OSU football: Malcolm Agnew

OSU running back Malcolm Agnew stretches out for the end zone on a TD in the second quarter. Agnew finished with 104  yards rushing. (Andy Cripe/Mid-Valley Sunday)

SEATTLE - A near complete game was put together by the Oregon State football team, and the results were predictable.

The Beavers efficiently won a game.

OSU defeated Washington State 44-21 in a Pac-12 Conference game Saturday night before a crowd of 49,219 at CenturyLink Field.

Running back Malcolm Agnew sparked the running game with 104 yards, while quarterback Sean Mannion showed more savvy to elude the rush and threw for 376 yards and four touchdowns.

OSU gained 551 total yards of offense, 175 rushing and 376 passing.

"We had a good week of practice, and we came out ready and set the tone," Agnew said. "You could feel the energy early that something good was about to happen."

The defense forced two fumbles, applied pressure on the quarterback and made the Cougars (3-4, 1-3) work for everything.

The lone issue was penalty yards (115). There were procedure calls and personal fouls.

"We had great drives, long drives," coach Mike Riley said. "We overcame some of our own obstacles. We came back to make big plays."

OSU (2-5, 2-2) came out of halftime and put the game away with an eight-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 25-yard touchdown reception by tight end Joe Halahuni.

That put the Beavers up 31-14 and gave the defense enough of a cushion to go after the Cougars aggressively.

Halahuni moved up into sole possession of ninth in OSU history with receiving TDs. He scored his 13th of his career.

The Beavers scored a touchdown in the first quarter for the first time this season. Mannion hit running back Jordan Jenkins on a 31-yard swing pass on their first possession.

There had only been three field goals in the first six games of the season.

"We scored quickly, and that always sets the tone that we are coming and you better be ready," Agnew said. "I'm happy we did that. That propelled our offense."

Mannion came back with more accurate passes, including a 12-yard TD toss to Brandin Cooks in the second quarter and an 18-yarder in the fourth quarter to fullback Clayton York on a wheel route.

His one interception was caught by Markus Wheaton in the end zone, but the ball was pulled out of Wheaton's hands by Damante Horton.

"We just did a great job of executing our coaches' plays, and we had a great week of practice," Mannion said. "We executed well during the week, and did the same in the game."

OSU's other TD in the first half came from a steady running game. The combination of Agnew between tackles and the fly sweeps by Wheaton and James Rodgers kept the Cougars guessing.

Agnew finished off a nine-play, 78-yard drive with a 3-yard sweep into the end zone.

Washington State leaned on its run offense to move the ball early, but used the pass for quick strikes at opportune times.

Marquess Wilson scored on a 20-yard TD pass from quarterback Jeff Tuel at the beginning of the second quarter to tie the game.

Another 48-yard pass to Wilson set up the second touchdown of the second quarter to tie the game again. Tuel scored it on a 1-yard sneak.

The Beavers stopped the Cougars on their first possession with a fumble forced by defensive end Scott Crichton.

Fellow end Dylan Wynn recored it, his fourth recovered fumble of the season. That tied him for the OSU single-season record.

Wynn fell on another fumble in the second quarter to establish the record.

Crichton forced that fumble, too, to give him four this season. That tied him for the OSU single-season record of four with five others. Stephen Paea in 2009 and 2010 was the last to reach that mark.

"There was no difference from before," Crichton said of previous games. "It was just the details. We executed our assignments today. We started slow, but we wanted to finish it. And we did."

That last fumble was right before halftime. The Beavers turned it into a 26-yard field goal by Trevor Romaine and they led 24-14 at the break.

OSU sacked Tuel three times in the first half, and hit him after the pass several times. He was replaced by Marshall Lobbestael in the second half.

Lobbestael guided the Cougars to one touchdown drive in the fourth quarter when the game was already in hand.

"Our guys were playing hard," Riley said. "I do think we hit and kept playing hard on defense. We blocked hard offensively, ran the ball and protected the quarterback so he could throw."

Running back Jovan Stevenson didn't make the trip due to a knee injury suffered last weekend against BYU. Terron Ward and Jenkins were used as backups.

Center Grant Johnson (ankle) left the game in the fourth quarter. Geoff Garner took his place. Linebacker Rueben Robinson (shin) was replaced by D.J. Welch in the second half, and Jenkins (concussion) and Halahuni (ankle) were pulled late.

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