(Tuesday, December 22nd)
Final Score: (15) BYU 44, (16) Oregon State 20
Las Vegas, NV (Sports Network) - Max Hall threw three touchdowns and BYU's defense did the rest in the 15th-ranked Cougars' 44-20 thumping of No. 16 Oregon State in the Las Vegas Bowl.
This matchup was billed to be one of the more competitive postseason contests of the bowl slate, but BYU (11-2) held a high-octane Beavers attack, which averaged 32.4 points per game during the regular season, to just seven points over the first three quarters to cruise to victory in windy conditions at Sam Boyd Stadium.
Harvey Unga had 71 yards and a score on 24 carries for the Cougars, who converted 8-of-13 third-down attempts in their fifth straight Las Vegas Bowl appearance.
Hall, in his final collegiate game, ended with 192 yards on 19-of-30 attempts, tossing touchdowns to Dennis Pitta, Luke Ashworth, and Manase Tonga in the surprisingly one-sided bout. Tonga also rushed for a score for the victors.
Sean Canfield connected on a mere 19-of-40 throws for 168 yards with an interception for the Beavers (8-5), whose loss to Oregon in the annual Civil War game in the regular season finale cost them a shot at the Rose Bowl.
The talented Rodgers brothers -- Jacquizz and James -- were bottled up throughout, and each lost a fumble deep in their own territory that led to BYU touchdowns. Jacquizz Rodgers carried the ball 18 times for 63 yards and a TD in defeat.
Canfield snuck into the end zone from a yard out at the 8:46 mark of the opening quarter, but the rest of the game was downhill from there for OSU.
Unga capped a 14-play, 84-yard march with a one-yard plunge of his own, and on the second play of the ensuing drive, Jacquizz Rodgers dropped a backward pass and was tackled trying to pick up the loose ball.
Matt Bauman collected the idle pigskin and returned it 34 yards for a 14-7 BYU lead.
A holding penalty canceled out Oregon State recovering a muffed punt inside BYU's five-yard line at the end of the opening quarter.
Mitch Payne's 28-yard field goal made it a 10-point game 5:39 into the second quarter. The Beavers quickly punted, and with the wind in his face, Johnny Hekker only netted six yards on the kick.
The Cougars took advantage of the good field position, as Hall hit Andrew George for a 16-yard gain on 3rd-and-10 before finding Ashworth for a 25-yard TD on the next play. The extra point failed, keeping it a 23-7 affair.
The wind again played a factor on the next drive, as Oregon State was forced to go for it on 4th-and-9 from the BYU 22. An incomplete pass turned the ball over on downs, and the Beavers went into the locker room reeling.
Things didn't get much better for the Beavers coming out of the locker room, as Lance Mitchell had room to run after catching a fake punt pass. However, he tripped at the 29-yard line and was well short of the first down marker.
After two third-down conversions, Hall threw a 17-yard scoring strike down the middle of the field to Pitta, increasing the Cougars' lead to 30-7.
Another turnover on downs in BYU territory followed, and James Rodgers fumbled on the next OSU possession early in the fourth, leading to a Hall-to-Tonga 15- yard hookup for a comfortable 37-7 cushion.
Jacquizz Rodgers made the score a little more respectable with a one- yard touchdown run six minutes into the final stanza, but Tonga rumbled for an 18-yard TD later in the frame to help BYU eclipse the 40-point plateau for the fifth time this season.
Ryan Katz came on in relief of an ineffective Canfield and hit Damola Adeniji for a 31-yard touchdown, doing little to change the embarrassing result.
Jacquizz Rodgers' fumble was his first in 622 touches in his two-year career...BYU improved to 3-2 in this bowl over the last five years...Oregon State is 8-5 all-time in bowl games...The Beavers ended up outgaining the Cougars, 313-306, but went 5-of-16 on third-down tries...Adeniji logged 102 yards on seven catches...James Rodgers had just five catches for 35 yards...George led BYU with 46 yards on four catches.
12/23 03:37:58 ET