A Brief Look: Portland State Rivalry

Make no mistake.. Portland State is coming to town this weekend to shock the world. While it is unlikely they will leave Boise with a win, they've come onto the Blue before as a heavy underdog and left after spanking the Broncos.. here's a look at the history between the Broncos and Vikings.

Most Bronco fans remember Portland State as the school that gave Boise State Pokey Allen.  Well, they really didn't GIVE Poky Allen to Boise State, but Boise State did hire Pokey and his whole staff after Portland State embarrassed the Broncos in Bronco Stadium October 24, 1992.

In 1992 Skip Hall was the Boise State Head Football Coach.  Pokey Allen, Tom Mason & Al Borges were bringing their Division 2 Portland State Vikings to play in Bronco Stadium.  But the Portland State coaches had a hidden agenda.  They wanted to beat the Broncos and they wanted to get noticed by the Boise State athletic director too.  Pokey Allen wanted Skip Hall's job and he got it!!

Skip Hall's Broncos started the 1992 season with back to back losses, but had won five straight games coming into the Portland State game.  Hall and most of the Boise State fans looked at Portland State as a breather.  They were only a division 2 team while Boise State was a NCAA Division 1AA team. Portland State was unstoppable that evening, scoring 51 points to Boise State's 26 points.  The Bronco fans starting calling for Skip Hall's head immediately after that game.  The Broncos never recovered from the PSU loss, losing their final 4 games and finishing with their second losing record in 45 years.  Skip Hall was fired after the final game and Pokey Allen was hired 4 weeks later.

The series with Portland State started in 1972 when Boise State traveled to Portland to pound the Vikings 33 to 7.  Both teams were Division 2 teams then and Portland State really wanted a good showing, because they want to apply for membership in the Big Sky Conference.  Ironically, Portland State would eventually replace Boise State in the Big Sky Conference when Boise State left for the Big West Conference in 1996.

The second part of the home and home series was played in Boise in 1973.  Unfortunately for PSU, Boise State had it's all time best team of the Division 2 era in 1973.  The Broncos won easily 62 to 7.  The Broncos would go on to come within one touchdown of winning the Division 2 National Championship.  The Broncos lost in the Pioneer Bowl to eventual champion and future WAC member Louisiana Tech 38 to 34.

After the 1992 game, PSU would return to Bronco Stadium in 1995 to play against their old coach, Pokey Allen.  This was the last season as a Division 1AA team for the Broncos and the Broncos dominated the Vikings 49 to 14 to avenge their 1992 loss.  The Big Sky Conference Vikings would return to Bronco Stadium in 1996 and fare much better against the first year Division 1A Broncos.  The Broncos would edge the Vikings 33 to 22 with Interim Coach Tom Mason at the helm of the Broncos.  It would be the only win for the Tom Mason led Broncos.  Coach Pokey Allen would return from cancer therapy to coach the Broncos in their final two games in 1996 before his death in December 1996.

The Broncos would play Portland State again in 1998.  Coach Dirk Koetter was the Broncos first year head coach and the Broncos won the game 42 to 24.  Most Bronco fans thought that 1998 would be the last time the Broncos would play the Vikings, but changes in the 2005 Bronco Football schedule left an opening that Portland State agreed to fill. 

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