Oregon St. tops Boise St. 38-23 in Hawaii Bowl

Rashaad Reynolds returned two fumbles for touchdowns, helping

Oregon State beat Boise State 38-23 in the Hawaii Bowl on Tuesday

night.

The Beavers (7-6) stopped a five-game slide and set several

records in handing Boise State its worst loss in two months.

Oregon State coach Mike Riley said stopping the skid was the

biggest deal for his team.

”They’ve worked hard, they haven’t lost their focus even though

there’s been some discouragement, they didn’t let it stay with

them,” Riley said. ”I loved how they’ve responded all year.”

Biletnikoff Award-winner Brandin Cooks had 60 yards receiving

and a touchdown while setting a Pac-12 record for most receiving

yards in season, passing Southern California’s Marqise Lee. Sean

Mannion set another mark for passing yards, finishing 24 of 33 for

259 yards and a touchdown.

”When you win, you’d like to say it’s a good ending a good

beginning for the upcoming year,” Riley said.

Oregon State kept Boise State out of the end zone until the

third quarter, well after the Beavers had opened a big lead.

Reynolds had his first fumble recovery about 12 minutes into the

game when Scott Crichton stripped Boise State quarterback Grant

Hedricks in the end zone. The ball popped forward to the 3-yard

line, where Reynolds picked it up and ran it in.

Reynolds tacked on another fumble return in the second quarter

on his way to game MVP honors. Troy Ware caught a 6-yard pass near

the sideline for Boise State, but Larry Scott punched the ball out

as Ware was falling to the ground. Reynolds picked it up and ran 70

yards to the end zone.

Matt Miller led Boise State with 11 catches for 206 yards and a

touchdown, with most of the production coming after the game was

decided. Miller, who set a school season record with 88 catches

this season, was the Broncos’ MVP for the game.

Boise State’s most successful drive came in the third quarter

after Oregon State went 94 yards and scored a touchdown to make it

38-6. The Broncos responded with a nine-play, 76-yard drive spent

partially in a hurry-up offense. Jay Ajayi took a shotgun handoff

from Hedrick and ran up the middle for a 1-yard TD.

After the successful extra-point attempt went into the stands,

the mostly-empty stadium provided its loudest ovation of the night

in support of the fans who tried to keep the ball away from

security by throwing it around the seats.

Oregon State finished with 454 total yards, averaging 6.8 per

play.

Hedrick threw for 382 yards and a touchdown, closing out a

difficult stretch for the Broncos (8-5).

Joe Southwick was sent home by interim coach Bob Gregory after

the quarterback was accused of urinating off a hotel balcony in

Honolulu last week, though he later told a TV station he didn’t do

it and was unfairly dismissed.

It was Gregory’s first major issue after taking over for Chris

Pedersen, who left the team to take over at Washington.

”I mean there were a lot of distractions for us, but we’ve got

a bunch of resilient guys,” Miller said. ”It was looking like we

were going to come out and play well and that just didn’t happen

there.”

Both teams started the game with similar drives, making progress

on big plays before stalling in the red zone and kicking field

goals. But Oregon State grabbed the lead for good on Cooks’ 2-yard

TD reception with 4:15 left in the first quarter, capping a 92-yard

drive.

Oskar Garcia can be reached on Twitter at

http://twitter.com/oskargarcia