After openers, Beavers are wary of Hawaii
Oregon State can’t afford a slow start this weekend.
The Beavers took time to find their groove in the opener against Portland State, falling behind 14-13 at halftime before emerging with a 29-14 victory in Corvallis last Saturday.
That could mean disaster today against Hawaii, which gave Washington a scare in the opener for both teams before losing 17-16.
Oregon State dropped openers to lower-division Eastern Washington in 2013 and Sacramento State in 2011, and it looked for a time like they might be in danger of falling to the Big Sky’s Vikings.
But the Beavers’ defense came alive in the second half — holding Portland State to 40 yards and no points — while allowing quarterback Sean Mannion and the offense to take over.
Mannion threw for 328 yards and a touchdown, while Storm Woods ran for 125 yards on 16 carries.
“We just played sounder football,” coach Mike Riley said of the second-half adjustment. “In the first half we got out of our lanes and not balanced. In the second half we figured out what was hurting us and took it away. When you take their best stuff away and don’t give them the big pass, it’s just a nice job.”
The last time Oregon State shut out a team in the second half was last season against Hawaii, a 33-14 Beavers’ victory. Mannion threw for 372 yards and four touchdowns in that win.
Hawaii, which went 1-11 last season, pulled close to the Huskies with two field goals for the only scoring in the second half. Joey Iosefa, recovered from injuries that sidelined him for much of last year, rushed for 143 yards and a touchdown and the Rainbow Warriors finished with 424 yards of offense. Sophomore QB Ikaika Woolsey completed 23 of 42 passes for 207 yards.
“We had our chances both offensively and defensively,” Hawaii coach Norm Chow said. “We played with a lot of energy, which I thought we would.”
Oregon State should feel comfortable at Aloha Stadium: They ended last season’s 7-6 campaign with a 38-23 victory over Boise State in the Hawaii Bowl there.
HISTORY: The two teams have met nine times, with the most recent being the Oregon State victory in Corvallis last season. Overall, the Beavers have a three-game winning streak and hold a 6-3 advantage in the series, which dates back to 1924. Seven of the matchups have been played in Honolulu — including the 1999 Oahu Bowl, which Hawaii won 23-17.
AGAINST THE PAC: Hawaii is a frequent nonconference opponent for Pac-12 teams, but the Rainbow Warriors are facing a record three opponents from the league this season: Washington, Oregon State and Colorado on Sept. 20 in Boulder. Hawaii is 29-56 overall against Pac-12 teams.
PENALTY PROBLEMS: Oregon State struggled with penalties against Portland State, committing 13 for 119 yards. The team had 10 of those in the first half.
“On the first half there were some obvious struggles and things that we need to work on as a unit,” Beavers defensive end Dylan Wynn said. “I like to think of it as a little bit of the first game jitters going on.”
BUH-BYE: NCAA rules allow teams that travel to Hawaii to schedule a 13th regular-season game this year, but Riley elected instead to schedule a second bye this season. The Beavers have next weekend off before hosting San Diego State on Sept. 20. They’ll get another week of rest in early October.
LOOKING AHEAD: The two teams announced this week another home-and-home series: They’ll meet in Honolulu again in 2019 and in Corvallis in 2021.