INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Third-string quarterback Cooper Legas threw two touchdown passes, Calvin Tyler Jr. ran for 120 yards and a score and Utah State beat Oregon State 24-13 on Saturday night in the inaugural LA Bowl on Saturday night.
Legas came in when starter Logan Bonner suffered a knee injury during the first quarter. Andrew Peasley was Bonner’s backup throughout the season, but was ruled out prior to kickoff due to a shoulder injury he suffered Nov. 26 against New Mexico.
Legas’ only action this season was late in the New Mexico game. The sophomore’s first collegiate pass couldn’t have gone any better when he connected with Deven Thompkins on a 62-yard touchdown strike to tie it at 7.
Thompkins got a couple steps on Beavers defensive back Jaydon Grant, hauled it in at the Oregon State 25 and was gone to the end zone. The senior had six receptions for 115 yards and set a single-season school record with 102 catches.
Legas also had a 5-yard scoring toss to Brandon Bowling with under four minutes remaining in the third quarter to extend the Aggies lead to 24-13.
Legas completed 11 of 20 passes for 171 yards and an interception. He also had a 34-yard reception on a double pass from Derek Wright.
Utah State finished 11-3, and Oregon State 7-6.
Tyler, who was at Oregon State for four years before transferring, scored what ended up being the go-ahead touchdown on a 15-yard run with 4:24 remaining in the second quarter to give Utah State a 14-10 advantage.
Oregon State received the opening kickoff and scored 58 seconds into the game when Jesiah Irish went 20 yards up the left sideline on a jet sweep. That would prove to be the Beavers only touchdown though as its other points came on a pair of field goals by Everett Hayes.
Chance Nolan was 21 of 30 for 263 yards and an interception while B.J. Baylor, who led the Pac-12 in rushing, had 18 carries for 78 yards.
The Mountain West champion has won four of the past five bowl games when paired against the Pac-12.
The Utah State victory also gave the MWC a 6-5 advantage over the Pac-12 in games this season. It is the third time since 1999 and first since 2008 that the conference has had a winning record over the Pac-12.
EARLY EVENING WITH KIMMEL
Late-night host and comedian Jimmy Kimmel, who is one of the presenters of the game, was frequently seen on the videoboard and sidelines throughout the game. He played clarinet with the Oregon State band during pregame.
Kimmel had both teams as guests for tapings of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” leading up to the game.
Utah State: After being picked to finish fifth in the Mountain Division in the preseason, the Aggies capped a great season under first-year coach Blake Anderson with the program’s first conference title since 2012 and a bowl victory.
Oregon State: Despite the loss, the Beavers finish with their first winning record since 2013. They will return most of their starters, but Baylor — a first-team, All-Pac 12 selection — hasn’t made a decision on if he will leave early for the NFL draft.