HILLSBORO, OR — Cam Humphrey completed 21 of 28 passes for 335 yards and four touchdowns, leading No. 8 Montana to a 38-23 win at Portland State on Saturday. It was the second consecutive win for Humphrey in the starting role, after Montana quarterback Dalton Sneed was injured in Montana's loss to Portland State on Oct. 19.
Humphrey was excellent Saturday, taking advantage of Portland State's man defense, which paired the UM receivers against one-on-one coverage on the outside. Humphrey completed 13 passes of 10 or more yards, including a trio that went for more than 40 yards, all ending in touchdowns.
"Going into the game, we knew we had matchups," said Humphrey. "They ran a lot of man-free coverage, so we knew we were going to be manned up on the outside, we knew we were going to have those matchups, and we knew we were going to win those matchups because we have some of the best receivers in the league."
Samori Toure certainly made his case Saturday afternoon, finishing with seven receptions for 140 yards and three of Humphrey's four touchdowns. Toure, a Portland native, had touchdown receptions of 41, 42 and six yards.
"We knew it was a matchup type of game, that's what we kept saying coming into it," said Toure, who said he played in front of around 20 family members and friends at Hillsboro Stadium. "It wasn't just the receivers, but offense and defense. 'They're going to put a man in front of you, and the game is going to come down to who can make the plays.' We were just able to make those plays and come out with the win."
Montana's seventh win of the season, and fourth in Big Sky Conference play, didn't come without a challenge, though. Portland State (5-5, 3-3) actually led 17-14 at halftime and received the opening kickoff of the second half looking to pad its lead. The Vikings took advantage of three Montana first-half turnovers -- a pair of fumbles and a turnover-on-downs -- to build their lead, but couldn't overcome Montana's strong second half.
Marcus Knight opened the scoring for the Grizzlies, turning the corner to the right side for a 45-yard touchdown that put UM ahead 7-0 barely five minutes into the game. But the Griz were denied on their ensuing possession, with Brandon Purdy missing a 35-yard field goal, then Jerry Louie-McGee would fumble a fair catch on a punt that set the Vikings up at UM's 9-yard line, where PSU quarterback Davis Alexander took advantage on the opening play of the second quarter, scoring from six yards out to tie the game at 7-all.
Humphrey and Toure connected on the first of their three touchdowns later in the quarter, with Toure catching a simple stop route for around 10 yards, then bouncing off two Vikings' defenders and running the final 30 yards by himself.
But Portland State owned the final two minutes of the half, with Cody Williams booting a 47-yard field goal to draw PSU within 14-10, then the Vikings' defense forced a Humphrey fumble that gave them the ball back with 52 seconds remaining in the half. Three plays later, Alexander found sophomore Mataio Talalemotu wide open for a 40-yard touchdown that put the Vikings up 17-14 at halftime.
"I have to give some credit to Portland State, because they fought throughout the game. They didn't really give up, but ultimately, as a team we just stayed with the plan, we stayed with it and kept putting pressure on all game," said Toure.
Montana's defense forced a punt to start the third quarter, then four plays into its first offensive possession of the half, Humphrey found Toure for a 42-yard touchdown on the left side of the field that put Montana ahead for good. A 34-yard punt return from Jerry Louie-McGee sparked the Griz offense on its next drive, where Louie-McGee had two receptions for 26 yards before Toure scored a 6-yard touchdown from Humphrey.
Portland State scored its final touchdown, a Davis-to-Davis Koetter score, late in the quarter, but the damage was done. Humphrey hit Samuel Akem in stride for a 76-yard score to open the fourth quarter and the Griz defense did the rest. Jace Lewis, who finished with nine tackles and three sacks, stopped the Vikings on a key fourth-down play, while Alex Gubner and Dareon Nash intercepted Alexander to push the Griz to 7-2 overall and 4-1 in league play. Gubner has a team-high three interceptions on the season.
"It's nice to be 2-0 with our backup quarterback, two big conference game wins with him. Everybody believes he can get the job done, and it's nice to be comfortable with your backup quarterback," said Griz head coach Bobby Hauck. "We're excited to go home. It's fun, even though this was like Washington-Grizzly Stadium west (Saturday). We're excited to go home and play, and this is why we work as hard as we do, to be in this position with November being here."