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NCAAF: Cooper Legas leads Utah State to victory over Oregon State in LA Bowl

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A quarterback who entered the game having never thrown a collegiate pass turned the tide in the LA Bowl. Utah State backup quarterback Cooper Legas replaced injured Logan Bonner in the second quarter, and his first career pass went for a game-tying 62-yard touchdown pass to Deven Thompkins.

Legas went on to finish 11 of 20 passing for 171 yards and led Utah State to a 24-13 win over Oregon State.

In the process, the Aggies (11-3) tied their school record for wins in a season and capped off Blake Anderson’s first season as head coach with the program’s first bowl win since 2018.

Utah State running back and Oregon State transfer Calvin Tyler Jr. also played a crucial role, rushing for 120 yards and a touchdown against his old team.

Oregon State (7-6) got off to an explosive start by driving 71 yards for a touchdown in just three plays on the opening possession, but the offense stalled out from there. Quarterback Chance Nolan did complete passes to 10 different receivers for 263 yards, but a limited running game and consistent struggles blocking Utah State’s pass rushers — the Aggies finished the game with four sacks — handicapped the Beavers on offense.

Utah State overcame the early Oregon State score to tie the game on Legas’ touchdown pass to Thompkins, and it took the lead for good on Tyler’s 15-yard touchdown run with 4:24 remaining in the second quarter. Another field goal extended the lead to 17-10, and then Legas found Brandon Bowling for a 5-yard touchdown pass that doubled the lead in the third quarter.

The Beavers made a dent in the deficit with a field goal early in the fourth quarter and got three more possessions with the score at 24-13, but all three resulted in turnovers. A fumble, a fourth-and-13 attempt that fell short and resulted in a turnover on downs and an interception clinched the game for Utah State.

The game was Oregon State’s first trip to a bowl game since 2013.

–Field Level Media

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