Stanford shoots for 11th straight series win vs. Oregon State

NCAA Football

Oregon State coach Jonathan Smith talked mostly about developments off the field during his weekly press conference heading into his team’s scheduled Saturday game against Stanford at Corvallis, Ore.

The Beavers (2-3, 2-3 Pac-12) have learned they will be without starting quarterback Tristan Gebbia the rest of the season because of a hamstring injury that requires surgery.

Chance Nolan has taken over the starting role after making his first start for the Beavers last Saturday in the 30-24 loss at Utah. True freshman Ben Gulbranson is the backup.

“It’s tough. I’ve got a bunch of respect for him because he’s gone through a lot,” Smith said of Gebbia, a junior whose performance sparked an upset of Oregon two weeks ago. “He continues to work hard. He’s a positive guy. He’s got a great mindset that he’ll be back here next year.”

Smith also announced redshirt junior quarterback Nick Moore has transferred because he was passed over by Nolan and Gulbranson. He also mentioned star tailback Jermar Jefferson and four other players may return this week after they were ruled out for the Utah game due to COVID-19 testing results and contact tracing protocols.

Stanford, coming off a 31-26 win at Washington, is attempting to build on its 10 consecutive wins over the Beavers.

The Cardinal (2-2, 2-2) were in Corvallis all week after spending most of last week at Seattle after the Santa Clara (Calif.) County Public Health Department prohibited contact sports through at least Dec. 21 to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“We always ask two questions: Should we and can we?” Stanford coach David Shaw said about the situation, which forced the Cardinal to give up its originally scheduled home game against Oregon State.

“The ‘should we?’ is always answered by the student-athletes. Should we continue to play? Do we find a way to play? Our student-athletes have worked extremely hard and been through a lot. They want to play.”

Shaw stressed the running game against Washington, as Austin Jones carried the ball 31 times for 138 yards and two touchdowns.

The Cardinal ran the final 7:54 off the clock with a 14-play drive that was capped by Jones’ 3-yard run on fourth-and-1. Stanford was 10-for-13 on third downs and 2-for-2 on fourth down.

Davis Mills complemented the running game well, completing 20 of 30 passes for 252 yards and a touchdown.

Oregon State rallied from a 30-10 deficit at Utah but came up short.

Avery Roberts logged 21 tackles, a career high for the redshirt junior linebacker. The single-game total tied the third-best mark in Oregon State history. Roberts surpassed Arkansas’ Bumper Pool for the most tackles in a game nationally this season. Pool had 20 stops against Mississippi State in October.

–Field Level Media

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