From the Portland State athletics press release –
Portland State Athletics has announced a move to Hillsboro Stadium in 2019 as its full-time home venue for Viking Football. The Vikings will play six home games during the 2019 season as the schedule has officially been released (see below).
PSU football joins the Viking softball and soccer programs, which already use the Gordon Faber Recreation Complex in Hillsboro, as a full-time home.
The move to Hillsboro for football was made due to increasing challenges for home scheduling at Providence Park. Portland State had used Providence Park as its home venue since the 1960s. However, conflicts with Portland Timbers soccer in recent seasons had forced the Vikings to occasionally have to move out of the stadium for home games. In 2018, PSU played four of five home games at Hillsboro due to schedule conflicts.
The logistics and cost of moving back and forth between venues, and occasionally not knowing if Providence Park would be available (due to potential MLS post-season games), helped necessitate the move. Having Hillsboro as a consistent home should be more beneficial to the program, fans and staff, as well as be financially more prudent.
Portland State Athletics and the city of Hillsboro are in discussions for a long-term partnership. In addition, Portland State is partnering with the Portland Interscholastic League and Oregon Sports Authority on a feasibility study of building a football venue in downtown Portland.
Meanwhile, PSU and Hillsboro are working together to upgrade the fan experience for Viking home games at Hillsboro Stadium. Elements include amenity upgrades and enhanced tailgating.
THE 2019 PORTLAND STATE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Portland State’s football schedule takes on a slightly different look in the 2019 season. The Vikings will play 12 games due to an additional weekend prior to a late Thanksgiving holiday, and will have six home games. Also different will be a full home schedule played at Hillsboro Stadium, PSU’s alternate home in recent seasons.
Due to scheduling conflicts with Providence Park in 2018, Portland State played four of its five home games at Hillsboro. Because of on-going scheduling challenges, PSU will move to Hillsboro full-time in 2019. In the past, Portland State played full seasons at Hillsboro (2000 and 2010) as well as some one-off games in other seasons.
Portland State’s last 12-game home schedule came in 2014. The last six-game home schedule was 2013 (not counting the playoff season of 2015). PSU plays four non-conference games, then an eight-game Big Sky schedule that gets progressively more difficult as the season goes on.
The Vikings come off a 4-7 season in 2018. A modest record, yes, but a four-game improvement over a winless 2017. Also, the Vikings pulled off a big road upset over 14th-ranked Montana, showed a vastly improved defense, and a young, but maturing offense.
The opening game of 2019 also has a different look as Portland State will face a Southeastern Conference opponent for the first time in its history. The Vikings take on Arkansas on Aug. 31 in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks were 2-10 in 2018.
Portland State returns home on Sept. 7 to face Simon Fraser, an NCAA II member of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. The Clan was 1-9 last season. It will be the first meeting between PSU and SFU since 1982. The Vikings lead the all-time series, 8-2.
Another road contest comes on Sept. 14 as the Vikings play their second “money” game against an FBS-level opponent. PSU will travel to Boise State for the first time since 2005. The Broncos were 10-3 last season, 7-1 in the Mountain West Conference, and finished the year ranked 25th in the nation. Boise State leads the all-time series, 6-1.
PSU’s final non-conference game will be a home contest with Eastern Oregon on Sept. 21. The Mountaineers come off a 6-4 year in 2018 as an NAIA program. Portland State leads the all-time series 10-5-1, including a 57-17 decision in 2013.
A road game at Idaho State opens the Big Sky schedule on Sept. 28. The Vikings and Bengals squared off in a thriller in 2018 with Idaho State winning 48-45. ISU leads the all-time series 25-18-1. However, the Vikings lead the Big Sky series, 12-11. Their last win in Pocatello came in 2015. Idaho State was 6-5 in 2018.
Portland State’s next two games are at home. First up is Southern Utah on Oct. 5. The Vikings and Thunderbirds have not met since 2016. SUU was only 1-10 last fall. The Vikings lead the all-time series, 9-4, and the Big Sky series, 3-1.
On Oct. 12, PSU hosts Idaho at home for the first time since 1989. The Vikings will try to avenge last October’s loss in a defensive struggle, 20-7. Idaho matched PSU with a 4-7/3-5 record in 2018. The Vandals lead the all-time series, 12-1, and the teams will be playing just their second game as Big Sky Conference opponents.
Back-to-back road games follow to a pair of venues the Vikings have not seen in a few years. Portland State will play at Northern Colorado on Oct. 19, then Northern Arizona on Oct. 26.
PSU has not played in Greeley since 2015. The Vikings beat the Bears last year, 35-14 in Portland, and lead the Big Sky series, 6-4. UNC was 2-9 in 2018.
Remarkably, PSU has played Northern Arizona only twice since 2012. That was also the last time the Vikings played in Flagstaff. Portland State’s last win in Flagstaff was in 2006 – or three Head Coaches ago. PSU is just 1-7 against the Lumberjacks since that time. NAU was 4-6 on the season as one game at Sacramento State was cancelled.
The home stretch through the month of November will be the most challenging of the year for the Vikings.
Portland State will host perennial powerhouse Montana on Nov. 2. No doubt the Griz will want payback for PSU’s 22-20 upset win at Washington-Grizzly Stadium. It was only the Vikings’ fourth win over Montana ever in Big Sky play. The other three have come at home. The nationally-ranked Griz saw their season upended after that loss, losing three of their last five and finishing 6-5.
A pair of top-10 ranked opponents come in the final two games.
Portland State hosts UC Davis on Nov. 9. The Aggies were NCAA FCS Quarterfinalists before losing to Eastern Washington in 2018. The Aggies went 10-3 on the season, their best year at the Division I level. PSU had won four in a row against the Aggies before a 37-14 loss in 2017. The Vikings still lead the all-time series, 11-5.
After a bye week on Nov. 16, PSU’s final game is against traditional rival Eastern Washington, Nov. 23. The Eagles went all the way to the FCS National Championship in 2018 before losing to North Dakota State. Eastern’s 12-3 record included a regular season-finale win over the Vikings. The all-time series is tied 20-20-1 with the Eagles leading the Big Sky series, 15-8.
• Year in and year out Portland State football has one of the most challenging Football Championship Subdivision schedules in the country, and 2019 will be no different. The Vikings played a pair of FBS opponents, Arkansas and Boise State, and face two Top-10 programs from 2018 – Eastern Washington and UC Davis.
• This will be the 10th time that Portland State has played at least two FBS level programs in the same season (the Vikings played three in 2006).
• Portland State plays two lower division schools in 2019 (Simon Fraser, NCAA II; Eastern Oregon, NAIA). The Vikings are 16-0 in games against lower division opponents since moving to Division I in 1996.
• This will be the 73rd season of Portland State football (1947).
• PSU faces only five teams in 2019 that were on the schedule in 2018 (Idaho State, Idaho, Northern Colorado, Montana, Eastern Washington).
• In the Big Sky Conference’s unusual 14-team format in 2019 (Idaho returned in football in 2018 and North Dakota has departed but remains in the scheduling rotation until 2020), Portland State faces just eight of the other 13 members. PSU will miss Big Sky schools Weber State, Montana State, Cal Poly and Sacramento State on their schedule in 2019. In addition, the Vikings will play Northern Arizona for only the third time in seven years and first time on the road in 2012.
2019 VIKINGS FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Aug. 31 at Arkansas
Sept. 7 SIMON FRASER
Sept. 14 at Boise State
Sept. 21 EASTERN OREGON
Sept. 28 at Idaho State*
Oct. 5 SOUTHERN UTAH*
Oct. 12 IDAHO*
Oct. 19 at Northern Colorado*
Oct. 26 at Northern Arizona*
Nov. 2 MONTANA*
Nov. 9 UC DAVIS*
Nov. 16 Bye
Nov. 23 at Eastern Washington*
* Big Sky Conference game
Home games at Hillsboro Stadium
Kickoff times TBA