When Portland State showed up in Oregon as their week 1 opponent, the only expectation many had was an absolute blowout. Especially considering the Ducks were favored by a whopping 48 points going into the contest. However, what fans witnessed at Autzen Stadium was more like a dissection in more ways than one.
13th-ranked Oregon (1-0) absolutely demolished the Vikings with an earth-shattering 81-7 win. After the game, there wasn’t a whole lot left for Portland State head coach Bruce Barnum to say, except to acknowledge the beating. However, he did share that part of the on-field onslaught left behind one particularly unusual casualty of war.
“We’re fine,” Barnum said. “We had one guy get his ear ripped off. They sewed it back on and now they say he has a concussion, so he’s out, but I think he’s fine.
“Not the whole ear… a partial ear detachment. I think it was from when he got his helmet knocked off, so I think his ear didn’t come out of his helmet.”
Despite the dismantling, Portland State can take a lot away from a game like this. And not just the cauliflower ear.
Many small schools have become gluttons for punishment in recent decades, taking pay-for-play deals with much larger programs they have virtually no chance of defeating. Still, the tradeoff is television exposure, and of course, more cash in coffers. Portland State, an FCS program that plays in the Big Sky Conference, received a grand total of $575,000 to travel to Eugene and face off against the Ducks at Autzen Stadium on Saturday to kick off the 2023 campaign.
Oregon will travel down to Texas Tech (0-1) to take on the Red Raiders this Saturday, while Portland State moves on to face Wyoming (1-0).
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