CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Chance Nolan passed for two touchdowns and Oregon State’s defense forced five turnovers in a season-opening 34-17 victory over Boise State on Saturday.
The Beavers, who are hoping to build on last season’s first bowl-game appearance since 2013, took control early behind their opportunistic defense and a few big plays offensively.
Oregon State snapped its six-game losing streak in season openers.
Boise State received a lift off the bench from backup quarterback Taylen Green, who replaced an ineffective Hank Bachmeier and sparked a second-half comeback.
Bachmeier, a fourth-year starter, was pulled in the second quarter and did not return after tossing two interceptions and losing a fumble. He did not play in the second half.
Green showed promise, especially as a runner with 102 yards on the ground. His 74-yard touchdown gallop late in the third quarter cut Oregon State’s lead to 27-10. He also scored on a 4-yard keeper early in the fourth quarter that brought Boise State within 27-17.
With the Beavers’ offense in neutral, short-yardage specialist Jack Colletto broke loose up the middle on a third-and-2 play for a 41-yard touchdown with 10:39 remaining to provide the final margin of victory.
The Beavers opened the scoring on tight end Luke Musgrave’s 26-yard touchdown catch, which followed Bachmeier’s second interception of the first quarter.
After a three-and-out by Boise State, Nolan hit Tyjon Lindsey for a 47-yard touchdown, giving Oregon State a 14-0 lead at 1:15 of the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, Riley Sharp’s sack of Bachmeier forced a fumble that Colletto recovered at the Broncos’ 6-yard line. Boise State’s defense held and Everett Hayes kicked a 23-yard field goal to increase the lead to 17-0.
The Broncos whiffed on their best scoring opportunity in the first half when Ashton Jeanty lost a fumble at the Beavers’ 2-yard line.
A 74-yard catch-and-run by Anthony Gould set up Deshaun Fenwick’s 5-yard touchdown to increase the Beavers’ lead to 24-0 at the break.
Nolan was intercepted early in the third quarter on a sideline pass that he appeared to try and throw out of bounds. Despite taking over on the Beavers’ 25-yard line, Boise State settled for a 41-yard field goal by Jonah Dalmas to get on the scoreboard.
A 41-yard pass from wide receiver John Dunmore to Trey Lowe led to Hayes’ 24-yard field goal and a 27-3 Beavers’ lead, but Green’s long touchdown run gave the Broncos life.
Boise State: Is it time for the Taylen Green era at quarterback? Backmeier struggled mightily. Green is a work in progress as a passer, but he gives the Broncos another dimension with his running ability and speed. Will Backmeier bounce back or could there be a quarterback controversy brewing?
Oregon State: The Beavers’ defense was superb in the first half, forcing four turnovers that were instrumental in building a big lead. Nolan, a returning starter at quarterback, displayed his big-play capability in the passing game, but he also was intercepted twice. Avoiding turnovers will be a priority for Nolan moving forward.
Boise State: The Broncos will play at New Mexico on Saturday.
Oregon State: The Beavers will play at Fresno State on Saturday.
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