Laura’s Jayden threw for 399 yards and three touchdowns as Washington State beat Oregon State 31-24 on Saturday.
Travell Harris caught eight passes for 147 yards for the Cougars (3-3, 2-2 Pac-12), who beat Oregon State for the eighth consecutive time.
BJ Baylor rushed for 145 yards and Deshaun Fenwick added 127 yards and a pair of touchdowns for Oregon State (4-2, 2-1 Pac-12), which saw its four-game winning streak shattered.
De Laura completed 32 of 46 passes and was intercepted once. The Washington State defense also forced Oregon State to return the ball on its last possession of the game.
“It made everyone’s confidence in this program grow,” Washington state coach Nick Rolovich said of Laura. “He’s improving everything around him. “
“I thought he was playing a lot,” Rolovich added.
Washington State depended on their second-half passing offense, after trailing 10-3 at halftime.
“We needed more of our passing game because the numbers were on our side,” Rolovich said. “We did a really good job in the second half on the third down conversions.”
The Cougars froze the game with touchdowns on four straight second-half possessions, which Rolovich said will be a boost to the confidence of a team that has struggled to score this season.
“It’s the result of the hard work they put in,” Rolovich said of the breakup. “We are improving. “
Oregon State coach Jonathan Smith said he told his players the loss was a team effort.
“I told the team that I think all of us (attack, defense, special teams) contributed to this loss, but I think what strikes me is the false kick, you know for start the second half, ”said Smith. “We just anticipated a different look, thought it would be incredibly lucky because our punter is pretty good, but I would take that one back.”
Oregon State only had 158 passing yards.
“We have to find a better balance than what we have, just consistency to be a real threat throwing it around and being explosive,” Smith said.
Fenwick said the team will bounce back.
“We have good guys, good players, good coaches, everything will be fine,” he said. “They just got us today. They made one more game today.
“We were in the game the whole time, and I feel like we have the best team in the Pac,” Fenwick said.
Jack Colletto ran to center for two yards and an Oregon State touchdown in the opening seconds of the second quarter.
Washington State responded with a 30-yard field goal from Dean Janikowski.
Everett Hayes kicked a 39-yard field goal to take Oregon State to a 10-3 lead late in the second quarter. The Cougars made it to Oregon State 7 on their next possession, but had to return the ball on the downs.
Oregon State quarterback Chance Nolan was intercepted by George Hicks III, giving the Cougars the ball at Oregon State 28 with less than a minute to go in the second quarter. The Cougars fell to 4, but Omar Speights intercepted Laura’s pass and OSU led 10-3 at halftime.
Oregon State kicked off the second half and their practice stalled at 50. They attempted a false punt, but punter Luke Loecher’s long pass fell incomplete.
The Cougars took over and Max Borghi’s 3-yard touchdown tied the score at 10-10. It was the first of four straight touchdowns for Washington State.
Oregon State scoured the field all the way to the red zone, but Nolan’s pass was repelled and ultimately intercepted by Brennan Jackson at Washington State 5.
De Laura shot a pass in midfield to Joey Hobert, who drove an excellent field run to complete a 55-yard touchdown and take Washington State to a 17-10 lead in the bottom of the third.
Oregon State immediately hit back, with Baylor snatching a 50-yard run from WSU 15 and Fenwick covering the remaining yards in the next play for a touchdown to tie the game at 17-17.
The Cougars came back right away, with Laura connecting with Harris on a 58-yard finish at Oregon State 14, and Laura hitting Lincoln Victor on the next play for a touchdown that gave the Cougars a 24- lead. 17.
Fenwick tied the game at 24-24 with an 11-yard rush.
De Laura threw a one-yard touchdown pass to Deon McIntosh for a 31-24 WSU lead and points-winners, with 5:25 remaining.
Oregon State led the field but had to return the ball to the downs at Washington State 5 with 33 seconds left.
CONTROVERSY ON VACCINATION
Washington state coach Nick Rolovich has confirmed he has requested a religious exemption from the state to avoid being vaccinated against COVID-19. The news was first reported on USA Today. “I’ll confirm that,” Rolovich said at the post-match press conference. Rolovich said the controversy over his refusal to be vaccinated had been “unbelievably stressful.” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has set an Oct. 18 deadline for state employees like Rolovich to get vaccinated or risk losing their jobs.
Take it away
Oregon State was shooting for its first five-game winning streak since 2013, but was held 12 points below its 36 points per game average in the Pac-12. The Beavers totaled 309 rushing yards.
Washington State, which leads the series 56-47-3, has its highest point total against an FBS opponent this season.
The state of Oregon has a bye next weekend before hosting Utah on October 23.
Washington State will host Stanford next Saturday.