Oregon State Has Pieces To Give #12 Utah A Good Fight

Sep 30, 2022, 3:45 PM | Updated: 3:47 pm
Jonathan Smith - Oregon State vs. USC...
Oregon State Beavers head coach Jonathan Smith during a college football game between the Oregon State Beavers against the USC Trojans on September 25, 2021, at United Airlines Field at The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA.(Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY- Oregon State put everyone in the Pac-12 on notice last weekend against #7 USC that they aren’t the “cute little brother” that can be picked on anymore. The Utes know this all too well, falling to the Beavers 42-31 last season at Reser Stadium. Oregon State has the pieces to give #12 Utah a good fight if they are allowed to.

This year Utah hosts OSU at Rice-Eccles Stadium, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Yes, Oregon State has typically performed better at home, and yes, RES is a hard place to play, but the Beavers have done the work to be competitive. A lackadaisical effort from the Utes that allows OSU to get into the game could pose a problem that Utah doesn’t want to have to try and  solve.

An Overlook Of The 2022 Oregon State Beavers

Head coach Jonathan Smith has done wonders for the Beavers since taking the job in 2018. A favorite son of Oregon State from his quarterbacking days (1998-2001) under legendary College Football Hall Of Fame coach Dennis Erickson, Smith has breathed new life into a program that was getting left behind.

As the head coach of Oregon State, Smith’s record is 19-21 and steadily improving by the year. Smith has helped to make Corvallis a hard place for visiting teams to play and the list of victims (and almost victims) has steadily grown over the years.

In 2022, Smith has helped to lead the Beavers to a 3-1 start with their only loss so far coming to (at the time) #7 USC in a very close 17-14 battle. Surely disappointed in that result OSU will be looking to bounce back against #12 Utah and are capable of making things interesting.

OSU’s Playmakers

Leading the charge on the field is junior quarterback Chance Nolan. Nolan can be a mixed bag when it comes to his play, sometimes he’s downright brilliant, and other times he makes you want to cry. Still, he’s been a large part of the Beaver’s recent success and will certainly be a big factor against the Utes come Saturday.

So far this season, Nolan has thrown for 910 total yards, seven touchdowns, six interceptions and has a QBR 78.9%. While not take-your-breath away stats, Nolan posses a threat if not kept in check.

Oregon State is particularly known for their ability to run the ball and despite BJ Baylor and Jermar Jefferson having graduated, this remains largely true in 2022. The Beavers will be without one of their running weapons in Trey Lowe for Saturday’s match. However, Georgia Tech transfer Jam Griffin appears to be coming into his own. Against USC, Griffin pieced together 12 runs for 84 yards and a touchdown.

Much like the Utes, Oregon State will be going without their star tight end in Luke Musgraves this Saturday. They do have a wide receiver in Anthony Gould however, who can make things interesting catching passes, running sweeps, and returning punts.

Defensively, Oregon State has mostly been causing problems with their experienced secondary in 2022, though their run defense seems to have improved from the start of the season as well. Defensive back Kitan Oladapo leads the team in tackles with 29 total on the season. Fellow defensive back Jaydon Grant is leading the team in takeaways with two interceptions so far in 2022.

Finally, known as the “Jack Hammer”, linebacker Jack Colletto is a guy that can do a little bit of everything for the Beavers if they need him to. While he only has 11 total tackles on the year, Colletto is so much more than that stat. Colletto also spends time at running back for Oregon State and has been a proven commodity on both sides of the ball for Smith and Company when needed.

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Oregon State Has Pieces To Give #12 Utah A Good Fight