CHENEY, Wash. (AP) – Matt Nichols passed for 257 yards and three touchdowns and Eastern Washington rolled up nearly 500 yards of total offense in a 35-13 victory over Montana State on Saturday.
Nichols completed 15-of-24 for the Eagles (4-2, 2-2 Big Sky), who held the Bobcats to 22 yards rushing on 32 carries. EWU, which had lost four of its last five conference games, beat MSU (4-2, 2-1) for the fifth straight time.
MSU quarterback Jack Rolovich completed 17-of-28 for 251 yards, including a 60-yard scoring pass to Josh Lewis, before leaving with an injury in the third quarter. Lewis finished with five catches for 119 yards for the Bobcats.
After an injury knocked Nichols out of the game briefly in the second quarter, the sophomore quarterback returned to guide EWU on back-to-back TD drives of 81 and 62 yards within a 3:53 span of the third quarter.
Nichols’ 20-yard scoring pass to Matt Martin gave EWU a 21-13 lead, and his 34-yard toss to Aaron Boyce on EWU’s next possession set up Dale Morris’ 2-yard TD plunge that pushed the Eastern lead to 28-13.
The Eagles’ final TD came with 8:19 left in the game on a Nichols-to-Alexis Alexander screen pass for 22 yards.
Boyce finished with five catches for 126 yards. EWU had 183 yards rushing and another 292 yards through the air.
MSU trailed by only 14-10 at the half, and marched the second-half kickoff to the EWU 5-yard line. But Montana State had to settle for Michael Sweeney’s 38-yard field goal and a 14-13 deficit after back-to-back sacks pushed the ball back to the 21-yard line.
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