Courtesy: OSU Sports Information
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Senior wide receiver Markus Wheaton became the school’s all-time receptions leader in the second quarter of No. 16 Oregon State’s 77-3 victory over Nicholls State on Saturday afternoon at Reser Stadium. The 77 points are the most ever for Oregon State in a football game.
Wheaton’s record-breaking catch, the 223rd of his career, came late in the second quarter on his 11th reception of the afternoon. After tossing the record-setting ball to the Beavers’ sideline, Wheaton lined up wide right and was on the receiving end of a 2-yard pass from Cody Vaz to make it 35-0 OSU. That was his final catch of the day as he finished with 12 receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown.
The Beavers built their lead early with a solid rushing attack and an efficient short passing game with Sean Mannion pulling the strings. Storm Woods started for the Beavers and rushed for 54 yards on 12 carries and put the Beavers ahead early with an 8-yard touchdown run just over five minutes into action. Mannion went 6-for-6 on the drive for 52 yards. Woods scored again on a 1-yard touchdown run on a fourth-and-goal play on Oregon State’s second possession to make it 14-0 with 55 seconds to play in the first quarter.
Wheaton took a handoff and went around the right side to make it 21-0 with a 10-yard end-around run with 11:09 remaining in the second. That drive ended Mannion’s first half action with him completing 15-of-16 passes for 174 yards.
Cody Vaz’s first drive went 62 yards on six plays, culminating in Terron Ward’s 15-yard touchdown carry to stake the Beavers to a 28-0 lead midway through the second quarter. Ward finished with 64 yards.
Vaz found Wheaton on the next drive for the 2-yard score to take the Beavers into the half with a 35-0 lead. Vaz and Mannion combined to go 23-for-25 for 255 yards in the first half.
Jordan Poyer intercepted Nicholls State quarterback Landry Klann on the first play of the third quarter and returned it 17 yards to the Colonels’ 24-yard line. Mannion re-entered and drove the Beavers inside the Colonels’ 5 where he connected with Richard Mullaney on fourth down for a 4-yard touchdown on a fade pattern to make it 42-0.
The Beavers kept scoring. Mannion came back with a 22-yard touchdown strike to Kevin Cummings on the next possession. After a 26-yard field goal by the Colonels’ to break the shutout, Vaz completed a 7-yard touchdown pass to Obum Gwacham on the first play of the fourth quarter to make it 56-3. Vaz threw his third and final touchdown pass to Jordan Jenkins from 20 yards out to give Oregon State a 63-3 lead.
Mannion went 20-of-23 for 231 yards with two touchdowns while Vaz was 14-of-17 for 190 yards and three scores. The Beavers went to the ground for their final two scores. Malcolm Agnew’s 11-yard run made it 70-3 and Michael Balfour went in from four yards out to set the school record for points in a game.
The Beavers did nothing but score touchdowns on all but one possession. The outlier was Oregon State’s final drive of the game when the Beavers were content to run out the clock. The Beavers also recorded 42 first downs, a full 10 more than the previous high.