Know Wyoming’s foe: Portland State Vikings
LARAMIE -- How bad was Portland State's opening game?
Not only did the Vikings lose at No. 15 Oregon, 81-7, they gave up 729 yards of total offense in the process. Those are both low points in program history. Head coach Bruce Barnum, who acknowledged this was a "money game" and said the athletics department banked $1 million in this beatdown, deployed 22 freshmen in the game, including seven that were in high school at this time a year ago.
The high-flying Ducks scored a touchdown on their first nine offensive possessions. They scored on 12-of-13 drives on the afternoon.
Oh, and a player even got his "ear ripped off" or what Barnum referred to as "partial ear detachment."
“They sewed it back on, and now they say he has a concussion," he said Tuesday on The Bald Faced Truth Podcast. "So, he’s out, but I think he’s fine. He talked to me today ... I think it was from when we got his helmet knocked off and I think his ear didn’t come out of his helmet. They were sewing him up. I guess that means you have a concussion. And we’re making sure he’s fine, and he’ll sit out this game.”
Doesn't get much worse than that, huh?
Craig Bohl is fully aware of what transpired inside Autzen Stadium. Wyoming's head coach isn't putting this one in the win column just yet, though.
"I watched the tape and I'm a little bit astounded by the lopsided score," he said. "You know, when I watched, Portland State went down on their first drive and scored fairly easily, and it just wasn't like on a big play."
MORE UW FOOTBALL NEWS VIA 7220SPORTS:
That was indeed the offensive highlight of the day for the Vikings.
The visitors marched 75 yards on nine plays on their second possession of the day, culminating in a nine-yard scoring strike from quarterback Dante Chachere to wideout Chance Miller. Chachere connected on just 2-of-3 throws on that drive, but gashed the Ducks on the ground for 29 yards on three carries. Running back Quincy Craig also busted a 22-yarder.
Portland State was only able to roll up just 125 additional yards of total offense in the lopsided loss.
"They have an outstanding quarterback in Chachere," Bohl said. "He's a guy who played well in that game, I thought. He was under quite a bit of dress, but he's certainly going to be somebody that we're going to have to contend with."
Chachere completed 5-of-14 throws for 35 yards and a score. He also rushed for a team-best 53 yards on six attempts in his 12th consecutive start for the Vikings.
* Head coach: Bruce Barnum (9th year at Portland) 30-51 overall record
* Offensive coordinator: AC Patterson (1st season); Defensive coordinator: Colin Fry 1st season) and Mark Rhea (1st season)
* Record in 2022: 4-7 overall, 3-5 in Big Sky play
* Offense in 2022: Average 25.6 ppg, 459.5 ypg (188.1 rush, 201.4 pass)
* Defense in 2022: Allow 36.5 ppg, 459.5 ypg (170.6rush, 288.8 pass)
* Key Returners - Offense: Dante Chachere (QB - 148-248, 1,956 yds, 19 TD, 8 INT; 110 rush, 609 yds, 7 TD), Jobi Malary (58 rush, 355 yds, 3 TD), Quincy Craig (RB - 38 rush, 221 yds, 2 TD), Nate Bennett (WR - 47 catch, 517 yds)
* Key Returners - Defense: Parker McKenna (LB - 24 tackles, sack, FF), Michael Jackson (DB - 28 tackles, 3 PBU, 2 INT, FF), Isaiah Avery (CB - 26 tackles, 4 PBU), Tyreese Shakir (DB - 35 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 PBU, 2 INT, FR)
* Overview: Laugh at Bohl's comment about Chachere all you want, but he's proven to be more than a serviceable QB during his career in the Pacific Northwest. He's a true double-threat, throwing for nearly 2,000 yards and 19 touchdowns a season ago to go along with more than 600 rushing yards, the most on the team. The Fresno native has a nose for the end zone, accounting for 26 of those in 2022 while leading the Vikings to a four-win season. This PSU team is young. Sixty-one players played against Oregon, seven of which were true freshmen. Fifteen are listed as redshirt freshmen. Barnum said his team was "outmatched everywhere" in that meeting with the Ducks. "You get a snowman put on you like that -- I will turn to my team leadership and my coaches to keep us up," he added. "We were getting humiliated and I didn't hear one negative comment. That was pretty cool and it tells me we have a shot. If you look at us, I believe we can have a hell of a season. Good for Oregon, I think they can win them all. I think after this we can win all of ours, too." Wyoming hasn't exactly taken FCS teams to the woodshed during Bohl's tenure in Laramie. In fact, the Cowboys fell to visiting North Dakota 24-13 to open the 2015 campaign. They have also been in one-possession contests with Montana, Wofford, Idaho and Montana State. Wyoming had a 6-0 lead over Northern Colorado last September at the half before blowing out the Bears, 33-10. UW is 62-14-3 all-time against programs from the Big Sky Conference.
* Thoughts on Portland State: "We met with the players this morning and I addressed that. The best thing I know is, you can control what you can control, and one of the things we can control is getting better and going out and playing and having better execution. Nonetheless, you have young people and sometimes they're going to read the press clippings. I told them, it's not far from the penthouse to the outhouse, so you better be mindful of that. Many times, I've found through the years that it's just human nature. Sometimes you're tested with trials, but sometimes you really get tested when things go well and everybody's patting you on the back. Then, all of a sudden, you know, the edge that you've had that was apparent -- why I think one of the reasons why we beat Texas Tech -- we have to stay hungry like that. That's my job to make sure this football team is poised and on edge, ready to get better and have a chance to win." -- Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl
PRESS PASS: Roaming The War
-PRESS PASS: Roaming The War