Was Tristan Gebbia’s injury malicious? Coach Smith weighs in


The Oregon State Beavers shocked the college football world on Friday when they took down the heavily favored rival Oregon Ducks, 41-38.

The win in the annual rivalry game came at a heavy cost as the team lost starting quarterback Tristan Gebbia in the final minute of the game. 

After attempting to score the go-ahead touchdown with a quarterback sneak, Gebbia came up limping and would leave the game. 

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After the game Coach Jonathan Smith said they expected Gebbia to be just fine, but he was singing a different tune during Monday's press availability. 

"It is significantly more serious than we initially thought after the game," said Smith. "We're gonna gather some more information really today and tomorrow and (we're) hopeful we can get him up to close to full speed by the end of the week and we'll see where that goes."

Smith also confirmed that the injury is to Gebbia's left hamstring.

Should Gebbia not be able to go, the Beavers will likely rely on backup Chance Nolan. Nolan came in for the injured Gebbia and would score the eventual game-winning touchdown.

The win was great, the loss of Gebbia was not. To make matters worse, the injury may have been intentional.

Beavers fans took to social after the game to point out that it appeared Oregon safety Verone McKinley III grabbed, pulled, and twisted Gebbia's leg from the pile.


The video is the Zapruder film of the Oregon-Oregon State rivalry, with fans on both sides analyzing every frame to see what actually happened.

You can see McKinley pull on Gebbia's leg, however, anything other than that is really hard to tell. And if we are being honest, deciphering malicious intent in the middle of a pile is hard to do. Was there intent to pull him short of the goal line? Of course. Was there intent to injure? Doubtful. 

It's a football pile for goodness sake, the source of many a football horror story. If you ask Coach Smith, he will tell you the same thing.

Pressed on the matter in Monday's media availability, Smith would not say the play was malicious.

"I mean, it was definitely a pile. And again, I just want to say, the moment of that play, I mean the game's in the balance. Both sides are gonna do whatever they can to either get a yard or not. It was unfortunate that he wasn't able to finish the game."

So there you have it, Coach Smith is just chalking it up to men playing football.

With the game on the line, bragging rights in one of the biggest rivalry games in the country, players will do anything to win. Don't take it from me, take it from Coach Smith.

Regardless of how it happened, the injury is awful. Gebbia started slow but rounded that game out by having one of his best games as a Beaver. He has slowly progressed from game to game and has proven how valuable he is to the efficiency of the Oregon State offense. 

Without him, it could be a tough go on Saturday against the defensive-minded Utah Utes.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m (PT) at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah.