Tailgate Talk

Kuresa to start at QB for Portland St. against WSU

Portland State coach Bruce Barnum has chosen his starting quarterback for next weekend’s opener against Washington State.

Saturday, Barnum told The Columbian that junior Alex Kuresa has been named the starter for next weekend’s game in Pullman. Senior Skyview graduate Kieran McDonagh will be the backup.

Kuresa played for Snow Junior College in Utah last year. He completed 185 of 295 passes for 2,374 yards, 25 touchdowns and nine interceptions, leading his team to an 8-2 record. Originally a BYU commit, he was also the team’s leading rusher with 99 carries for 592 yards and eight touchdowns.

At Portland State’s final scrimmage last week, Kuresa led five series, while McDonagh ran four series. Kuresa completed 4 of 8 passes for 24 yards and had success running the ball. McDonagh was 5 of 10 passing for 79 yards, throwing touchdown passes of 42 yards and 16 yards.

“It’s all in production,” Barnum said last week. “We have the toughest decision in America. These are two quality quarterbacks right now, so we will look at the film, consider everything, and make a decision. I’m not going to sit on this until the night before Washington State and say ‘guess who’s starting?’ We are going to name a guy, let me him get some reps, let everybody know, settle into it and get going.”

McDonagh has started 29 games over the past three seasons. He has totaled 6,894 yards of offense to rank fourth all-time at Portland State, but threw 13 interceptions last season to 12 touchdowns.

Micah Rice

Micah Rice

Columbian Sports Editor Micah Rice is the author of Tailgate Talk: College football from a Clark County perspective.