FOOTBALL HOSTS PORTLAND STATE FOR SECOND STRAIGHT HOME GAME

FOOTBALL HOSTS PORTLAND STATE FOR SECOND STRAIGHT HOME GAME

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A BRIEF PREVIEW
The Sacramento State football team will look for a bounce-back victory on Saturday, Oct. 27, when the Hornets welcome Portland State to Hornet Stadium. The game against the Vikings will kick off at 6 p.m.

This weekend marks the only time this year that Sacramento State will play consecutive weeks at Hornet Stadium. The Hornets played three straight home games last season in September. The team captured bookend victories over Incarnate Word and Southern Utah  but suffered its only loss at home during the year against Weber State during the middle game of the stretch.

Sacramento State also hosted Portland State in the second game of a back-to-back in 2016. That year, the team rallied behind four rushing touchdowns from Jordan Robinson to secure a 42-35 win.

Fans can tune in to KTKZ 1380 AM (this week only) to hear the radio call of Jason Ross, Steve McElroy and Danny Sullivan. Live audio streaming is also available via www.hornetsports.com and on the Tune-In app for mobile devices.

This week's game will be televised locally on CW31 and streamed on Pluto.TV and WatchBigSky. Dave Lewis and Aaron Garcia return to call the action.

OPPONENT PREVIEW: PORTLAND STATE
After going winless all of last season, Portland State has found its stride with back-to-back conference victories. The Vikings come into the game with a 3-4 overall record and are 2-2 in Big Sky play. The team will be looking to win three in a row for the first time since 2015.

Portland State has had a dramatic turnaround on defense where the team is allowing just 18.0 points per contest in its last three games. The Vikings also forced seven turnovers in wins at Montana and at home against Northern Colorado.

Offensively, tight end Charlie Taumoepeau is the top threat. The preseason All-American has five touchdown catches and is averaging 28.0 yards per reception. However, Taumoepeau has missed the last two games with an ankle sprain. PSU has used a pair of quarterbacks in Davis Alexander and Jalani Eason. Alexander has accounted for 13 TDs this year — throwing for six and rushing for seven.

The Viking defense has created 14 sacks and recorded seven interceptions. Six players have picked off passes with Artuz Manning leading the way with two. Noah Yunker has a team high 3.0 sacks.

Bruce Barnum is in his fourth season as the head coach after five years as the offensive coordinator.

ARMS RACE
Sacramento State is not alone in having to deal with quarterback injuries. However, the Hornets may be the only team to feature six QBs on the roster who have taken snaps for the team.

Senior Kevin Thomson had been the starter through the first six games. Thomson threw for 1,253 yards and seven touchdowns with just one interception before being injured at Southern Utah.

When Thomson was hurt, senior Wyatt Clapper took over at SUU and earned the start last week against North Dakota. Clapper threw and rushed for a score against the T-Birds and finished the game against UND going 12-of-22 for 119 yards with an interception. He also played in the season opener against Saint Francis where he completed 7-of-11 passes for 148 yards and was 1-for-2 at San Diego State.

Redshirt freshman Jack Rice made his career debut against Saint Francis where he completed 2-of-3 passes for 30 yards and also rushed for 43 yards. Rice suffered a pectoral tear a couple of weeks back taking him out of the rotation.

The two newest members of the QB club are Tristen Meyer and Hamish McClure. Meyer, a redshirt freshman, did not connect on his two attempts late in the fourth quarter against North Dakota. McClure, a true freshman,  did not attempt a pass but ran for three yards. Both Meyer and McClure have a football pedigree. Meyer's brother, Erik, was a Walter Payton Award winner at Eastern Washington. McClure's father, Angus, played and coached for the Hornets and is currently the associate head coach at Nevada.

Roman Ale, who started three games a year ago for Sacramento State, is out for the season while recovering from a knee injury suffered last year. Ale was 31-of-57 for 491 yards with five TDs and one interception.

Along with the six QBs, cornerback Dre Terrell has also attempted a pass for the team this year.

CLOSING IN ON HORNET ROYALTY
Elijah Dotson recorded his fourth consecutive 100-yard game after carrying the ball 21 times for 140 yards against North Dakota. Dotson became the first Hornet to have four straight games over the century mark since Jordan Robinson performed the feat in the final four games of 2016.

The sophomore started the streak at Montana where he had a career high 234 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries. He became the first Hornet to go over 200 rushing yards in a game since Jordan Robinson had 262 against Portland State in Nov. 12, 2016. Overall, his 234 yards were the 16th most in school history.

He followed that effort with two identical performances against Cal Poly and at Southern Utah where he had 22 attempts for 149 yards and a score.

During the four games, Dotson has carried the ball 95 times for 672 yards and five touchdowns. Amazingly, he has been stopped for just 12 negative yards during the stretch and is averaging. 7.07 yards per attempt while scoring five times.

Dotson's four consecutive 100-yard game places him among some of the elite runners in school history. Below is a list of the longest 100-yard streaks in school history:

Consecutive 100-yard games    Dates    Games
Charles Roberts (Sept. 5, 1998-Oct. 2, 1999) - 16
Troy Mills (Aug. 31-Nov. 16, 1991) - 10
Bryan Hilliard (Sept. 11-Oct. 23, 2010) - 6
Charles Roberts (Oct. 16, 1999-Sept. 2, 2000) - 5
Troy Mills (Oct. 6-27, 1990) - 4
Michael Stewart (Oct. 7-28, 1995) - 4
Bryan Hilliard (Nov. 3, 2007-Aug. 30, 2008) - 4
Jordan Robinson (Sept. 19-Oct. 10, 2015) - 4
Jordan Robinson (Oct. 22-Nov. 19, 2016) - 4
Elijah Dotson (Sept. 22, 2018-pres.) - 4

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE
Dotson remained seventh in the FCS and second in the Big Sky with 125.0 rushing yards per game. He is also third nationally among backs with at least 125 attempts at 6.53 yards per carry. Dotson is also averaging 141.71 all-purpose yards per game which places him 14th in the FCS and second in the Big Sky.

The Sacramento native has done a lot of his damage with big plays. He has seven rushes for at least 25 yards, including five over 50. His most recent was a 56-yard rush against Cal Poly which set up the team's lone touchdown. That attempt was his first over 50 yards that did not go for a touchdown this year.

With four regular season games remaining, Dotson is already nearing several school single-season top 10 marks. He needs two more rushing touchdowns to crack the top 10 and 125 rushing yards to become the first Hornet to rush for 1,000 yards in a year since Bryan Hilliard in 2008 (1,082).

Only three Hornets have recorded 1,000 yard seasons as a freshman or sophomore. Along with Hilliard, who did it as a sophomore, Charles Roberts rushed for a then NCAA record 2,260 yards as a sophomore in 1998 and Donald Hair posted a school freshman record of 1,097 in 1985.

As a true freshman, he led Sacramento State with 1,107 all-purpose yards last season. He is again pacing the team with 836 yards through the initial six games of 2018.

Below is where the Antelope HS ranks in the Sacramento State record book:
Career Rushing Yards    Total    Needs
10. Mark Schultz (1984-85)    1,571    221
11. George Sula (1974-75)    1,541    191
12. Pedro Lewis (1991-93)    1,487    137
13. Tyronne Gross (2002-04)    1,448    98
14. John Scorza (1967-68)    1,357    7
15. Elijah Dotson (2017-pres.)    1,350    ---

Career Yards Per Carry        Avg.
1. Rob Harrison (1985-86)        7.05
2. Troy Mills (1990-91)        6.50
3. Elijah Dotson (2017-pres.)        6.11

A LONG TIME COMING
Saturday marked a series of firsts for safety Allen Perryman. The junior made his first start of the season — and first since the opening game of 2016. He then recorded his first career interception when he picked off former teammate Nate Ketteringham, setting up a field goal for the Hornets.

The biggest first came in the third quarter. After North Dakota scored a touchdown, the snap on the ensuing PAT was mishandled. Kicker Brady Leach appeared to corral the loose ball but it slipped through his hands and found its way to Perryman. The Lemoore, Calif., native then travelled the remaining 90 yards for a defensive two-point conversion.

The last time Sacramento State scored two points on defense came on Oct. 27, 1990 when Dan Leshore scooped up a blocked PAT. To put that gap in to perspective, all of the current Hornet players and a few of the coaches were not born in 1990.

Perryman was also one of the team's primary kick returners against the Fighting Hawks for the first time this year. He had a 30-yard return which was the second longest on the team this season.

AN EVER GROWING LIST
After injuries ravaged the defense for the first half of the year, the offense appears to be closing the gap with recent setbacks. While head coach Jody Sears has repeatedly argued that all teams endure injuries and the team can't make excuses, we'll leave you with these facts.

Preseason All-American and all-Big Sky selection George Obinna was injured against Saint Francis during the first defensive series. He returned two weeks later only to suffer a different season ending ankle injury. Under the new NCAA hardship rules, Obinna will be eligible to return for a sixth year next season.

Marcus Bruce, who was a third team all-Big Sky selection last year, missed the first five games with a broken wrist suffered during training camp. Bruce has played in the last two games and could play in two more and still redshirt this season.

After leading the team with five interceptions last season, Dre Terrell earned third team all-Big Sky honors. The senior was injured in the days prior to the San Diego State game, missed two games, and has seen limited action in his return.

Defensive end Killian Rosko missed the first five games of the year with a knee injury.

Linebacker Elijah Wallace suffered a concussion at Northern Colorado and will not return this season.
After playing hurt the past few weeks, linebacker Immanuel Anderson missed the game against UND.

Fellow linebackers Kevin McKinney (knee) and Miguel Garcia (ankle) are also lost for the year. McKinney was injured at Northern Colorado while Garcia went down at San Diego State.

Defensive end Sione Liku (elbow) and linebacker Marte Mapu (hand) have missed five and four games, respectively. Safety Austin Clark was also forced to retire prior to the season after complications from a hand injury which was suffered last season.

On offense, senior guard Wyatt Ming suffered a broken leg against Saint Francis and has not returned to action. Reserve center Brandon Boccaleoni missed the first four games and has since taken over the starting role from Ivan Espiritu who did not play against UND.

Running back Bryant Perkinson has missed three games with a pair of injuries. Freshman Montaz Thompson was also sidelined for five games with an injury in the season opener.

After a limited role at Southern Utah, all-Big Sky wide receiver Andre Lindsey did not play against North Dakota. He was joined on the sideline by Jaelin Ratliff who was injured during the first offensive drive of the game.

Fellow wide receivers Nolan Merker (knee) and Isaiah Capooccia (ankle) were both lost prior to the season beginning.

Rounding out the group of the wounded is quarterback Kevin Thomson who has not seen action since the first quarter of the Southern Utah game.

NEXT MEN UP
With all the injuries, it has allowed for some players to step into larger roles for the team. Two of those examples have come at wide receiver where Pierre Williams and Johnnie Rucker rank second and third in receptions.

Williams has 19 receptions for 353 yards and team-high three touchdown catches. He led the team against North Dakota with five grabs for 67 yards. The week prior, Williams caught a 41-yard touchdown pass at Southern Utah.

Rucker tied for the team lead with five receptions and had a career high 93 receiving yards at Southern Utah. He currently ranks third among Hornets with 16 catches for 261 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Rucker set career highs as a freshman in 2016 with 20 grabs for 301 yards. He had three touchdowns last season and two as a freshman.

True freshman Armon Bailey earned his first collegiate start at linebacker against North Dakota and responded with a career performance. Bailey had seven total tackles, including five solo against the Fighting Hawks. Prior to the game, the Fairfield, Calif., had never had more than two tackles in a game.

ANDERSON, PEARSON CLIMB THE LIST
The linebacking duo of Immanuel Anderson and Manoah Pearson both moved into the top 20 in school history in career tackles last season. The pair has started games since their freshman seasons and are both poised to end their career among the best in school history.

Anderson is currently seventh on the all-time list with 284 tackles. The senior began his career as a safety before taking over the rover position last season. He led the team with 107 tackles in 2016 and added 59 a year ago, including 10 for loss. The Vallejo, Calif., native has recorded a tackle in all 35 games of his career and has nine games with 10-plus stops.

Pearson now has 243 stops to rank 11th. The Carson, Calif., native has made at least 52 tackles each season. He earned honorable mention all-Big Sky last season and has seven career games with double digit tackles.

Below is where Anderson and Pearson rank among the school's all-time leaders:
Career Tackles    Total    Needs
6. Matt Logue (2002-05)    306    32
7. Immanuel Anderson (2015-pres.)    284    ---
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
9. Mike Brannon (2005-08)    258    15
10. Brent Webber (2004-07)    249    6
11. Manoah Pearson (2015-pres.)    243    ---

CURRENTLY ON HOLD
The duo of Andre Lindsey and Jaelin Ratliff had their climb up the all-time receiving list at Sacramento State paused due to injuries. Last season, the pair ranked first and second, respectively, in the FCS in yards per reception. Lindsey went on to earn second team all-conference honors and was a preseason all-Big Sky selection.

This year, Ratliff has 21 receptions for 438 yards (20.9 ypc) and Lindsey has caught 13 passes for 270 yards (20.8 ypc). The currently rank ninth and 10th in the FCS in yards
per catch and only trail Idaho State's Mitch Gueller (22.1 ypc) in the Big Sky.

The pair, who are both natives of Stockton, Calif., have combined for 11 100-yard games in their careers. However, they have yet to both go over the century mark in the same game.

Below is where the two rank in Sacramento State history:
Career Receiving Yards    Total    Needs
T4. Mike Carter (1968-69)    1,834    106
T4. Lamont Webb (1997-2000)    1834    106
6.    Jaelin Ratliff (2015-pres.)    1,728    ---
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
T18. Lin Klinkhammer (1985-86)    1,282    78
T18. Carlos Smith (1996-97)    1,282    78
20. Bill Yurong (1965-67)    1,254    50
---- Andre Lindsey (2016-pres.)    1,204

QUICK HITTERS
Devon Medeiros has made eight field goals over the last four games with only one longer than 30 yards. Medeiros now has 26 career field goals which ties him for third in school history.

The two longest kick returns of the year came last week against UND where Montaz Thompson had a 42-yarder and Allen Perryman had a best of 30 yards.
Elijah Chambers (4.5) and David Perales (2.5) are the only players with at least two sacks this year. The team has a total of 12 on the year.