STILLWATER — Tylan Wallace completed his eighth career 100-yard receiving game on his way to scoring a career-high three touchdowns in the home-opener against McNeese State on Saturday.
Wallace finished with five receptions for 180 yards to help lift OSU to a 56-14 win in front of a sold-out crowd of 55,500 fans. He did all that in just over one half of football. His only play in the second half was a 75-yard touchdown catch on the first play of the third quarter.
Wallace’s eighth career 100-yard game puts him one game shy of former OSU receiver Dez Bryant on the OSU all-time list. Bryant is sixth on the list and Wallace is seventh. He was 8 yards shy of the 100-yard mark at Oregon State last week. James Washington is at the top of the list with 21 career 100-yard games.
OSU extended its streak of consecutive home opener victories to 24, the longest streak in school history. Saturday’s win also improved OSU coach Mike Gundy’s career record in home openers to 15-0.
Quarterback Spencer Sanders played nearly the entire game at Oregon State but shared playing time with graduate transfer Dru Brown in the home opener. Sanders was also pulled out of the game after the first play of the third quarter.
Sanders completed 12 of his 18 passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 51 yards on 12 attempts. Brown had a solid season debut by completing seven of his 10 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns. The two quarterbacks combined for 413 passing yards and five touchdowns.
"Sanders had done a good job," Gundy said. "He was done and Dru needed to play. We got him in there and I was glad we could get him in late to play."
Defensive coordinator Jim Knowles couldn’t have asked for a better start to the game after having a slow start at Oregon State. Senior A.J. Green grabbed his first interception of the season and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown on the second play of the game.
“It was a big boost for us as a defense to be able to put the first points on the board, to be able to start fast,” Knowles said. “I didn’t think we started fast last week. I thought we started slow. To be able to jump on a big play like that I thought it gave everybody confidence.”
The OSU offense finished with 580 total yards, but it took a couple of series for the offense to wake up. The defense held things together until then.
A 3-yard rush from quarterback Spencer Sanders followed by a 7-yard pickup from running back Chuba Hubbard earned a first down on the first series before the drive quickly stalled. Hubbard fumbled on the next play, and it was recovered by Sanders. An 11-yard sack and a 1-yard run forced OSU to punt.
OSU scored on the opening drive in eight of its past 10 games heading into Saturday. The offense turned the ball over on a Dillon Stoner fumble after the defense forced a McNeese State punt. McNeese started its drive at the OSU 35 and faced a fourth-and-7 after four plays. McNeese went for it, and the OSU defense came up big by stopping quarterback Cody Orgeron 2 yards short of the first-down marker.
The defense finished with two interceptions. Philip Redwine-Bryant’s nearly gave OSU its second defensive touchdown by returning his to the 1-yard line.
The linebacker group had another solid game with Malcolm Rodriguez and Amen Ogbongbemiga combining for 18 tackles.
“He might be undersized for a linebacker, but he’s strong,” Knowles said of Rodriguez. “What he does is he reads well, and he gets guys on the ground.”
Wallace got the offense on track by turning a quick pass from Sanders into a 69-yard touchdown to give OSU a 14-0 lead with 1:29 left in the first quarter. OSU scored on two of its final three drives of the half to create a 28-0 halftime lead. Hubbard scored on a 4-yard run, and Wallace scored his second TD on a 4-yard pass from Sanders.
Backup quarterback Dru Brown got his number called and took advantage in the second half after Wallace and Sanders connected one more time. He led eight drives and completd touchdown passes to C.J. Moore and Braydon Johnson.
“Dru is a good quarterback,” offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson said. “His ability to see things out of the defense and make the right decisions for us, he did that tonight. I was kind of expecting him to do that.”
Ten receivers caught balls for Oklahoma State, with three catching three passes or more and four receivers gaining more than 40 yards.
Orgeron threw for 151 yards on 11-of-22 passing for McNeese State. He threw one touchdown and two interceptions. He also led McNeese with 89 rushing yards.