CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) -- Once he got into the flow against
Portland State, Oregon State quarterback Matt Moore realized why he
returned to football.
After a two-year hiatus, Moore debuted for the Beavers with 367
yards passing and four touchdown passes to lead Oregon State to a
41-14 victory over Portland State on Saturday.
"I started off slow, but once we got going, I found out that
football is fun again," Moore said.
Mike Hass had nine catches for 155 yards, while Alexis Serna
kicked field goals of 19 and 24 yards for Oregon State, which had
479 yards of total offense against the Division I-AA Vikings.
The game seemed merely a footnote amid the hoopla surrounding
the unveiling of the Beavers' newly refurbished Reser Stadium.
The $80 million project dubbed "Raising Reser" brought
capacity to 43,300 and significantly altered Corvallis' sleepy
skyline, adding an expansive second tier of seats and luxury boxes
rising above the home sideline.
Moore is taking over this season for Oregon State record-holder
Derek Anderson, who was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens.
A transfer from UCLA who hadn't played in two seasons, Moore
completed 26 of 38 passes and intercepted once.
"Matt Moore had a good start as a Beaver. That was encouraging
to see," Oregon State coach Mike Riley said. "I really liked his
attitude, he really competed."
Moore was helped by close communication throughout the game with
Hass, a former walk-on who was ranked third nationally last season
with an average of 114.9 receiving yards a game.
"Mike and I were on the same page always. He was helping me out
in the huddle and on the sidelines. He was in my ear telling me how
it was going to be and most of the time he was right," Moore said.
Yvenson Bernard rushed for 56 yards and a score, and added nine
catches for 109 yards and another touchdown.
Sawyer Smith's 8-yard scoring pass to Brendan Ferrigno got
Portland State within 10-7 early in the second quarter before
Oregon State pulled away. Shaun Bodiford added a 7-yard scoring run
for the Vikings late in the third quarter.
Smith completed 15 of 33 passes for 174 yards. He was
intercepted twice. Joe Rubin had 28 carries for 113 yards. Portland
State had a respectable 300 yards total offense.
"I'm not happy with the 41-14 score," Portland State coach Tim
Walsh said. "I'm happy that the guys competed as hard as they
Oregon State finished 7-5 last season and finished fourth in the
Pac-10. They wrapped up the year with a 38-21 victory over Notre
Dame in the Insight Bowl.
Portland State, which plays in the Big Sky Conference, finished
7-4 last season, capped by four straight victories.
"I have to give a lot of credit to Portland State. I knew it
was going to be like this," Riley said. "I knew it was going to
be harder that people anticipated."
The Beavers held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Reser Stadium
before the game, with Riley, former coach Dennis Erickson, all-time
leading Oregon State rusher Ken Simonton and former quarterback
Jonathan Smith all on hand.
Prior to the expansion, Reser seated 35,362 and was the smallest
stadium in the Pacific-10 Conference. The Beavers had a 28-game
sellout streak going into Saturday's game with the greater
capacity, and fell about 100 tickets short of a sellout.
However, the crowd of 42,263 was a new school record.
"It was awesome," Bernard said. "Usually one side was usually
the weak side, but now they are both real intimidating from down on
On a somber note, fans at the game Saturday were asked to
contribute the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund to help the
victims of Hurricane Katrina. More than 60 volunteers, including
university staff and student-athletes, collected donations at the
Oregon State redshirt freshmen Keenan Lewis and Dennis
Christopher are both from New Orleans.
Lewis, a cornerback, said his parents were able to escape to
Texas. Christopher, a reserve linebacker, was able to contact his
mother -- a deputy sheriff in New Orleans involved in rescue efforts
-- by cell phone text message.