Nigel Burton, the new head coach of the Portland State Vikings last season, installed a balanced attack (with lots of running from the pistol) in the pace of a pass-happy run-n-shoot. Surprisingly, his inaugural campaign was pretty good on offense. But terrible on defense. Cory McCaffrey and Willie Griffin combined for 140 rushing yards per game on average, McCaffrey gaining the lion’s share. The passing attack was very average, not quite tipping 200 yards per game. Connor Kavanaugh and Tygue Howland shared quarterback duties, Howland in a sixth year of eligibility. Burton said a lack of depth, especially on defense, really hurt the team when a rash on injuring struck. “It was tough in that you would anticipate getting better as the year went on and all of a sudden the depth was being reshuffled,” he said. “The system is what allowed us to be close in a lot of games but those games, however many of them there were, that came down to the wire, we didn’t necessarily have a guy who stepped in the huddle and said throw me the ball or stepped in the huddle and said I hope they run it my way so I can end it,” he said.