Oregon State dominates Boise State in Hawaii Bowl, 38-23

December 25, 2013

Hawaii Bowl 2013 / James Nakano The Daily Sports Herald

Honolulu -- In perfect 81-degree December weather, the Oregon State Beavers dominated the Boise State Broncos on all fronts to earn a lopsided 38-23 win at the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl on Tuesday.

“We are excited to have won this game,” Beavers' coach Mike Riley said.  "It’s been a while since we’ve won but this team never quit and we’ve had plenty of disappointment, quite a bit of adversity through the year and I’ve always enjoyed coaching them because every week they came back and went to work. We played a good football team and feel really good about the win.”

The Beavers were led by strong performances from quarterback Sean Mannion, who threw for 259 yards, and Biletnikoff Award-winning wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who caught 8 passes for 60 yards and extended his Pac-12 single-season record to 1,730 receiving yards.

The highlights of the game, however, came from Beaver cornerback Rashaad Reynolds, who converted two fumble recoveries into touchdowns to earn game MVP honors.   Reynolds also had ten tackles.

The first fumble recovery occurred when Boise State quarterback Grant Hedrick was hit in the end zone and lost control of the ball.  Reynolds scooped up the pigskin at the 3-yard line and ran it in for an easy score and a 17-3 first quarter lead.

Hawaii Bowl 2013 / James Nakano The Daily Sports Herald

Reynolds' second recovery was more spectacular, as the Broncos' Troy Ware coughed up the ball after catching an out route and then getting hit. Reynolds picked up the loose ball again and raced 70-yards down the sideline -- the longest fumble return in Hawaii Bowl history -- to blow the game open at 24-6 with 7 minutes and 46 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

After trailing 31-6 at halftime, the Broncos, making their second appearance in the Hawaii Bowl and 12th consecutive bowl appearance, made a valiant attempt at a comeback, but their effort proved to be too little, too late.

Hawaii Bowl 2013 / James Nakano The Daily Sports Herald

Boise State’s bowl appearance was not without controversy, after new interim head coach Bob Gregory sent senior quarterback Joe Southwick home a day after arriving in Hawaii for violating team rules by allegedly urinating off of a hotel balcony.

Southwick disputed the allegations, informing other media outlets that he had been mistaken for another player.

Throw in the fact that the team still was dealing with the loss of standout coach Chris Peterson and his recent departure to Washington, and one could make the case that the Broncos were doomed even prior to kickoff.

Nevertheless, junior quarterback Hedrick stepped up and completed 32 of 44 passes for 382 yards. Redshirt junior wide receiver Matt Miller also caught a career-high 11 passes for 206 yards, his first-career 200-yard receiving game. He also caught an 85-yard touchdown reception, the longest pass play in Hawaii Bowl history. Unfortunately for Boise State, such strong performances were not enough to overcome the Broncos’ early first half deficit.

Hawaii Bowl 2013 / James Nakano The Daily Sports Herald

“I don’t believe there was any loss of focus by the team given the distractions this week,” said coach Gregory. “We had good bowl practices but we just didn’t make enough plays to stay in the game."

Despite the team’s loss, the Broncos are still the winningest team in the country since 2000, with a record of 155-26 (.856).

The win for Oregon State comes after a 7-6 season of tremendous ups and downs, including five games decided by a single score and several blowout losses.

By Mihoko Ito
Contributing Writer for TheDailySportsHerald.com

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