PORTLAND, Ore. — Montana State had no answers for fast and physical Oregon State on Saturday night.
The Bobcats were demoralized against Pac-12 OSU, losing 68-28 at Providence Park for their first defeat of the season. MSU’s defense gave up 540 yards of offense and the Beavers scored 10 touchdowns, including four TD passes out of the hand of quarterback Chance Nolan.
The Bobcats were in the game in the first quarter, having tied the score 7-7 after a Sean Chambers touchdown run. But QB Tommy Mellott was intercepted on each of MSU’s next two offensive possessions and Oregon State turned those giveaways into touchdowns and a 21-7 lead.
Bobcats returner Marqui Johnson took a kickoff back 98 yards for a TD early in the second quarter to pull MSU within 21-14, but the Beavers scored the game’s next three touchdowns, including a nine-yard pass reception by Anthony Gould and an 80-yard punt return by Gould. OSU led 34-14 at halftime.
"We put our defense in a ton of bad situations tonight," MSU coach Brent Vigen said. "Obviously that game got away from us. They're a good team, there's no doubt about that."
Nolan finished 19-of-25 passing for 276 yards and four touchdowns and was pulled early in the third quarter. Nolan also ran for a score. The Beavers rushed for 216 yards on 42 attempts, and five different ball carriers found the end zone.
Oregon State’s offense achieved 32 first downs. It converted 10 of 12 third-down plays and another on fourth down. The Beavers also had 201 yards on kickoff and punt returns.
Though bottled up early, Mellott ran the ball 18 times for 135 yards, averaging 7.5 yards per carry. He completed 9 of 17 passes for 101 yards and was intercepted three times. Those were the first interceptions of the sophomore’s career. Chambers ran for three touchdowns for MSU, and they Wyoming transfer now has seven rushing TDs this season.
With the loss, Montana State finished the nonconference portion of its schedule with a 2-1 record. The Bobcats will open Big Sky Conference play next week on the road against Eastern Washington. The game is scheduled to kick off at 2 p.m. Mountain time.