PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Jake Luton was laser focused well before Oregon State took the field against UCLA.
When the senior quarterback thought the pregame breakfast was a little too boisterous, Luton got up and told his team to quiet down and get their minds on Saturday’s game. The Beavers responded with one of their most impressive Pac-12 victories in a long time.
Luton threw a career-high five touchdowns passes and ran for another as Oregon State dominated the Bruins 48-31 at the Rose Bowl.
“It’s a huge win. We’ve played good ball all year and been close,” said Luton, who completed 18 of 26 passes for 285 yards. “To put a complete four quarters together is big. It was really good and a lot of fun.”
Oregon State (2-3, 1-1 Pac-12) scored on its first three drives and had a 21-0 lead a little more than six minutes into the game. UCLA got within 10 three times during the second half, but the Beavers were able to hold on and get only their fifth conference win since 2016.
“The quarterback was lights out,” coach Jonathan Smith said. “I did think the offensive line protected him well, but he was playing with great confidence and was very accurate with the ball.”
Three of Luton’s TDs went to Isaiah Hodgins, who came into the game leading the conference in receiving yards. Hodgins finished with 10 catches for 123 yards. Hodgins and Luton have now connected for 14 touchdowns in their Oregon State careers.
“The offensive staff did a good job of mixing me in outside, slot and putting me in motion,” said Hodgins, who had the first three-TD game of his career. “It seemed like everything was working in the first half. There was a lot of energy, but we kept reiterating that we had to finish.”
Hodgins opened the scoring 2:43 into the game when he made a leaping catch in front of UCLA cornerback Rayshad Williams for a 4-yard TD. He added a 5-yard score through the second quarter to extend the Beavers lead to 27-7.
Hodgins once again took advantage of Williams in coverage late in the third quarter on a 22-yard touchdown to give Oregon State a 41-24 advantage.
Artavis Pierce added 119 yards on 21 carries for his second straight 100-yard rushing game. The 48 points are the most for Oregon State in a conference game since a 49-17 win over California in 2013.
Demetric Felton had 166 scrimmage yards for UCLA (1-5, 1-2), which lost for the 14th time in Chip Kelly’s 18 games as coach. Felton had 111 yards rushing — including a career-long 75-yard TD in third quarter — and 55 yards receiving.
Austin Burton was 27 of 41 for 236 yards and a touchdown in his first start but the Bruins were unable to rally after digging a large deficit in the first quarter.
Burton, who also had 64 yards rushing, threw for his first collegiate score early in the second quarter when he was flushed out of the pocket, scrambled to his right and threw a 7-yard pass to Kyle Phillips, who was able to drag one of his feet in the end zone before going out of bounds and bring the Bruins within 21-7.
He would run for a 6-yard TD midway through the fourth quarter to cap a 17-play, 75-yard drive.
“I thought Austin for his first start did a nice job. He protected the football and did a nice job. He extended some plays and drives with his feet,” Kelly said.
Oregon State jumped out to huge lead by taking advantage of a pair of UCLA gaffes, which gave it short fields.
Down 7-0, Kelly made a bold decision on UCLA’s opening drive by going for it on fourth-and-1 from the 34. It backfired though as Joshua Kelley was stopped for a 5-yard loss. The Beavers went up by two scores five plays later when Pierce had an opening up the middle for a 5-yard touchdown.
Oregon State had its own bit of trickery on the ensuing kickoff and was successful. The Beavers kicked off from midfield after a UCLA personal foul penalty and were successful on a squib kick when David Morris recovered it at the Bruins 27. Tight end Teagan Quitoriano then had his first reception of the season for a 27-yard score to make it 21–0.
When the quarter ended, it was the first time that the Beavers have led by three TDs after 15 minutes in a conference game since 2008 against Washington State.
“You can’t spot them a lead like we did. We put ourselves in too many holes to start the game,” Kelly said.
NO RECORD LOW
Many predicted that the UCLA mark for a record-low crowd might fall on Saturday, but the attendance was better than expected.
The announced attendance was 48,532 with more than 3,000 being high school bands. The two smallest crowds at the Rose Bowl have been for games against the Beavers, with the low-water mark being 32,513 in 1992.
Oregon State: It was a happy homecoming for coach Smith, who grew up in Pasadena and led a team into the Rose Bowl for the first time as a coach.
“Winning here is an added bonus,” Smith said. “These guys are working hard, and they’re trusting us and trusting the process, and I think that it showed tonight.”
UCLA: Any positive momentum the Bruins had after their upset of Washington State two weeks ago is long gone. Kelly’s biggest task is trying to convince a skeptical fan base that things can’t get worse.
“There’s not a magic formula. There is no trade or a waiver wire. You don’t get to add players at this point in time,” he said. “We’ve got to put them in positions to make plays and give them an opportunity to execute. That is on us as a coaching staff.”
Oregon State: Hosts No. 17 Utah next Saturday. The Utes have won the last three games in the series.
UCLA: Has a bye week before traveling to Stanford on Oct. 17. The Bruins have dropped 11 straight to the Cardinal.