LAS VEGAS — Max Hall became a regular at the Las Vegas Bowl, and his final performance was his best.
The senior quarterback threw for 192 yards and three touchdowns in the only bowl game he knows, leading No. 15 BYU past No. 16 Oregon State 44-20 on Tuesday night.
Hall gave the Cougars their third win in five straight bowl appearances in Sin City and ended the Beavers’ run of five consecutive bowl wins.
“I love my years at BYU,” Hall said. “We wanted to end it well.”
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Oregon State appeared troubled by cold winds and the lingering sting of missing the Rose Bowl after a close loss to rival Oregon in its season finale.
“Emotionally we were ready for this game. We came in here and expected to win. It didn’t work out that way,” Beavers guard Gregg Peat said. “That’s a credit to BYU. They came ready to play. There are no excuses for the loss.”
Hall threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Luke Ashworth, a 17-yard scoring strike to Dennis Pitta and a 15-yard TD pass to Manase Tonga. Hall had 139 yards passing in the first half.
“It means a lot. It’s a special time for me,” Hall said. “It’s something I’ll remember for a long time.”
Hall won for the second time in the Las Vegas Bowl in three starts, throwing more touchdowns Tuesday night than in his previous appearances.
“If Max has to be judged by one game, it should be this one,” BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “My hope is that if there are comments (on Hall’s performance) it ought to be on the basis of this game.”
Tonga added an 18-yard rushing touchdown, and Harvey Unga finished with 76 yards rushing and a TD for BYU (11-2).Oregon State (8-5) scored on 1-yard runs by quarterback Sean Canfield and Jacquizz Rodgers, and a 31-yard pass to Damola Adeniji after the game was out of reach. Adeniji led all receivers with seven receptions for 102 yards.
Canfield completed only four passes in the first half as the Beavers struggled to sustain drives. He finished 20 of 41 for 173 yards and an interception.
“We hate leaving that opportunity out there,” Oregon State coach Mike Riley said. “They controlled the ball, converted third downs and scored when they were going into that gale force, and that was very good by them.”
The normally dependable Rodgers fumbled for the first time in his college career in the first quarter, on his 621st touch, and Matt Bauman returned it 34 yards for the go-ahead score. Officials used replay to see whether Canfield’s checkdown toss to Rodgers was a lateral or a forward pass, and upheld the touchdown.
Oregon State finished with three turnovers, including a fumble by Rodgers’ brother, James.
“It took all 11 players to do what we had to do to contain those two,” Mendenhall said. “If they aren’t able to move the ball, they can’t score enough points.”
Winds gusted up to 50 mph at Sam Boyd Stadium and temperatures fell to 30 degrees. The gusts were so strong that one of Oregon State’s punts traveled untouched only 6 yards.