Oregon State has named its starting quarterback.
Redshirt junior Tristan Gebbia will start for Oregon State in its 2020 home opener against the Washington State Cougars on November 7th, head coach Jonathan Smith announced Saturday afternoon.
“We do feel confident with the depth we have in [the quarterback] room. But at the end of the day, we feel like [Gebbia] gives us the best chance to score some points in Game 1,” Smith said.
Gebbia was told he had won the preseason position battle Friday during a quarterbacks meeting, beating out Junior College transfer Chance Nolan, freshman Ben Gulbranson, and redshirt junior Nick Moore.
As a four-star high school recruit, Gebbia originally enrolled at Nebraska before losing a quarterback battle as a redshirt freshman and transferring to Corvallis.
As a redshirt sophomore, the 6'2", 201-pound quarterback backed up now-Jacksonville Jaguars QB Jake Luton which Smith said gave him an advantage when trying to win the starting job this season. Unlike Nolan and Gulbranson, Gebbia has spent two years in Jonathan Smith's offensive system and it has shown throughout camp.
“He’s able to move the ball the majority of the time anytime we put them in a scrimmage situation,” added Smith.
Among those scrimmage situations was an event at Reser Stadium that was open to the media to watch. With Gebbia under center, the offense performed well, including a 13-play, 98-yard drive which impressed the Oregon State head coach.
“Without watching the tape, I did feel like he was pretty efficient,” Smith said. “[Gebbia] didn’t miss much out there. Moved the ball really well. I think he played as well as he has all camp.”
The Beavers opener against Washington State will be Gebbia's second career start after he had to fill in for an injured Jake Luton in the 2019 season finale versus Oregon. He finished the game 26 of 40 for 243 yards along with 25 rushing yards in the Beavers 24-10 defeat.
Now with an offseason under his belt as the presumed guy, Gebbia cannot wait to lead the Beavers this season, but made sure to note "the work is nowhere near done yet."
Oregon State hosts Washington State on Saturday, November 7th at 7:30 p.m. PT.