CORVALLIS, Ore. – Wide receiver Cody Hoffman set career highs with nine receptions for 162 yards and one touchdown to lead the BYU football team to a 38-28 win over Oregon State at Reser Stadium on Saturday.
BYU (5-2) won its fourth-straight game behind a season-high 499 total yards. The Cougars rushed for 282 yards and held the Beavers (1-5) to just 59 yards on the ground.
Quarterback Riley Nelson completed 17 of 27 passes for 217 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Nelson also led the team in rushing with 87 yards on 12 carries. Running back Michael Alisa helped out with 20 carries for 84 yards, including his first career touchdown run and running back JJ Di Luigi added 74 yards on eight attempts with one touchdown.
The Cougars forced four turnovers in the game. Linebacker Brandon Ogletree had an interception and forced two fumbles while linebacker Kyle Van Noy also had an interception. Linebacker Uona Kaveinga and defensive end Matt Putnam each recovered fumbles.
BYU found the end zone on its first possession of the game. Alisa rushed four times for 26 yards on the drive, finishing it off with a 10 yard run for a touchdown to give BYU a 7-0 lead with 5:02 left in the first quarter.
Voy Noy intercepted a pass in BYU territory and returned it to the 50-yard line. The Cougars were able to capitalize on the play, cashing in with a touchdown on the ensuing drive. Hoffman went up high to catch a 20-yard pass to set up a 3-yard score on the ground from Di Luigi to make it 14-0 and 9:23 left until halftime.
Answering back on the next drive, Oregon State got into the end zone to cut the lead to 14-7 with 3:51 remaining in the half. Beaver quarterback Sean Mannion kept the ball and pushed in for the 1-yard touchdown.
Oregon State got even with an interception of their own, taking a pick 51-yards for a touchdown to tie the score at 14-14 with 1:18 left in the half.
After halftime, BYU came out firing, scoring on its opening drive. Nelson picked up a big gain of 20 yards on the ground to help set up a 12-yard touchdown pass to Hoffman. With the made extra point, the Cougars regained their one score advantage at 21-14 with 11:16 in the third quarter.
BYU forced three turnovers on the Beavers' first three possessions but only picked up three points total off the takeaways. Ogletree intercepted a pass that was deflected at the line of scrimmage on the BYU 24-yard line. On the next Oregon State possession Kavinga recovered a fumble and on the third drive Ogletree forced a fumble that was recovered by Putnam.
Finally after a third turnover, the Cougars were able to score points when kicker Justin Sorensen hit from 33 yards out to give BYU a 24-14 lead with 3:26 left in the third quarter.
The Beavers continued to come right back on their next drive with a 59-yard touchdown pass down the middle of the field to cut the lead to 24-21.
The scoring continued for the Cougars, answering with a 12-play, 66-yard drive for a touchdown. Wide receiver JD Falslev caught his first career touchdown, a 2-yarder from Nelson to give BYU a 31-21 edge with 10:39 to play in the game.
Oregon State missed its second field goal of the game, this time from 48 yards, and Nelson made the Beavers pay with his third touchdown pass of the game with 3:37 left to go. Nelson hooked up with tight end Kaneakua Friel for an 8-yard touchdown pass to make the score 38-21. The catch was Friel’s first career reception and first touchdown.
Scoring a touchdown with just 23 seconds left on the clock, Oregon State cut the lead to 10 but it wasn’t enough and BYU went on to the 38-28 victory.
The Cougars return home next week to play Idaho State on Saturday, Oct. 23. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. MT and will be televised live on BYUtv.
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