Still buzzing over a big win over the rival Ducks, Oregon State now visits Utah without one of the players that helped the Beavers claim that victory.
Quarterback Tristan Gebbia is out of Saturday night's game because of a hamstring injury he suffered in the final moments of Friday's 41-38 upset of Oregon.
Gebbia's injury occurred amid chaos as Oregon State tried to punch in a touchdown. The Ducks stopped Gebbia twice before he was injured. That brought in backup Chance Nolan, who scored on a fourth-down sneak into the end zone with 33 seconds left — his first-ever play with Oregon State.
Gebbia was on crutches as the team celebrated, a sad ending to one of his best performances of the year. He threw for 263 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score.
Nolan, a redshirt sophomore who came to the Beavers from Saddleback College, will get his first career start for Oregon State (2-2) against the Utes (0-2).
Oregon State coach Jonathan Smith told his team leftover excitement about the win can't get in the way of preparation for Utah.
“We’ve got a mature group that really understands things. We spoke to them yesterday about that, and so we went back to our normal approach," Smith said. "There are things to clean up like any game, and there were some really good things we point out. Then we flush everything and we move forward.”
But the rivalry win was significant for the Beavers, in their third year under Smith. The Beavers hadn't defeated a top-10 opponent since 2014, when they beat No. 7 Arizona State.
Utah, meanwhile, is still looking for a first win. The Utes let a 21-point lead slip away last weekend against Washington in a 24-21 loss.
“We need to take another step forward as a football team,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. “Just keep working hard, keep trying to get better and progressing. So that's where we're at.”
Jermar Jefferson ran for 226 yards and scored twice in the win over the Ducks, earning him his second consecutive Pac-12 Player of the Week honor. His rushing yards were a record in the series with Oregon.
Despite the short season, Jefferson is easily on pace to reach the 1,000-yard mark. He leads the league with 168.8 yards rushing a game and seven total touchdowns. He's rushed for at least 100 yards in each of the Beavers' games this season.
He's got 2,740 yards for his career, ranking him fifth all-time at Oregon State.
The Utes have had a rough go of it this season with only two games played. Utah's first two games — against Arizona and UCLA — were canceled. The Utes lost to USC 33-17 in Week 3, before their game last weekend against Arizona State was canceled. That set up the game against the Huskies, who were without an opponent after Washington State had to withdraw from the Apple Cup.
Despite the loss to the Huskies, Utah had three interceptions and 119 return yards in the game. That's the most return yards for the Utes since they had 127 yards on two interceptions against San Diego State in 2008.
Two of those interceptions were made by freshmen Faybian Marks and Zemaiah Vaughn.
“A lot to build on and things to carry forward, but no moral victories, I'm not trying to paint that picture,” Whittingham said. “But I thought we took a step forward as a football team from Week 1 to Week 2.”
The teams have met 22 times dating to 1931, including eight times since the Utes joined the Pac-12 in 2011. Oregon State holds a slim 11-10-1 overall advantage, but Utah has won four straight.
The Utes routed the Beavers 52-7 last year in Corvallis.
Oregon State, fortunate in getting all of its games in so far, will host next week's game against Stanford in a schedule change due to the coronavirus. The game was originally set for Palo Alto but regulations in Santa Clara County prevent contact sports until late December.
The Cardinal will practice in Corvallis in advance of the game after facing Washington in Seattle on Saturday.
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