SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP)Sophomore quarterback Matt Nichols threw for 328 yards and three touchdowns to lead Eastern Washington to a 38-30 win over Sacramento State on Saturday night.
Freshman quarterback Jason Smith threw for 396 yards and three touchdowns and Tony Washington had nine catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns for Sac State (1-7, 1-5 Big Sky). Sac State linebacker Mike Brannon finished with 11 tackles and 3 1/2 sacks.
Sac State led 10-7 in the first quarter after receiver Torrell Baker's 39-yard catch set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Cyrus Mulitalo.
But the Eagles scored 10 unanswered point in the second quarter and linebacker Jared Kuhl intercepted a Jason Smith pass to help Eastern Washington hold on to a 17-10 halftime margin.
Brynsen Brown caught three passes for 84 yards and one touchdown in the first half for the Eagles.
Eastern Washington came out aggressively on offense in the second half. Nichols delivered two 46-yards touchdown passes to Boyce in the third quarter to make the score 31-10.
After Sac State receiver Washington caught a 50-yard TD from Smith, the Hornets were in position to score again until running back Travon Jones fumbled on the 9-yard line. On their next possession, the Hornets got within seven points when Washington caught a 13-yard TD pass with 14:10 left in the fourth.
After the Hornets were called for two penalties for roughing the passer, the Eagles increased the score to 38-24 on an 18-yard run by Dale Morris. Sac State never wavered as Smith found receiver Ryan Coogler for a 62-yard score on the Hornets' next possession. But kicker Juan Gamboa, perfect all season, missed the extra-point attempt for the Hornets leaving the score 38-30.
When Nichols fumbled a high snap, Sac State linebacker Dorian Brown recovered the ball on the Eagles' 8-yard line. On the Eagles' 2-yard line, the Eagle defense stopped Mulitalo's run on fourth-and-goal late in the fourth quarter.
After the Eagles failed to move the ball effectively, the Hornets had another chance to score until Coogler fumbled on Eastern Washington's 39-yard line with 1:37 left. The Eagles ran down the clock to end the game.