Oregon State loses their second PAC-12 conference game while Nolan goes out

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Julie Barber: OMN Photographer

Redshirt sophomore defensive back, Ian Massey, leads a group of teammates through the opening tunnel in last weeks matchup against USC on Sept. 24. The Beavers are now 0-2 in PAC-12 conference play after todays loss to Utah in Salt Lake City.

Ben Pahl, Sports Contributor

The Oregon State Beavers suffered a 42-16 road loss to the No. 12 ranked Utah Utes in Salt Lake City on Saturday afternoon.  

Early in the second quarter, Oregon State junior quarterback Chance Nolan exited the game after appearing to suffer a neck injury on a designed quarterback run. Nolan remained in the game for the rest of the offensive series but did not return after that.  

Redshirt freshman Ben Gulbranson took over under center for the Beavers, in what was the first meaningful action of his young college career. Facing a talented and stingy Utah defense, Gulbranson managed to throw for 177 yards, but was also picked off twice.  

The lopsided score does not entirely reflect Saturday’s game. The Beavers were able to stay close with the Utes until late in the third quarter, when a red-zone interception significantly shifted the game’s momentum.  

One of the biggest moments in the entire contest came early on. With 7:21 to play in the first quarter, Chance Nolan attempted to make a difficult outside throw to senior wideout Tre’Shaun Harrison. Sophomore defensive back Clark Phillips was ready for it. Phillips jumped the route to get the interception, before returning it 38 yards to the house.  

Despite the early offensive struggles, the Beavers didn’t go away easily. Both of Gulbranson’s first two drives ended in field goals, and the game went into halftime with Utah leading 21-13.

After Utah extended their lead to 12 with 6:18 to play in the third quarter, Ben Gulbranson threw an interception in the end zone as the Beavers were attempting to make it a one-score game. A few plays later, sophomore receiver Devaughn Vele took a screen pass for a touchdown, extending the Utes’ lead to 19.  

As a team, the Utes rushed 31 times for 162 yards. Junior quarterback Cam Rising was efficient through the air, going 19/25 for 199 yards and three touchdowns. Devaughn Vele had a monster game, making 7 catches for 93 yards and a touchdown.  

For the Beavers, senior Tre’Shaun Harrison and redshirt sophomore Anthony Gould both had five receptions, going for 96 and 79 yards, respectively. Junior halfback Deshaun Fenwick led the Beavers on the ground with ten carries for 44 yards.  

With the result, Oregon State drops to 3-2 on the season and 0-2 in PAC 12 play. However, the road ahead certainly seems less treacherous for the Beavers, after they started out their conference slate taking on two highly ranked teams.  

Next up, the Beavers will travel to Palo Alto to take on the Stanford Cardinal. The game time is scheduled for 8 p.m. on ESPN.