Oregon State quarterback Chance Nolan returned to practice Monday in a limited fashion, but the likelihood is Ben Gulbranson will start Friday at Washington.
Nolan, out since Oct. 1 after suffering a neck injury against Utah that also placed him in concussion protocol, was “limited, didn’t do the whole thing” during Monday’s workout, said OSU coach Jonathan Smith.
Nolan started the first five games this season for Oregon State, and had a streak of 17 consecutive starts prior to the injury in Salt Lake City. Gulbranson has started the past three games, all Oregon State wins.
“Where it’s at today, it would be Ben. But we’ll see how (Nolan) responds,” Smith said.
Gulbranson, a third-year freshman, is 61 of 99 for 818 yards through the air, with five touchdowns and three interceptions. Nolan, a fifth-year junior, is 66 of 111 for 939 yards, with seven touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Oregon State’s national ranking: The Beavers were part of the AP Top 25 for the first time in nine years Sunday, landing at No. 24.
The ranking is not going to win or lose a game for Oregon State, but it’s an honor that didn’t go unnoticed by the Beavers.
“It’s a recognition of the work these guys have put in and the progress we’re making,” Smith said. “But we’re definitely into postseason rankings.”
Injury updates: Left guard Marco Brewer is out for the season after leaving the Oct. 24 game against Colorado with an undisclosed injury. Smith said Brewer would be sidelined for a couple months.
Smith said safety Alton Julian’s knee “wasn’t recovering the way we want,” and they’ve shut him down for the season. Julian had ACL surgery last October after a midseason injury.
Kicker Everett Hayes, who has missed the past three games with a groin injury, practiced Monday. Smith said they’d go through the week before making a decision on PAT and field goal kicks between Hayes and Atticus Sappington.
Tight end Luke Musgrave (knee) is unlikely to play the rest of the regular season. Musgrave has yet to announce a decision as to whether his college career is finished and headed to prepping for the NFL draft. Running back Trey Lowe did some light work Monday, but he’s unlikely to play against Washington.
Big stakes Friday: This is the most significant Washington-Oregon State game since 2000 in terms of records. Both teams are 6-2, with each having a chance to win 10 or more games this season. OSU hasn’t had a record of this magnitude heading into a game against Washington since 2012, when the Beavers were 6-0 and lost 20-17 to a 3-4 Husky team.
In 2000, Oregon State was 4-0 and Washington 3-1 when the Huskies won 33-30 in Seattle. Both teams finished the year among the country’s top 10.
Oregon State must deal with a Washington passing game that leads the Pac-12 in several categories. The Huskies have completed 125 passes for at least 10 yards, best in the country. Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. is a high-percentage passer with a half-dozen capable receivers.
“It’s all of it: quarterback, protection, big-time receivers and great scheme,” Smith said.
Briefly: Oregon State got in some work during Monday’s wet weather, which could prove helpful Friday. The Beavers have yet to play a game this season on a wet field. … Kickoff time for Oregon State’s home game against California on Nov. 12 remains unknown, as the Pac-12′s TV partners opted to put four of the five games from that day into the six-day window. OSU will know kickoff time and television information by Sunday.
–Nick Daschel | firstname.lastname@example.org | @nickdaschel