Chris Brown threw two touchdown passes to help Cal Poly score 24 straight second-half points and the Mustangs beat Portland State 38-34 on Thursday night in the Big Sky opener for both teams.
Brown was 6 of 18 for 87 yards and ran for 129 yards on 21 carries. Big Sky rushing leader Kristaan Ivory ran for 184 yards and a touchdown in 32 attempts for the Mustangs (2-2).
Down 21-7 at the half, Cal Poly tied it in the third quarter on Chris Nicholls' 18-yard touchdown run and Brown's 14-yard scoring pass to Kori Garcia. The Mustangs took the lead early in the fourth on Bobby Zalud's 32-yard field goal and made it 31-21 on Brown's 54-yard touchdown pass to Akaninyene Umoh.
Portland State (3-2) ended the run with Kieran McDonagh's 57-yard TD pass to Victor Dean, but Brown countered with a 1-yard scoring run.
McDonagh threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Dean with 1:44 to go. Marcus Kinsella missed the extra point and Cal Poly was able to run out the clock for the victory.
McDonagh was 16 of 32 for 302 yards and four touchdowns, and D.J. Adams led the Vikings in rushing with 126 yards on 25 carries.