Oregon State Head Coach Jonathan Smith listed redshirt junior Chance Nolan as the starting quarterback on the program’s Week 1 depth chart. He beat redshirt senior Tristan Gebbia and burgeoning redshirt freshman Ben Gulbranson for the gig.
Nolan started 13 games for the Beavers last season. So, it wasn’t shocking to see him get the nod again. He threw for 2,677 passing yards with 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also rushed for 286 yards with three touchdowns.
Nolan’s dual threat ability helped the Beavers to a 7-6 record in 2021. It was the first time Oregon State had played in bowl game since the 2013 season.
His best performance of season came in a 45-27 victory over the USC Trojans. He completed 15 of his 19 pass attempts while throwing for 213 passing yards and two touchdowns. He also added 57 yards and a touchdown on the ground. It was the first time the Beavers defeated the Trojans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum since 1960.
Oregon State puts together back-to-back 92-yard touchdown drives before the end of this half. The latest ends with Chance Nolan connecting with Tre'Shaun Harrison for a 36-yard touchdown to give Oregon State a 21-14 lead over USC. pic.twitter.com/NJkaVL0Clo
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) September 26, 2021
However, Nolan struggled to deliver solid performances consistently. He did have six games with a completion percentage above 70%, but he also had four games with completion percentages below 60%; two of which he completed below 50%. Hopefully, another offseason reduces the week-to-week variance because the Beavers have a lot of offensive talent returning.
It is unknown who the backup QB is. The depth chart listed both Gebbia and Gulbranson as QB2. Gebbia started four games during the COVID 2020 season before sustaining a season-ending hamstring injury. He’s thrown for 1,171 passing yards with five touchdowns and four interceptions in his career. Interestingly though, Beavers players voted Gebbia as a team captain, and not Nolan.
Proud to announce our captains for the 2022 season! pic.twitter.com/I5wg4cKHKl
— Jonathan Smith (@Coach_Smith) August 23, 2022
Meanwhile, Gulbranson entered the QB competition this offseason. He flashed during spring practice and the spring game. However, it appears the former three-star recruit is the favorite to be the future quarterback of the program once Nolan and Gebbia move on.
Midway through the 2021 season, the Beavers owned a 5-2 record (3-1 in conference) and led the Pac-12 North. Then, a 2-4 closing stretch, punctuated by a 24-13 loss to Utah State in the LA Bowl, soured a positive year for the program. Nolan needs more consistent performances if OSU wants to build off of last year’s success. He’ll be tested early because Boise State comes to Corvallis Week 1.
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