BERKELEY, Calif. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — Portland State went toe to toe and blow for blow with Pac-12 California on Saturday before falling 37-30.
PSU (1-1) led much of the game and finished with 553 yards on offense to the Bears’ 618.
Cal (1-1) took the lead for good at 34-30 on Richard Rogers’ 75-yard reception from quarterback Jared Goff with 7:58 left in the third quarter.
The Bears added a 23-year-old field goal by Vincent D’Amato at the 3:34 mark of the same period, and then played a scoreless final quarter before the announced crowd of 43,594 at Memorial Stadium.
Cal had a 31-23 lead in first downs, along with 485 yards passing to PSU’s 308. The Vikings ran for 245 yards, 6.3 per carry, while Cal managed 131 yards on the ground at a 3.0 clip.
DJ Adams of Portland State led all rushers with 139 yards and two TDs on a career-high 21 carries. It was his second 100-yard output this season.
PSU quarterback Kieran McDonagh ran for a touchdown and 60 yards on 11 attempts, and he threw for all of the Vikings’ aerial yards, completing 13 of 28, with one interception and one touchdown.
Kasey Closs led Vik receivers with five catches for 160 yards and a score.
Closs went 81 yards with a McDonagh pass as PSU scored 45 seconds into the game and took a 7-0 lead.
After a Cal TD, Adams ran 12 yards to put the Vikings on top 14-7.
D’Amato kicked a 25-ayrd field goal to close the first-quarter scoring.
Adams’ 25-yard TD run early in the second quarter gave the Vikings their largest lead, 20-10.
Cal ran off 17 unanswered points to go ahead 27-20, but Nick Fernandez of Portland State booted a 46-yard field goal with three seconds remaining in the half to pull the visitors to within 27-23.
PSU drove 44 yards in seven plays early in the third quarter to claim a 30-27 advantage.
The Bears got three touchdowns and two field goals out of their five trips to the red zone, while PSU got to the red zone once and scored a touchdown.
The Cal defense held the Vikings to 119 yards after intermission.
The Bears “made some adjustments,” PSU coach Nigel Burton said, “but the plays were still out there. We made some plays in the first half, but missed some in the second, offensively. I am proud of the 553 yards though. Holy smokes.”
Portland State slipped to 0-12 against Pac-12 opponents and 2-30 all-time against FBS teams.
The Vikings are home next Saturday, Sept. 14, to face nonconference Humboldt State at Jeld-Wen Field at 1 p.m.