After a near-upset of then-No. 7 Southern Cal, Oregon State will have another opportunity for a statement victory within the Pac-12 this Saturday but must do so on the road against No. 12 Utah.
The Beavers (3-1, 0-1) lost 17-14 to the Trojans last week while the Utes (3-0, 1-0) opened conferenceplay with a 34-13 victory at Arizona State.
Oregon State could not overcome the four interceptions thrown by Chance Nolan against Southern Cal. His last interception came on the Beavers' final possession at their 46-yard line.
"You play quarterback and have a couple errors, those stand out," Oregon State coach Jonathan Smith said. "We've got to be able to be smarter with the football."
Nolan was hit by a Southern Cal defender while passing on three of the four interceptions.
"We've got to protect him better," Smith said. "Also need to understand the situation. Sometimes a sack is better than an interception."
Utah was triumphant at Arizona State in the Sun Devils' first game without terminated coach Herm Edwards, but the Utes suffered a major blow when all-conference tight end candidate Brant Kuithe went down with a season-ending lower-leg injury.
In 51 career games, Kuithe caught 148 passes for 1,882 yards and 16 touchdowns. He ranks eighth overall in school history in receptions, marking the most by a Utah tight end since 1996. This season, Kuithe led the Utes in catches (19) and was No. 2 in receiving yards (206), with three touchdowns.
"That's a big blow for our offense," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. "He was a huge part of what we do offensively. ... We'll miss him. He's a great leader and a great person. It breaks your heart to see something like that happen to a senior."
Whittingham mentioned that Kuithe is within the four-game redshirting window (one-third of the season) and has the option to return for a fifth season.
Dalton Kincaid, who caught two touchdown passes against Arizona State, becomes the No. 1 tight end. He has 16 receptions for 240 yards with four touchdowns this season.
Two matters of concern for Oregon State include the Utes' pass rush and rushing defense.
Nolan struggled when he was under pressure from the Trojans' defensive line, as Oregon State rushed for a season-low 153 yards against them.
Utah, meantime, sacked Arizona State's Emory Jones five times, two by Gabe Reid. The Utes held Arizona State to 6 rushing yards.
The Beavers often rotate running backs Deshaun Fenwick, Jam Griffin and Damien Martinez, who have accounted for 499 yards rushing and seven TDs in the four games.
"Early in the game, we do like to get a little rotation going so they cannot get worn out in the second half, if we get a guy with a hot hand," Smith said. "I don't think it's a hindrance. If a guy continues to separate the next three, four games, then we'll have the one back. But we feel good with all three guys."
--Field Level Media