CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Chance Nolan passed for 302 yards and two touchdowns, and B.J. Baylor ran for a career-high 171 yards and three scores to lead Oregon State to a 45-27 victory over Hawaii on Saturday night.
Nolan replaced starter Sam Noyer late in the third quarter of the Beavers’ season-opening loss at Purdue last week and provided a spark. Coach Jonathan Smith opted to stay with the hot hand against Hawaii (1-2, 0-0 Mountain West).
Nolan completed his first 13 passes as the Beavers (1-1) took a 24-7 halftime lead at the break. He finished 21 of 29 and also ran for 38 yards.
“I did think he was sharp,” Smith said. “We’re going with stuff he’s really comfortable with and it showed up. He came out really effective.”
Nolan, who started the last three games last season after an injury to Tristan Gebbia, learned Thursday that he would be in the starting lineup.
If Saturday’s performance was indicative, he could become a fixture as OSU’s starting signal caller.
“In our position you’ve got to prepare like you’re gonna go in no matter what,” Nolan said. “You never know what’s gonna happen.”
It didn’t take long for Oregon State to retain control in the second half.
Linebacker Riley Sharp intercepted Chevan Cordeiro’s short pass over the middle on the first play of the third quarter at Hawaii’s 30-yard line.
Baylor’s 30-yard touchdown run up the middle on the ensuing play gave OSU a 31-7 advantage.
But Hawaii responded with consecutive touchdowns to get back in the game.
Calvin Turner Jr. scored on a 1-yard run. Baylor’s fumble at the Beavers’ 36-yard line set up a 10-yard touchdown pass to Nick Mardner, and Hawaii trailed 31-20 at 3:46 of the third quarter.
Hawaii linebacker Darius Muasau was called for targeting tackling Nolan on an 11-yard run, and that penalty helped ignite a drive that culminated with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Gould on the first play of the fourth quarter, giving the Beavers a 38-20 lead.
Oregon State amassed 558 yards and had excellent balance with 302 yards in the air and 256 on the ground.
“Defensively we were just terrible,” Hawaii coach Todd Graham said. “So frustrating defensively. That was the difference in the game.”
Nolan served notice early in the game that he was in command of the Beavers’ offense.
He completed all three of his passes on the game’s opening drive, which culminated with Jack Colletto’s 2-yard touchdown run on a direct snap.
The Beavers went up 14-0 on their next possession following Baylor’s 66-yard scamper down the right sidelines, and a 6-yard touchdown pass to Zeriah Beason increased the lead to 21-0 with 22 seconds left in the opening quarter.
Hawaii found some offensive rhythm early in the second quarter, scoring on a 12-yard pass from Cordeiro to Turner, cutting the lead to 21-7.
Hawaii: Hawaii’s defensive struggles continued against Oregon State. After giving up 44 points in the opener at UCLA and 35 points to FCS opponent Portland State last week, the Rainbow Warriors were scorched for 558 total yards by Oregon State.
Oregon State: Nolan gives the Beavers a dual-threat at quarterback and he took advantage of his opportunity to supplant Noyer, a senior transfer from Colorado who was a second team All-Pac-12 selection last season.
Wide receiver Anthony Gould emerged as a major target in a breakout game.
Hawaii: Cordeiro didn’t complete a pass in the first quarter, misfiring on three attempts.
Linebacker Darius Muasau, Hawaii’s leading tackler in the first two games, was called for a targeting penalty late in the third quarter and was ejected. He’ll miss the first half of next Saturday’s game against San Jose State.
The Rainbow Warriors were looking for their first win in Corvallis after losses in 2008 and 2013.
Oregon State: Gould came into the game with one career reception. He had six catches for 106 yards in the first half and finished with seven for 119 yards and his first career touchdown.
Sharp had a sack in the second quarter and an interception in the third quarter.
The Beavers’ 330 first-half yards was the most in the first half since they amassed 385 at Arizona on Nov. 2, 2019.
OLYMPIAN IN THE HOUSE
Olympic gold medalist Jade Carey, the newest member of the Oregon State gymnastics team, received an enthusiastic reception from fans at Reser Stadium when she was introduced on the field after the first quarter. The Oregon State freshman won floor exercise at the Tokyo Olympics.
Hawaii: Home vs. San Jose State next Saturday.
Oregon State: Home vs. Idaho next Saturday.