CORVALLIS, Ore. — With the score between Oregon State and Hawaii knotted at halftime, the Beavers’ locker room was tense.
Oregon State had already lost its opener, a stunner against lower-division Eastern Washington. Losing again at home was not an option.
“Everyone was yelling at halftime,” said defensive end Scott Crichton, who said that even mild-mannered coach Mike Riley joined in.
Whatever was said behind closed doors Saturday fired up the Beavers, who kept Hawaii scoreless the rest of the way for a 33-14 victory.
Sean Mannion threw for 372 yards and four touchdowns and Oregon State (1-1) rebounded from their disastrous 49-46 season opening loss the Eagles.
The Rainbow Warriors had evened it at 14 in the second quarter before Oregon State went ahead in the second half on Mannion’s two 8-yard TD passes to Brandin Cooks. Hawaii was coming off a 30-13 loss to USC in its opener.
Cooks finished with seven catches for 92 yards and two scores for the Beavers, who collected 508 yards of total offense while Hawaii (0-2) had just 239.
“Really everyone was like, ‘We’re better than what we’re showing,’” Mannion said about the airing out at halftime. “And I think they were 100 percent correct.”
The Beavers scored on their first drive, a 3-yard pass from Mannion to Kellen Clute. The play was set up when Mannion tossed to Storm Woods who broke downfield for a 48-yard reception.
The Rainbow Warriors were hurt on the ensuing kickoff when senior linebacker Brenden Daley was injured in a collision and was taken from the field by ambulance. Daley was taken to the hospital with a concussion.
In the opener against USC, Daley led Hawaii with 10 tackles, including four for loss, a sack and a forced fumble.
The Beavers went up 14-0 after Mannion found Richard Mullaney with a 19-yeard touchdown pass early in the second quarter.
But Oregon State was not without some of the mistakes that cost them the week before against the Eagles. Mannion was intercepted by Julian Gener, who ran it back 23-yards for the touchdown to narrow it to 14-7.
Hawaii was energized by the turnover and tied it with Taylor Graham’s 14-yard scoring pass to Clark Evans with 4:30 to go before halftime.
“You know, we felt fortunate at halftime to be at 14-14,” Hawaii coach Norm Chow said. “I thought we had a shot, but we didn’t get the ball much because of the way they pounded it at us.”
Graham, son of former NFL quarterback Kent Graham, spent two seasons at Ohio State before transferring to Hawaii. He threw for 208 yards and a score in the opener against the Trojans, but also threw four interceptions that led to 20 USC points.
Against the Beavers Graham completed 10 of 20 passes for 95 yards and the TD to Evans.
Oregon State pulled back in front with Mannion’s 8-yard scoring pass to Cooks after the break. Mannion found Cooks with another 8-yarder before the quarter was over to make it 28-14. Mannion completed 31 of 43 passes for the game.
Trevor Romaine kicked a 34-yard field goal before the Beavers stopped Steven Lakalaka in the end zone for a safety.
While coach Riley was relieved about the win, he was concerned about a particularly glaring stat: Oregon State had just 57 yards rushing.
“We were unbalanced,” Riley said. “It was scary. We’ve got to get better.”
Oregon State was ranked No. 25 in the preseason after finishing 9-4 last year, but the disheartening loss to the Eastern Washington dropped the Beavers out of the poll. They visit Utah next week.
In 2011, the Beavers opened the season with a loss to Sacramento State, touching off a four-game losing streak. They finished 3-9 that season.
Oregon State leads the all-time series against Hawaii 6-3. The Rainbow Warriors won the first meeting between the teams 7-0 in 1923.
Hawaii has a bye next week before visiting Nevada.
“We have to just kind of regroup and just watch the film and get the mental mistakes together, erase those and just move on,” Gener said.