Updated at: 12/01/2012 4:35 PM
By ANNE M. PETERSON
(AP) CORVALLIS, Ore. - Storm Woods ran for two touchdowns in the first quarter and No. 16 Oregon State put up its highest point total ever, routing Nicholls State 77-3 on Saturday in a game postponed by Hurricane Isaac.
The Beavers surpassed their 76-0 win over Willamette in 1931.
Oregon State (9-3) started playing its substitutes against the lower-division Colonels in taking a 35-0 halftime lead. Markus Wheaton caught 12 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown and sat out the second half.
Officials from both schools decided to put off the Sept. 1 opener when the storm bore down on the Colonels’ campus in Thibodeaux, La.
The Beavers had a complete turnaround from their 3-9 finish last year. Oregon State is possibly headed to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego on Dec. 27, and representatives from that bowl and the Alamo Bowl were in attendance. The team will learn its destination on Sunday.
Oregon State piled up 683 yards against the FCS Southland Conference Colonels (1-10), who lost their eighth straight.
Woods scored on runs from the 8 and 1. Wheaton added a 10-yard score early in the second for a 24-0 lead.
Terron Ward added a 15-yard TD run after Oregon State took out starting quarterback Sean Mannion and put in Cody Vaz, who had missed the past two games with a high ankle sprain.
Vaz hit Wheaton with a 2-yard touchdown pass with 1:14 left in the first half to make it 35-0. On the prior play, Wheaton caught his 223rd career pass, surpassing James Rodgers’ school record.
Mannion was Oregon State’s starter when the season opened and led the team to its first four wins, but injured his left knee and required surgery. Vaz took over the job, but he hurt his left ankle in the Beavers’ loss to Stanford. The Cardinal won the Pac-12 championship on Friday night with a 27-24 victory over UCLA.
Mannion, coming off a rough outing the week before with four interceptions in a 48-24 loss to rival Oregon, also started the second half, throwing an early 4-yard touchdown pass to Richard Mullaney and a 22-yard TD pass to Kevin Cummings.
The Colonels avoided the shutout with Andrew Dolan’s 26-yard field goal with 2:40 left in the third quarter. The Beavers answered with Vaz’s 7-yard scoring pass to Obum Gwacham early in the fourth. Vaz added a 20-yard TD to Jordan Jenkins to make it 63-3.
Malcolm Agnew ran for an 11-yard touchdown and Michael Balfour ran 4 yards for another score for the final margin.
Mannion finished with 231 yards passing and two touchdowns, while Vaz threw for 190 yards and three TDs.
Junior Landry Klann threw for 164 yards, becoming first Colonels player to throw for 2,000 yards since Brad Zeller in 1998. Klann finished with eight touchdown passes this season.
Oregon State was the third FBS team that Nicholls State has played this season. The Colonels also lost to South Alabama and Tulsa. The Colonels have two wins over FBS opponents since 2000: They beat Arkansas State 28-22 in 2001, and Rice 16-14 in 2007.
Nicholls State coach Charlie Stubbs was an assistant at Oregon State from 1985-90 under coach Dave Kragthorpe.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)