Oregon State came flying out of the gates Saturday night, an effort that escaped the Beavers in their season-opening loss at Purdue.
The momentum that was gained early was never relinquished, and Hawaii couldn’t break free of the pressure that OSU continued to apply.
What resulted was the Beavers finding some traction on their way to a 45-27 win in a nonconference football game at Reser Stadium.
“We just knew we had to keep pushing, because college football is a long game,” said OSU running back B.J. Baylor.
The Beavers (1-1) did that and kept the Rainbow Warriors (1-2) from getting too comfortable.
Quarterback Chance Nolan shined in his starting role, throwing for 302 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for 38 yards.
Nolan came on in relief of Sam Noyer against Purdue and had a solid week of practice to follow, leading to his promotion Saturday.
“I was able to find my open receivers and I think our O-line did a great job giving me time to throw the ball all night,” Nolan said. “I think offensively it was good as a whole. It helped me out a lot because a lot of guys were making good plays for me.”
Beavers coach Jonathan Smith said it’s going be hard to replace Nolan based on how well he played Saturday.
“He came our really effective, even moving his feet and running with the ball. He played a really good game,” Smith said.
Baylor and Anthony Gould both made numerous big plays in the first half that helped OSU build a 24-7 halftime advantage.
Baylor had 91 yards on eight carries, including a 66-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. He would continue his impact after halftime and finish with 171 yards and three scores.
“He had some big-time carries with some great vision and that’s what we were looking for,” Smith said of Baylor. “We needed to run the ball better than we did Week 1. We thought there would be some opportunities against these guys because they’re aggressive and can wreak some havoc in the backfield but also put themselves at risk in some pressure situations.”
Trey Lowe added 26 yards on six carries.
With teammate Tyjon Lindsey unable to return from an injury one game earlier, Gould, a wide receiver, became a frequent target for Nolan in the first two quarters. Gould had six receptions for 106 yards, with a long of 33, by the break, and would be part of a big play later that gave OSU some room to breathe. In all, he had seven catches for 119 yards.
With Lindsey sidelined, Gould got ready to have a bigger role.
“So Anthony gets all the reps this week, totally prepares and makes some huge plays for us,” Smith said, noting that Gould kick-started the team with a big third-down catch that covered 33 yards on the first drive of the game.
Added Nolan of Gould: “We knew what he was capable of. He has a lot of speed and great route-running ability.”
Oregon State’s defense had a hard time getting Hawaii’s offense off the field, allowing a combined 10 for 19 on third and fourth downs. But the Rainbow Warriors couldn’t keep up on the scoreboard.
The Beavers were in control at halftime, leading 24-7, before Riley Sharp and the defense further turned up the heat on the Rainbow Warriors.
Sharp, an outside linebacker, pulled down a pass by Chevan Cordeiro, Hawaii’s dual-threat quarterback, on the first play of the third quarter.
One snap later, Baylor ran straight ahead 30 yards for a touchdown to further build the lead.
The Rainbow Warriors would get two straight touchdowns in less than three minutes, the second off a Baylor fumble deep in Beavers territory, to close within 31-20 late in the third quarter.
Oregon State restored some order for the home crowd on the next possession.
But not before a scary helmet-to-helmet collision at the end of a Nolan 12-yard run. The quarterback took the contact from linebacker Darius Muasau, who was called for targeting and ejected from the game. Nolan popped back up and continued playing.
A Zeriah Beason catch and three consecutive Baylor runs led to Teagan Quitoriano’s 20-yard grab, the tight end’s first reception of the game, moving the ball to the Hawaii 13. The Beavers opened the fourth with a Nolan-to-Gould touchdown pass, pushing the lead to 38-20, the first of two answering scores in the final period.
Hawaii would get no closer than 11 the rest of the way as the OSU defense provided enough resistance to erase any doubt about the outcome.
Cordeiro finished with 366 yards passing, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also ran for 48 yards.
OSU hosts Idaho (1-1) at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Reser.
The Vandals lost 56-14 at Indiana on Saturday following a 68-0 home win versus Simon Fraser in the season opener.
Oregon State scored on its first four possessions, taking advantage of a Hawaii defense that was slashed for 79 combined points against UCLA and Portland State in its first two games of the season.
Nolan completed his first 13 passes, two short of the school record, as the Beavers rolled to a 21-0 lead.
Gould found the left sideline on a short pass and sprinted 33 yards to the Hawaii 15 on the opening drive of the game. He caught another pass, a 10-yarder, that set up Jack Colletto’s leaping 2-yard touchdown run.
Sharp’s second-down sack of Cordeiro helped snuff out a drive that included three double-digit yardage plays.
Three OSU offensive snaps later, Baylor found lots of room to run and the end zone after a 66-yard scamper.
The Beavers defense got off the field in three plays, and the offense went right down the field again and scored on Beason’s 6-yard pass from Nolan on a crossing route.
Hawaii got back in it by converting three third downs before Calvin Turner Jr. snagged a 12-yard pass from Cordeiro for a score.
Everett Hayes’ 27-yard field goal then gave OSU four scores in as many drives to start the game for a 24-7 advantage with 5:03 left in the first half.
The Beavers’ 330 offensive yards in the first half were the most since Oregon State piled up 385 against Arizona in the first two quarters of a 2019 game.
OSU’s Kitan Oladapo had two pass breakups and teammate Avery Roberts six tackles in the half. Roberts finished with a team-high nine tackles, including two for loss.