern Colorado.
The Vikings will open the season by travelling to Cal (3-9 overall in 2012) and newly-refurbished Memorial Stadium on Sept. 7. That game continues PSU's recent trend of playing Pac-12 schools. In recent years, the Vikings have played at Oregon State (2005, 2009), Oregon (2006, 2010), Washington State (2008), Arizona State (2010) and Washington (2012). Portland State also played at Cal in 2006, losing to the 22nd-ranked Golden Bears, 42-16.
In fact, the month of September will be an all-California affair for the Vikings. Portland State opens on Sept. 14 at JELD-WEN Field against Humboldt State (7-4) in a non-conference game. The Lumberjacks were an old Division II foe of the Vikings back in the 1980s.
Once again, PSU will play a Big Sky opponent in a non-conference contest; at UC Davis (4-7/3-5 Big Sky) on Sept. 21. The Vikings won last fall in Aggie Stadium in a conference game, 49-21. PSU leads the all-time series, 8-4.
Portland State breaks with tradition on Sept. 27, playing a rare Friday night football game. It will be the Big Sky Conference opener against 2012 Big Sky tri-champion and NCAA playoff participant Cal Poly (9-3/7-1). The reason for the Friday contest is to avoid conflict with a Portland Timbers soccer match that weekend at JELD-WEN Field. Returning to PSU that night for the first time is former Viking Head Coach and Portland State Hall of Fame inductee Tim Walsh. A coach at PSU from 1993-2006, Walsh is PSU's all-time winningest coach (90-68) and led four Viking teams to the post-season.
Cal Poly won the 2012 matchup between the schools, 37-25, in San Luis Obispo.
The Vikings will travel the following two weeks. PSU plays at Montana (5-6/3-5) on Oct. 5 after missing the Grizzlies on the schedule in 2012. The Vikings seek a first-ever Big Sky Conference win at Washington-Grizzly Stadium. On Oct. 12, Portland State makes a first-time Big Sky visit to Southern Utah. The Vikings last played in Cedar City in 1993 when the two schools featured Division II programs. Despite a 49-42 loss to the Thunderbirds in 2012 at JELD-WEN Field, the Vikings lead the all-time series, 8-2.
After an open week on Oct. 19, Portland State will return to JELD-WEN Field for two straight home games. The Vikings host North Dakota (5-6/3-5) in a Big Sky Conference game for the first time on Oct. 26. Last year, the teams played a non-conference game in Grand Forks - a 45-37 UND win.
Weber State (2-9/2-6) returns to the Viking schedule on Nov. 2 after a one-year hiatus. The Vikings have lost the last five meetings with the Wildcats and trail in the Big Sky Conference series, 10-6.
Portland State will play at Idaho State (1-10/0-8) on Nov. 9. In 2012, the Vikings rolled over the Bengals, 77-10, at JELD-WEN Field. The Vikings rushed for a school-record 437 yards while scoring their most points in 32 years. PSU has won three straight in the series and lead 9-8 in Big Sky Conference games.
Also returning to Portland State's schedule in 2013 is Sacramento State (6-5/4-4). PSU had played the Hornets for 16 straight Big Sky seasons and 28 of the previous 29 seasons overall before missing them in 2012. The Hornets come to JELD-WEN Field on Nov. 16. PSU leads the series, 22-9 overall and 12-4 in Big Sky contests.
The 2013 regular season concludes with a trip to 2012 Big Sky tri-Champion Eastern Washington (11-3/7-1) on Nov. 23. The 2010 National Champions and 2012 National semifinalists will be formidable once again. The Eagles beat the Vikings, 41-34, in the 2012 finale.
NCAA Playoffs begin on Nov. 30, with a 24-team tournament for the first time in history.
2013 Portland State Football Schedule
Sept. 7, at California
Sept. 14, Humboldt State
Sept. 21, at UC Davis
Sept. 27, Cal Poly*
Oct. 5, at Montana*
Oct. 12, Southern Utah*
Oct. 19, Open
Oct. 26, North Dakota*
Nov. 2, Weber State*
Nov. 9, at Idaho State*
Nov. 16, Sacramento State*
Nov. 23, at Eastern Washington*
Nov. 30, NCAA playoffs begin
* Big Sky Conference game
Game times and broadcast information to be announced