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Portland State upsets Washington State

PULLMAN, Wash. — The Portland State football players call their style of play "Barney Ball," in honor of new head coach Bruce Barnum.

"Barney" Ball made a shocking debut on Saturday, as Portland State of the FCS upset Washington State 24-17 in a driving rainstorm that hampered WSU's high-flying offense.

"It's blue collar, tough, fundamental football," Barnum said of his style.

It certainly was.

Portland State scored all 24 of its points in the second half, and won despite being outgained 411 yards to 294 yards.

"Our defense was the definition of bend, don't break," said Barnum, who was making his debut as a college head coach and is working under a one-year contract. "They came together when they needed to."

Portland State's players celebrated in the locker room, chanting "we're undefeated!"

It was the first time Portland State beat a Pacific-12 team in 15 tries, and lifted their record to 3-32 against FBS teams. It was Washington State's first loss to an FCS team in 20 outings.

"We never got in a rhythm on offense," Washington State coach Mike Leach said.

"They were a real mature team," Leach said of Portland State. "They hung together, and we got impatient."

"We didn't come out with the same focus," said WSU linebacker Jeremiah Allison.

He said the rain was a problem for both teams, and declined to blame that for the loss.

Steven Long scored on a 1-yard run with just over 2 minutes left in the game to lift Portland State to the upset.

The rain and unseasonably chilly temperatures stymied Washington State's passing game under quarterback Luke Falk, who this year replaced national passing leader Connor Halliday. But Portland State had the stronger ground attack, out-rushing Washington State 233 yards to 104 yards.

Portland State quarterback Alex Kuresa completed just 7 of 12 passes for 61 yards, but led all rushers with 92 yards on 16 carries in the opener for both teams.

"He has the ability to make plays with his feet," Barnum said.

Falk completed 27 of 41 passes for 289 yards with two touchdowns for WSU. He left the game in the closing minutes with an undisclosed injury.

CALIFORNIA 73, GRAMBLING STATE 14: At Berkeley, Calif., Jared Goff threw for 309 yards and three touchdowns in one half and California returned two interceptions for scores to beat Grambling State.

Goff connected with Kenny Lawler three times for scores as the Golden Bears broke out to a 52-0 halftime lead with the highest-scoring half in modern school history.

Cameron Walker and Devante Downs each returned interceptions for scores as Cal overwhelmed lower-division Grambling State on both sides of the ball.

Johnathan Williams threw four interceptions in the first half against the Tigers, who have been outscored 185-20 in their last three meetings against schools from Power Five conferences.

Martez Carter scored on a 90-yard run in the fourth quarter and Nicholas Peoples added two interceptions for the Tigers.

Portland State running back Nate Tago celebrates after scoring a touchdown against Washington State during the second half on Saturday. AP PHOTO