The University of Northern Colorado lost its seventh game of the season in a close one against Big Sky rival Portland State. The Bears, just 1-3 in the conference, were looking for an opportunity to showcase talent which has fallen under the radar in their losing season.
It was all about the running game on Saturday in Nottingham as the backs for both teams rushed for a collective six touchdowns on the day. Vikings running back Sirgeo Hoffman proved to be the most valuable asset to take the field. His 28 rushing attempts net 221 yards and two touchdowns to lift them over the Bears.
Despite the rush-heavy day, Northern Colorado quarterback Jacob Knipp racked up 300 passing yards. The QB, who went 20-37 passing, was arguably overutilized in the matchup. He completed just 54 percent of his passes and threw two interceptions. The offensive line kept him mostly clean though, as they allowed just one sack. Knipp was, however, responsible for two of the Bears’ four touchdowns and the reason the game ended within just one possession.
Knipp proved his worth as a dual-threat quarterback with 128 rushing yards on ten attempts. While the Bears do not boast the best record, Knipp proves that he is a constant bright spot on an otherwise lackluster season.
While the Bears were in the business of QB overuse Saturday, Vikings QB Davis Alexander went just 8 of 14 on the day. His 170 yards and single touchdown were very much appreciated by his PSU teammates. The Bears managed to sack Alexander three times.
The Vikings dominated on the ground, totaling 344 yards of offensive and averaging 6.3 yards per carry. They punched it into the endzone four times, doubling that of the Bears. 17 of the Vikings’ 24 first downs were from the run.
Bears’ running backs Milo Hall and Jullen Ison carried their weight in the backfield rushing for 35 and 37 yards respectively. They both found their way into the endzone despite their lack of touches. Ison had just seven touches on a day where the running game bore so much importance.
Knipp, however, displayed his excellent chemistry with his wide receivers. Noah Sol, Jaren Mitchell, and Chase Lanckriet were out to prove themselves. Sol had 97 yards on just three receptions, one of which went for a touchdown. Mitchell caught six balls for 96 yards, and Lanckriet finished with five catches for 54 yards and a touchdown.
Despite some decent numbers, the Bears went home with a loss and their focus shifts to the next week of play. UNC will head to Pocatello, Idaho to face the Idaho State Bengals, who are 3-4 on the season. The game will air on Pluto TV at 2:30 p.m. MST Saturday, Nov. 2. For more coverage on UNC sports, visit uncmirror.com