The quick start by Oregon State almost led to a crash ending as the Beavers held off a fast-and-furious fourth-quarter rally by Hawaii to secure a 38-30 nonconference football win before an Aloha Stadium crowd of 26,700.
The victory gives the Beavers a 2-0 start for the 2014 campaign. Hawaii dropped to 0-2 against a pair of Pac-12 opponents as the Warriors prepare for Northern Iowa this weekend.
“It seems like it’s just a broken record,” UH head coach Norm Chow said. “We played really hard and I’m really proud of our effort, but we just can’t make the mistakes that we do. Their quarterback knew exactly what he was doing and did what he wanted. We just have to keep fighting.”
Oregon State came to town with the idea of getting off to a fast start and that’s exactly what the Beavers did behind the electric arm of OSU senior quarterback Sean Mannion, who completed 26 of 37 passes for 300 yards and three touchdowns, including an 8-yarder to Victor Bolden on the opening drive of the third quarter that put the game out of reach.
It was Bolden’s first career receiving touchdown as place-kicker Robert Owens hit his fifth PAT of the game that extended OSU’s lead to 31 points with 10:56 left in the third quarter, leaving most folks figuring when it was time to head to the exit. But Hawaii had other plans.
The Warriors scored their second touchdown of the game on the first play of the fourth quarter on a 1-yard run by Joey Iosefa to cap an 11-play, 55-yard drive for the Warriors as Tyler Hadden added the PAT to make it 38-14 with 14:55 left in the fourth. It was Iosefa’s second score of the game as UH tried to make it respectable, and eventually did.
OSU had a quick three-and-out on its ensuing series that was compounded by a blocked punt by UH’s Lance Williams that gave the Warriors the ball at the OSU 16. They moved it to the OSU 5 to set up a first-and-goal. Iosefa took it in from there on a sweep right to cut the margin to 38-20. UH failed on the 2-point conversion.
And the Warriors weren’t done yet. OSU fumbled on the ensuing kickoff and Williams recovered it at the Beavers 20. OSU held, forcing a 33-yard field goal by Hadden that was good to trim OSU’s margin to 38-23 with 10:55 left in the game.
Hawaii sliced it to 8 on a 2-yard touchdown run by UH quarterback Ikaika Woolsey with 1:35 left in the game as Hadden added the PAT to make it 38-30 OSU. Hawaii tried for an onside kick, but the ball didn’t go 10 yards before UH touched it to seal the win.
Iosefa left the game late in the fourth with an injury to his foot. He carried the ball 19 times for 54 yards and three touchdowns before giving way to Steve Lakalaka. Woolsey struggled for most of the night, completing 20 of 50 for 236 yards and no touchdowns. Both quarterbacks had one pick.
Things started off well enough for Hawaii in the opening quarter. The Warriors got the ball first and moved quickly down the field, that is, until Iosefa fumbled and OSU took over at its own 16.
The Beavers needed only five plays to score and take a 7-0 lead with 10:12 left in the first quarter. Mannion completed a 40-yard bomb to Bolden against UH cornerback Dee Maggitt to get things started on a positive note.
Three players later he found Richard Mullaney, who beat Maggit again, from 4 yards out for the score as Owens added the PAT to give the Beavers the early seven-point lead.
After forcing Hawaii into a quick three-and-out, the Beavers needed only five plays to score again. This time Mannion hit favorite target tight end Connor Hamlett from 5 yards out to complete a 60-yard drive against an ineffective UH defense as Owens added the PAT to make it 14-0 with 6:15 left in the opening period.
The second quarter wasn’t much different from the first as OSU continued to build its lead. The Beavers went 52 yards on five plays, the last one a 32-yard touchdown jaunt by Terron Ward. He went clean over the left side and then outraced the slow UH pursuit to make it 21-0 as Owens hit the PAT with 13:30 left in the second quarter.
The Hawaii defense finally came to life, intercepting Mannion deep in OSU territory. TJ Taimatuia returned the picked pass 11 yards to the Beavers 6, setting up a first-and-goal. It appeared the Beavers had a stop before OSU’s Steven Nelson was called for a pass interference on a third-down play that had no chance to work.
On the next play, Iosefa made up for his costly fumble, scoring from 2 yards out to make it 21-7 OSU with 10:52 left in the second as Hadden added the PAT.
OSU extended its lead to 24-7 with 6:12 left in the half on a 27-yard field goal by Owens. The officials made a couple of questionable calls against UH to extend the drive, drawing the ire of the fans, who disagreed with a roughing-the-passer penalty against linebacker Julian Gener. He hit Mannion low on a third-down incompletion.
The Beavers made the Warriors pay for the mistake as Ward scored his second touchdown of the game, this time from 2 yards out as Owens added the PAT to make it 31-7 with 1:31 left in the half. The Beavers went 84 yards on only seven plays and had five scoring drives in the half as they rolled up 348 yards.
“We’ll take it,” OSU head coach Mike Riley said. “We know we’ve got to get better in some aspects. We knew that last weekend and we got better in some of those things from last week. We’ve just got to keep improving.”