CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Storm Woods ran for two touchdowns in the first quarter and No. 16 Oregon State put up its highest point total ever, routing Nicholls State 77-3 on Saturday in a game postponed by Hurricane Isaac.
The Beavers surpassed their 76-0 win over Willamette in 1931.
Oregon State (9-3) started playing its substitutes against the lower-division Colonels in taking a 35-0 halftime lead. Markus Wheaton caught 12 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown and sat out the second half.
Officials from both schools decided to put off the Sept. 1 opener when the storm bore down on the Colonels' campus in Thibodeaux, La.
The Beavers had a complete turnaround from their 3-9 finish last year. Oregon State is possibly headed to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego on Dec. 27, and representatives from that bowl and the Alamo Bowl were in attendance. The team will learn its destination on Sunday.
Oregon State piled up 683 yards against the FCS Southland Conference Colonels (1-10), who lost their eighth straight.
Woods scored on runs from the 8 and 1. Wheaton added a 10-yard score early in the second for a 24-0 lead.
Terron Ward added a 15-yard TD run after Oregon State took out starting quarterback Sean Mannion and put in Cody Vaz, who had missed the past two games with a high ankle sprain.
Vaz hit Wheaton with a 2-yard touchdown pass with 1:14 left in the first half to make it 35-0. On the prior play, Wheaton caught his 223rd career pass, surpassing James Rodgers' school record.
Mannion was Oregon State's starter when the season opened and led the team to its first four wins, but injured his left knee and required surgery. Vaz took over the job, but he hurt his left ankle in the Beavers' loss to Stanford. The Cardinal won the Pac-12 championship on Friday night with a 27-24 victory over UCLA.
Mannion, coming off a rough outing the week before with four interceptions in a 48-24 loss to rival Oregon, also started the second half, throwing an early 4-yard touchdown pass to Richard Mullaney and a 22-yard TD pass to Kevin Cummings.
The Colonels avoided the shutout with Andrew Dolan's 26-yard field goal with 2:40 left in the third quarter. The Beavers answered with Vaz's 7-yard scoring pass to Obum Gwacham early in the fourth. Vaz added a 20-yard TD to Jordan Jenkins to make it 63-3.
Malcolm Agnew ran for an 11-yard touchdown and Michael Balfour ran 4 yards for another score for the final margin.
Mannion finished with 231 yards passing and two touchdowns, while Vaz threw for 190 yards and three TDs.
Junior Landry Klann threw for 164 yards, becoming first Colonels player to throw for 2,000 yards since Brad Zeller in 1998. Klann finished with eight touchdown passes this season.
Oregon State was the third FBS team that Nicholls State has played this season. The Colonels also lost to South Alabama and Tulsa. The Colonels have two wins over FBS opponents since 2000: They beat Arkansas State 28-22 in 2001, and Rice 16-14 in 2007.
Nicholls State coach Charlie Stubbs was an assistant at Oregon State from 1985-90 under coach Dave Kragthorpe.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press
Oregon State Team Notes
• Oregon State’s 77 points is a new school record for a single-game. It’s the fourth time in school history OSU surpassed 70 and the first time since defeating Willamette, 76-0, in 1931.
• Mike Riley improved to 81-66 all-time as head coach at Oregon State.
• Oregon State finished with 683 yards of total offense, giving the Beavers 5,312 on the year. OSU surpassed 5,000 yards in a season for the seventh time in school history – all seven have come since 1999. The 5,312 yards is good for fourth.
• The 683 yards of total offense is a season-best and is the second-best single-game mark in school history, trailing only 703 against Utah in 1951.
• Oregon State finished the regular season with a 9-3 record. The six-win improvement is tied for the best in the nation with Middle Tennessee (2-9 to 8-4) and Ohio State (6-7 to 12-0). It’s the biggest swing in wins in Oregon State history.
• The Beavers surpassed 60 points for the second time this season. That’s the second time in school history and the first time since 1921.
• Oregon State finished with 453 yards passing, good for the fourth-best mark in a single-game in school history.
• The 453 yards passing gave OSU 3.798 on the year, the second-best tally in school history.
• Oregon State limited its fourth opponent in 2012 to nine points or less. OSU last held four or more teams to nine points or less in 2000 (San Diego State, Stanford, Washington State, Arizona and Notre Dame). In 2012 it was against Wisconsin, Washington State and Utah in addition to Nicholls State.
• Oregon State’s had a 10 and 12 play drive on touchdowns in the first quarter. Fifteen Oregon State scoring drives this season have been with 10 or more plays.
• The Beavers went undefeated in non-conference regular season play for the first time since 2002. OSU also defeated then-No. 13 Wisconsin, 10-7, and BYU, 42-24.
• The Beavers concluded their regular season with a non-conference game for the first time since traveling to Hawai’i in 2006. Since 1949, it’s just the sixth time OSU did not play in the Civil War to end the regular season.
Oregon State Individual Notes
• Storm Woods’ scored on rushing touchdowns of 1 and 8 yards in the first quarter, giving him 11 scores on the ground this season. He has multiple scores in three games this season.
• Markus Wheaton finished with 12 catches for 123 yards and is now the Oregon State record holder for receptions in a career with 224. He took over the No. 1 spot from James Rodgers, who had 222 catches from 2007-11.
• Wheaton’s first catch, a 14-yarder in the first quarter, gave him at least one catch in 35 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the Pac-12.
• Wheaton’s 10-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter was his second of the season and fifth of his career.
• Wheaton also scored on a 2-yard reception in the second quarter, his 11th of the season, which moves him into second in OSU history. He has 16 career receiving touchdowns, now sixth in school history.
• Wheaton’s 123 yards receiving game him 1,207 on the season, pushing him past Brandin Cooks for sixth in a single-season at OSU. Cooks moves to seventh after one catch for 7 yards, giving him 1,120 yards on the year.
• Wheaton also has 2,957 yards receiving in his career and needs 43 to become the third OSU player with 3,000 or more.
• Terron Ward scored a 15-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter for his fifth score of the season. All five have come in his last five games.
• Jordan Poyer intercepted Nicholls State’s first pass of the second half. It was his 13th career interception, tying him for fourth at Oregon State. It was also his seventh of the season, tying him for fifth in the OSU books.
• Sean Mannion completed his first eight pass attempts for 94 yards.
• Richard Mullaney caught a 4-yard touchdown in the third quarter, his first career score.
• Kevin Cummings’ 22-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter was his first of the season and second of his career.
• Mana Rosa’s third-quarter sack was the first of his career.
• Obum Gwacham’s fourth-quarter touchdown reception was the first of his career.
• Jordan Jenkins’ 20-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter was his first of 2012 and second of his career.
• Brian Watkins’ fumble recovery in the fourth quarter was the first of his career.
• Joel Skotte’s forced fumble in the fourth quarter was the first of his career. It was recovered by Jaswha James, also his first.
• Michael Balfour scored his first career touchdown on a 4-yard rush in the fourth quarter.
• Blake Harrah’s fourth-quarter sack was the first of his career.
• Micah Audiss’ fourth-quarter interception is the first of his career.
Oregon State Head Coach Mike Riley
On if he saw this one coming …
“You never anticipate that, but I was really proud of our coaches and our team. There was the big question of if we were going to be ready to play coming off of the disappointment of losing the Civil War and not having played very well. I thought that the kids came back and followed the lead of the coaches who prepared them. That was a good week of work and I am really proud of them for doing that.”
On offensive records …
“Scoring every time that you have the ball is what you always want to do. We can’t o that sometimes even against the air in practice. We executed well and I thought that our guys made plays and stayed after it. We played hard, which is a key element in winning.”
On passing/running yards being almost 700 and playing a balanced game …
“Balance is a very good thing and we are always working toward the idea of really good balance. I think that we became a better running team this year and obviously we got more efficient in a lot of ways. There were a lot of good plays today, special teams-wise, too. It was really good to win because I worried all week about how we would rebound. We couldn’t take a step back now because we are trying to set ourselves up for the best bowl game possible.”
On the offensive line …
“That group has grown a lot and I think that the addition of Isaac Seumalo has been great for the team. He has done remarkably well for anybody, particularly for a true freshman. The other four guys that have started with him have all played and they all got better. I am really proud of them for that because they all went to the weight room, studied, grew more this year and simply got better. The five of them together have really made a dramatic improvement from where we were a year ago. They have become a tough minded group. Our offensive line just keeps going and pretty soon we start wearing them down.”
On Marcus Wheaton breaking the school record …
“I was surprised because I just heard a couple days ago that he was in striking distance of this record. I did not even realize that because I think the record was just set last year by James (Rodgers). I was surprised that we were already at the point where somebody else would break it, but when we found that out, I left him in for a couple extra plays so he could get that out of the way before we get to the bowl game.”
On the defense …
“I thought they did a great job and played hard. There were a lot of guys who got to play and they were well prepared. They did a really solid job and had a great game of football.”
Oregon State Quarterback Sean Mannion
On Markus Wheaton getting the record ...
"It was awesome. I know Markus is a great friend of mine and that he has been a wonderful leader for our team. Obviously he is an outstanding player but the part that might get overlooked is just how good of a teammate he is to everyone. Since the day I got here he has been an outstanding leader, a great guy and a good friend. It was awesome seeing him break that record. I know it meant a lot to us and definitely to him."
On the win and its importance after last week’s game ...
"It was really big. I know that everyone wanted to come out strong and play our best football and I think we came close to that. I don’t want to say we did it because there is always room to improve but I think we did a good job. We came out and executed well from start to finish and that is just about all you can ask for."
On the first bowl game in three years ...
"It’s awesome. It shows how hard we have worked in the off-season and everyone’s concentration. I don’t think it is any surprise that when we work hard great things happen, and to be able to play in an outstanding bowl game this season is going to be an honor."
Oregon State Wide Receiver Markus Wheaton
On knowing how many receptions needed to break James Rodgers’ record …
“I didn’t. I think I was three short and someone came up to me and told me. I was wondering why I was getting the ball so much. Then someone told me to keep the ball after I got the record. It was exciting out there.”
On what the record means to him surpassing James ...
“I looked up to James when I got here; he was amazing. I knew he was as good as they get; his work ethic, his dedication, and I really wanted to be just like him as far as what he did on the field. And breaking the record I feel like I have worked, all of the hard work paid off.”
On who is going to break his record ...
“Brandin (Cooks); he will take it soon.”
On sitting on the sidelines the second half ...
“It’s very exciting. It is exciting to see the guys working so hard in practice get to go out on the field and show what they can do.”
On walking off the Reser Stadium field for the last time ...
“It hasn’t hit me yet, and I don’t know when it will, but it hasn’t yet.”
On setting the record as Reser ...
“It meant a lot, having all the fans here and having the fans all cheering for you. It feels good. Records are meant to be broken though so I’m sure it won’t last too long.”
Oregon State Cornerback Jordan Poyer
On younger players getting on the field ....
“I always say experience is a huge factor in the way you play. Some guys got in there today and were able to get their feet wet and make some plays. Micah Audiss had an interception, and with that comes confidence.”
On defensive play …
“We knew what they were trying to do with a lot of their formations and a lot of their sets they would only run certain things out of them. We prepared really well this week. It’s probably one of the best weeks we’ve had preparing for the game and it showed on the field.”
On the lopsided score …
“We knew the game was going to be on us. They’re not going to come out there and physically beat us. It was going to be on how well we executed on defense and offense and special teams.”
On his last time playing at Reser …
“It was crazy. It’s been a fun ride here at Oregon State. We obviously have one game left, but for that to be my last game stepping on that field at Reser Stadium, definitely some weird emotions going through me right now and kind of surreal that its finally here and finally happened. I took a little round after the game and made sure all the fans knew I appreciated them. There’s nothing like these fans out here and I’m going to miss them.”
Nicholls State Head Coach Charlie Stubbs
On lack of execution...
“We were stopped offensively on many third and short situations and we weren’t able to convert. We also kept punting back to their high-powered offense. The area of our team that struggles a lot is our defense, but an offense helps that. If we stayed out on the field longer it would give them (the defense) a chance to rest and regroup. If you can finish drives it gives a team hope.”
On team’s goals against the Beavers...
“My goal was to have some things to build on from a game like this. I knew the matchups at some positions were going to be terrible for us. For example, when a true freshman is going up against an All-American, it isn’t going to be favorable. I will probably look at the film and see some individuals who really grew and did some nice things for us to build on. I signed up for these games and I want to play them. We want to be more competitive, there’s no question about that. I aspire to bring this program up and it’s tough on me, but I know it’s something that I want to do.”
On playing non-conference FBS opponents....
“First of all, you want games like these in the front of your schedule due to the element of surprise. The Beavers knew where our weaknesses were because they had film. They knew who couldn't match up favorably and they attacked that. What we are going to do now is move into 2013. I told the team my concerns, and things that we need to do moving forward. I also appreciated the seniors in the locker room after the game. Right now, Nicholls State is knocked down but we don’t plan on staying there.”