Hawaii 23, Oregon St. 21
HONOLULU (AP) _ Defensive back Walter Briggs recovered a fumble at his own 1-yard line with 4:39 left and Jason Elam kicked three field goals as No. 24 Hawaii hung on to beat Oregon State 23-21 Saturday night, clinching the Rainbows’ first-ever bowl bid.
Hawaii, 9-2, meets 25th-ranked Michigan State here on Christmas Day in the Aloha Bowl. The Spartans clinched their berth earlier Saturday with a 31-3 victory over Wisconsin.
Oregon State, which trailed 20-7 at the end of three quarters, scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and were ready to punch in for another when Briggs recovered a fumble by Beaver running back Pat Chaffey.
The score was 23-21 Hawaii when Nick Schichtle, who had thrown two TD passes earlier in the quarter, hit Reggie Hubbard with a 39-yard pass to the Rainbow 1. On the next play Chaffey lost the ball and Briggs came up with it, and Hawaii ran out the clock.
Hawaii’s Jamal Farmer rushed 27 times for 101 yards and a TD.
Elam, who has now made 20 consecutive field goals, converted on attempts of 30, 44 and 37 yards. Elam’s 44-yard field goal gave Hawaii a 20-7 lead with 9:36 to play in the third quarter and the 37-yarder padded the lead to 23-7 with 14:55 left in the game.
Oregon State came right back, capping a four-play, 37-yard drive with a 16- yard touchdown pass from Schichtle to Maurice Wilson with 13:28 left. The Beavers failed on a two-point conversion.
Hawaii scored first on Elam’s 18th field goal in 19 attempts this season. His 30-yard kick gave the Rainbows a 3-0 lead with 8:33 left in the first quarter.
After Oregon State’s Troy Bussanich failed on a 48-yard field goal attempt, Hawaii took over on its own 31.
Then Rainbow slotback Dane McArthur fueled a five-play, 69-yard drive with a 37-yard run and a 23-yard touchdown scamper. Hawaii led 10-0 with 4:17 to go in the quarter.
The Beavers closed to 10-7 with 1:19 remaining in the first period when Chaffey bulled in from two yards out. Schichtle completed three passes for 43 yards and rushed twice for 30 yards on the 75-yard drive.
Farmer went airborne for a 1-yard touchdown with 8:15 left in the half, and the Rainbows led 17-7. Farmer’s TD was his 17th of the season, tying a school record set by Heikoti Fakava in 1988.