After a sloppy performance that made Beaver Nation nervous for most of their season opening 29-14 win over Portland St., Oregon St. put the hammer down on Hawaii in the first half, scoring on 5 of their first 7 possessions, with 4 of them touchdowns that propelled the Beavers to a 31-7 halftime lead.
"It was good," Oregon State head coach Mike Riley said heading to the locker room for the break. "We are doing a better job of a lot of things."
And after Hawaii kicker Tyler Hadden slipped on the second half kickoff, Oregon St. had a short, field, recovering at their own 48 yard line.
Hunter Jarmon's first career catch and Victor Bolden's first career touchdown catch quickly extended the score to 38-7 4 minutes and 5 seconds into the second half.
And then the Beavers did their best to "Beav it" (a synonym for "Coug it"), with the error-plagued play that prevailed against the Vikings returning in full force, as Oregon State stopped doing a better job of anything.
Punctuated by penalties, poor play selection, and a blocked punt, the Warriors pulled back within 2 scores with still almost 11 minutes left to play.
Ironically, penalties then slowed Hawaii's rally, but the Warriors still managed to pull within 1 score with 1 /2 minutes left.
And Hawaii recovered the on-side kick, but the ball didn't travel 10 yards, and so Oregon St. was able to run out the clock, and escape with a 38-30 win that should have resembled the wins Arizona St and Utah posted earlier, with both posting nearly 60 points in games won by more than 30 points.
"We kind of went in a shell a little bit, didn't make any plays, and lost the ball. And then it got scary," Riley felt.
Due to the Arizona St.-New Mexico game, which the Sun Devils won 58-23, running long, Beaver fans that didn't make the trip to Honolulu didn't see Hawaii get off to a good start, as tv missed the Warriors's entire first drive, as they quickly marched from their own 25 yard line to the Oregon St. 16.
They also missed the fumble forced by Jabral Johnson and recovered by Siale Hautau that thwarted the threat, but were pleased when tv arrived just in time to see Sean Mannion connect with Victor Bolden for a 40 yard completion on Oregon St.'s first play from scrimmage.
A 37 yard completion to a wide open Connor Hamlett, and a perfectly placed 4 yard touchdown toss to Richard Mullaney got Oregon St. on the scoreboard not 5 minutes into the game.
Hawaii went 1-2-3 punt, but then the Warriors suffered the first couple of calls Hawaii coach Norm Chow disagreed vehemently with that would aid Oregon St., and not help what little credibility Pac-12 officials might have had left, especially after a very shaky day earlier in the USC-Stanford game. It probably didn't make sense to send a crew with the white hat from Salem, OR, to work a road game for an Oregon team.
The Warriors had a 59 yard punt nullified by a penalty, and the shorter one that followed caused a 33 yard change in field position for Oregon St.
Terron Ward got the drive started with a 35 yard run, and the Beavers moved into the Hawaii red zone on a pass interference call.
Another pass interferrence call wiped out an interception of Mannion, and staked to a 1st and goal at the Hawaii 5, Mannion quickly found Hamlett for the touchdown that made it 14-0.
After Hawaii did nothing with their next opportunity, it appeared Oregon St. would blow the game open when Mannion found Storm Woods for a 28 yard screen pass, which was followed by another pass interference call.
The drive would stall after a 4 yard screen pass on 3rd & 15, but another Warrior 1-2-3 punt gave the Beavers another short field, and Mannion made good on the opportunity.
Hawaii lost LB Jerrol Garcia-Williams to a serious, season ending knee injury as the 1st quarter ended, and Terron Ward turned in a 32 yard touchdown run to cap the Oregon St. drive early in the second quarter, for a 21-0 lead.
In a harbinger of things to come, Hawaii linebacker TJ Taimatuia picked off Mannion deep in Beaver territory, and the Warriors got on the board in Joey Iosefa's 2 yard touchdown run just over 4 minutes into the second quarter.
Hawaii appeared to be swinging momentum after a 3rd and 15 pass came up short, but a questionable personal foul for a low attempt at a tackle on Mannion as he released the pass kept the drive alive, but only after Chow used a time out to chew on the officials the entire time.
Mannion then completed passes to Bolden and Mullaney to get into position for a 27 yard Garrett Owens field goal.
Another call irked the Hawaii coaching staff when a roughing the punter was waived off because Scott Harding, an "Australian style" running punter was outside the tackle box when hit.
Oregon St. then drove for the score that opened a 24 point halftime lead, as Mannion found an open Caleb Smith for a 27 yard completion, before (yet) another controversial holding call on the Hawaii defense.
Ward then went for 11 yards, Woods for 20, and finally Ward punched in for his second td of the game, and a 31-7 lead at the break.
Ward had 90 yards on 9 carries in the first half, whereas the sizable Oregon St. lead rendered the 245 lb. Iosefa ineffective, as he was held to only 31 yards on 8 carries before the intermission.
Mannion had his 18th career 300 yard passing game early in the 3rd quarter, after finding Jarmon for the 23 yard completion that set up the 8 yard scoring toss to Bolden, but with subsequent sacks, Mannion barely held onto that 300 yard mark, finishing the game level at 300 yards passing.
After opening the 38-7 lead, Oregon St. essentially stopped playing, and stopped thinking as well.
One Oregon St. drive ended early after an incompletion on 3rd and 1, and another when the Beavers could not pick up a 3rd and 1 with a run, after a Grant Bays holding call had wiped out a run of more than 30 yards by Woods.
Indeed, Oregon St. would again finish with 13 penalties on the game, the same as last week.
Hawaii finally put together their first sustained drive since the first drive of the game, with Warrior quarterback Ikaika Woolsey wrapping 18 and 8 yard runs around a 4th down conversion to reach the Oregon St. 2 yard line at the end of the 3rd quarter, and Iosefa punched in for the touchdown to start the final period.
Oregon St. went 3 and punt, and had Keith Kostol's punt blocked and recovered by Lance Williams at the Beaver 16 yard line, and 3 straight runs by Iosefa made it 38-20 with still over 12 minutes to go.
The 2 point conversion pass failed despite the fact that Oregon St. didn't defend it, due to a drop, so it remained a 3 possession game, but not for long.
Rahmel Dockery promptly fumbled a kickoff return that he never should have brought out of the endzone, and though the Beaver defense dug in, the resulting field goal made it a 2 possession, 38-23 game with almost 11 minutes still to go.
Another Oregon St. 3 and punt, a personal foul facemask penalty on the Beaver defense, and an ankle injury to D.J. Alexander created a feeling of impending doom, and a pass interference penalty on Steven Nelson that allowed Hawaii to convert a 4th & 6 with over 7 minutes left did nothing to dispell it.
Hawaii's Marcus Kemp appeared to still haul in a pass that would have been a touchdown with a better throw, but he was ruled to have stepped on the sideline as he came down with the ball inside the Oregon St. 5 yard line, and a holding penalty and a subsequent offensive pass interference penalty on Kemp stalled the Warrior rally temporarily, bringing up a 3rd & 40, and then a 4th & 24, on a play that saw Iosefa injure his ankle. Iosefa will miss more than a month, with a broken bone.
Ward's 20 yard run on 3rd & 5 with less than 4 minutes left, which put him over the 100 yard mark, looked like it might have put an end to the Hawaii threat, but a sack of Mannion that forced a punt, and then an illegal substitution penalty on the Oregon St. defense on a 4th and 6 that led to a 41 yard completion to Kemp, which was bolstered by a roughing the passer penalty on the Beavers had Hawaii right back in business.
A 30 yard Woolsey completion to Quinton Pedroza put Hawaii on the 2 yard line, and Woolsey waltzed in to make it a 1 possession game with 1:35 left.
Had the onside kick not been short of the required distance, its hard to say if the reeling Oregon St. defense could have held off Hawaii, and overtime was a distinct possibility, after having apparently having the game in hand.
It wasn't all bad for the Beavers.
Ward finished with 124 yards on 15 carries, and the 2 touchdowns, the 4th game in a row Oregon St. has had a 100 yard rusher, and was the game's leading rusher.
Bolden had a break out game, with 11 catches for 119 yards, both game highs.
Hamlett had 4 catches for 59 yards, as the Oregon St. tight ends were frequently uncovered, especially in the first half.
Mannion completed 26 of 37 passes, and his 300 yards moved him past Steve Stenstrom of Stanford and Alex Brink of Washington St into 4th place all time in the Pac-12 in passing yards, with 11,064 yards, behind only former Beaver Derek Anderson, and USC's Carson Palmer and Matt Barkley.
Defensively, Nelson had a stellar game, up until the crucial pass interference call.
Obum Gwacham also had a breakout effort, with a pair of sacks, and he would have had another but for it being wiped out by a holding call in the secondary.
The defense could need the bye week they have before the visit in 2 weeks from San Diego St., though, as in addition to Alexander's ankle injury of unknown severity, Johnson did not play in the second half, for as yet unannounced reasons. We'll have to get an update once the team returns to Corvallis, and both are examined further by the training staff.
In the end, it was a win, and Oregon St. is coming home 2-0, but it was an almost embarrassing second half, especially after such a strong start.
Coach Riley, when asked how much getting outscored 23-0 in the 4th quarter, which turned a rout into a nail-biter, took away from the win replied "None, It's going to stay in the win column over there. It'll be over there forever. We'll take it."