|With 12 catches against Nicholls State, WR Markus Wheaton now has 224 for his career, a school record. (AP)|
If you're a college football coach on the hot seat heading into 2013, you may want to make an offseason phone call to Oregon State coach Mike Riley. One year after finishing 3-9, Riley eradicated his name from all hot-seat lists and the Beavers completed an improbable turnaround to 9-3 with a 77-3 win over FCS Nicholls State on Saturday at Reser Stadium.
The game, originally slated to be played in September, was delayed until Saturday thanks to Hurricane Isaac.
Oregon State scored early and often in the win over the overmatched and overwhelmed Colonels (1-10). Nicholls State could do little to stop the Beavers, who scored a touchdown on 11 of their 12 possessions in the game. The only possession where Oregon State didn't score was its final possession in the fourth quarter when time ran out before the Beavers could reach the end zone.
The 77 points scored by the Beavers is the most in school history, breaking the old record of 76 set in 1931 vs. Willamette.
RB Storm Woods opened the floodgates with two first-quarter rushing touchdowns that put the Beavers up 14-0. Woods finished the game with 54 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries.
After the Woods barrage of touchdowns, a second wave of scoring hit in the second quarter, this time led by WR Markus Wheaton. Wheaton caught a 2-yard touchdown pass from Cody Vaz and also reached the end zone on a 10-yard run. It was Wheaton's second rushing touchdown of the season. Wheaton ran for 17 yards in the game, but did most of his damage on the receiving end, where he caught 12 passes for a team-high 123 yards.
In all, a school-record nine players scored touchdowns. Wheaton and Woods were the only players to reach the end zone twice.
Oregon State quarterbacks Sean Mannion, Vaz and Richie Harrington had a strong game, finishing a combined 36 of 44 for 453 yards and five touchdowns. Mannion led the way in the yardage department with 231, while Vaz led the way in the touchdown department with three touchdown passes. Vaz finished 14 of 17 for 190 yards, while Mannion finished 20 of 23 and had two touchdown passes to go along with his 231 yards.
The Beavers totaled 683 yards in the game and only surrendered 220.
Where will the Beavers be bowling? Up next for Oregon State is a to-be-determined bowl game. The Beavers could be headed for the Dec. 29 Alamo Bowl, which matches up the Pac-12's No. 2 team against the Big 12's No. 3. However, Oregon State could drop to the Dec. 27 Holiday Bowl, if the Alamo decides to take UCLA. The Holiday Bowl matches the Pac-12's No. 3 team with the Big 12's No. 5. The Beavers and Bruins finished conference play at 6-3 and the Alamo will have the first non-BCS selection of Pac-12 teams.
Record-setting receiver: Wheaton's 12 catches against the Colonels gives him 224 for his career, a school record. Wheaton broke the old record of 222, which was set by James Rodgers (2009-11).
(For a recap of the game and statistics, go here)