A few notes from Portland State football’s toasty Friday morning practice at Stott Community Field:
YOUNGSTERS BREAKING THROUGH: SO DT Dallas House, who has spent two seasons battling injuries, has moved up the depth chart with the Vikings. Originally a defensive end, House was moved to tackle by line coach Jason Belford this fall. House, at 6-2, 265 pounds may be a little undersized for the position but has proven he belongs. In Wednesday’s scrimmage and throughout the week, House has been running with the first string.
Another player that has impressed so far is FR TE Charlie Taumoepeau. A signee in 2015, Taumoepeau did not enter school until last winter, joining the Vikings for spring football. At 6-2, 265, Taumoepeau was originally a player who could have filled a number of roles. The coaching staff decided on tight end and it has paid off. Following Friday morning’s practice, SR QB Alex Kuresa was asked who has impressed him among the new players in camp. Without hesitation he said, “I like Charlie.” And why not? Taumoepeau has been consistently getting open and making catches throughout fall camp. “He’s young, but he will get a chance to play,” said Coach Bruce Barnum.
Another freshman who has been impressive is quarterback Davis Alexander. Similar in stature and skill to incumbent QB Alex Kuresa, Alexander has earned a lot of snaps with the second unit throughout fall camp.
BIG SKY CONFERENCE ON THE SCENE: Jon Oglesby of the Big Sky Conference office is in town to see the Viking football team this weekend. One of the top programs in the league in 2015, Portland State is being previewed by the Big Sky for 2016. The video story will appear at www.bigskyconf.com and the Big Sky Conference YouTube channel on Monday afternoon.
TIME CHANGE: Portland State’s Nov. 18 football game against Eastern Washington will have a slight change to the kickoff time. The game is scheduled as a Friday evening regular season finale on Root Sports television. Rather than a 7 p.m. start, the game will be moved back to a 7:30 kickoff to accommodate the television schedule.
ROSTER MOVE: Following Wednesday’s scrimmage, Head Coach Bruce Barnum made some roster adjustments. One player move was Scott Hitner, formerly a tight end, now a quarterback. Hitner was a quarterback at Cottage Grove High School, where he earned All-State and league MVP honors. He passed for over 7,000 yards, rushed for over 1,000 yards and totaled 117 passing and rushing touchdowns during his high school career. Hitner was on the scout team as a tight end in 2015.
MOUSE IS BACK IN THE HOUSE: Mouse Davis made an appearance at practice on Friday morning. The legendary coach visited with Coach Bruce Barnum and others as he got his first look at the 2016 Vikings. A frequent visitor (and occasional traveler) with the Viking program in 2015, Davis had been absent so far this fall. The reason? He only recently returned from a golf excursion to Scotland, playing St. Andrews and several other famous courses. Not exactly a household name among “football” fans in Great Britain, the now 83-year old Mouse did receive the “Royal and Ancient” treatment once one of the local caddies Googled his name and found out who he was.
THE HEAT IS ON: Temperatures reached triple digits in Portland on Thursday. When the Vikings completed practice on Friday morning at 11:30, the mercury sat at 91 on the way to another 100+ day. The Vikings went for 90 minutes in the morning and were expected to practice 90 minutes again on Friday evening. Saturday, another day forecast for 100 degrees, includes a 10 a.m.-noon practice.
Portland State Football Pre-Season Practice Schedule
Mon., Aug. 22: 10 a.m.-Noon
Tues., Aug. 23: 10 a.m.-Noon, 5-6:30 p.m.
Wed., Aug. 24: 5-7 p.m. (scrimmage)
Thurs., Aug. 25: Off Day
Fri., Aug. 26: 10 a.m.-Noon
Sat., Aug. 27: 10 a.m.-Noo