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July 29, 2014

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Oregon State, senior QB struggle with wind in bowl loss

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Justin M. Bowen

BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall and Oregon St. head coach Mike Riley shake hands after the Cougars won 44-20 in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas Tuesday at Sam Boyd Stadium.

MAACO Bowl Las Vegas

MVP Max Hall threw for 192 yards and three touchdowns as BYU wins its third Las Vegas Bowl in five years beating Oregon State 44-20.

Las Vegas Bowl-BYU vs OSU

Max Hall (left) and Manase Tonga celebrate after a BYU touchdown during the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas Tuesday at Sam Boyd Stadium.  BYU dominated Oregon St. with a 44-20 win. Launch slideshow »

This is not how quarterback Sean Canfield pictured the end of his Oregon State football career.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound lefty entered Tuesday's MAACO Bowl Las Vegas at Sam Boyd Stadium looking to cap one of the most prolific passing seasons in Beavers history by leading the team to its sixth-straight bowl victory.

But 45-mph wind gusts and a suffocating BYU defense proved too much to overcome in a 44-20 defeat. Canfield entered having completed 70 percent of his passes for 3,103 yards and 21 touchdowns, but he struggled adding to those numbers in his final collegiate game.

Canfield only completed 19 of 40 passes for 168 yards with no touchdowns and an interception. He was 4-of-13 for 31 yards in the first half as the Beavers trailed 23-7 at halftime.

"Offensively, that was our worst game," Canfield said. "We just weren't moving the ball. We had a few good plays early and only a few good plays throughout the game."

The wind hindered both teams' passing and kicking games, but it clearly affected Canfield and the Beavers the most. BYU's Max Hall passed for 192 yards and three touchdowns and was named the game's Most Valuable Player.

Canfield, on the other hand, misfired on seemingly every big throw and never found a rhythm. Still, he didn't blame the elements.

"Both teams had to play in it," Canfield said. "We took care of (preparing for the wind) in pregame. It was not an issue."

Oregon State coach Mike Riley, however, said the wind was a factor.

"The wind definitely affected us a lot. They handled it better," Riley said. "We kind of pride ourselves on playing in different conditions. But they just did a better job of it than we did today."

Oregon State only needed four plays — all rushes — to score the game's initial touchdown on its second possession. Canfield capped the drive with a 1-yard run less than seven minutes into the game.

But Oregon State couldn't capitalize with the wind at its back the remainder of the first quarter and BYU scored 37 unanswered points, turning what was expected to be a close game into a blowout.

Trailing 7-0, BYU's first touchdown drive arguably was its most important. The Cougars drove nearly 80 yards against the wind to even the game on a 1-yard touchdown run from Harvey Unga.

"Under those circumstances, that was really the defining moment of the game," BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said.

BYU had the wind at its back for the second and third quarters in extending its lead to 37-7. When Oregon State finally got the wind in its favor in the fourth quarter, James Rodgers fumbled on the Beavers third play.

The ball was recovered at Oregon State's 15-yard line, and Hall threw a touchdown pass to Manase Tonga on the ensuing play for a 30-7 lead.

Oregon State closed with a pair of touchdowns in the final nine minutes. Jacquizz Rodgers started the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run, but Justin Kahut's extra point banged off the left upright.

It was the type of night for the Beavers.

"There are no excuses. We lost. We got beat," Oregon State senior lineman Gregg Peat said.

Canfield wasn't the lone Oregon State player to struggle. Brothers Jacquizz and James Rodgers, an athletic duo who gave opponents fits all season, only combined to gain 144 yards and each fumbled. It was the first career fumble for the sophomore Jacquizz Rodgers in 621 touches.

Oregon State (8-5) closed the season with two losses, including a heartbreaking 37-33 defeat to rival Oregon in the regular season finale. A victory would have given the Beavers the Pac-10 Conference title and Rose Bowl berth.

"It was a disappointing way to end the season," Riley said. "I hate it for our seniors."

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