A Portland State Q&A with Viking writer Ian Ruder

Christian Petersen

Took us awhile to find a Portland State writer, but we presented Ian Ruder with questions and here are his answers! Follow him on Twitter if you get a chance.

1. Who is the #1 person on offense Cal people should know about?

The hopes of the Vikings offensively ride on the broad shoulders of sophomore quarterback Kieran McDonagh. He looks like a linebacker, loves to run people over and has a big arm. He struggled with his touch sometimes last year and was slowed by a knee injury, but looks 100 % now.


2. Who is the #1 person on defense Cal people should know about?

There isn't one real standout on defense, at least at this point. The defensive front is the strength of what is, on the whole, a really young, inexperienced group.

3. What does PSU need to do to win this game?

Pray? Just kidding ... In all honesty, PSU needs to catch a few breaks. The offense needs to be aggressive and score early and the defense needs to generate some pressure on Goff to take some pressure off the young LBs and secondary. PSU also needs to win the turnover battle and capitalize on some Cal turnovers.

4. Which of the newcomers on offense will make the biggest difference this season?

Junior wide receiver Roston Tatum isn't exactly a newcomer, as he did play some the last two years, but he looks like a new man. You always hear about the proverbial "light clicking on" when a player figures out how to play. Tatum's light clicked sometime after last season and he has done nothing but impress since spring. He is big, fast and has shown great hands of late.

5. Has Kieran McDonagh improved as a passer this offseason? Will the offense continue to be run-heavy or will it incorporate more passing elements this year?

Last week's game is a pretty small sample size to judge on, but based on practice and such, McDonagh looks like he has taken a big step. Offensive coordinator Bruce Barnum says McDonagh is a "dude" now. I think what he means is that McDonagh is much more in control than he was last year. He still has the same big arm, but looks to be completing some of the trickier passes he failed to complete last season. As for the offense, I'd look for more passing than last year thanks to McDonagh having more targets he feels comfortable with and more confidence.

6. Legendary PSU coach Mouse Davis (also a former Cal offensive coordinator) turned 81 on Friday. Any thoughts on Coach Davis' legacy as Vikings' coach?

Mouse is the man. He is still around PSU all the time and frequently at games. He doesn't look a day over 60. You don't see many (if any) teams running his run and shoot today, but the proliferation of high scoring, creative offenses falls in the same legacy he is firmly planted in.

7. What are the chances of PSU pulling an EWU and getting the upset?

I would say very slim. EWU is a disciplined, experienced team that has been there and done that. The Vikings have a puncher's chance, but not much more.

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