It appears Oregon State football coach Jonathan Smith won’t name a starting quarterback until sometime during fall camp in August.
For Jake Luton, who was the starter at times the past two seasons until injuries disrupted those plans, it’s nothing new.
“I mean this is my sixth year and all six years I’ve been in a quarterback competition until like the last week into the games,” Luton said Saturday after the Beavers spring game. “So it’s kind of what I’m used to at this point.”
Luton has had a solid spring and capped it off by completing 6 of 9 passes for 94 yards on Saturday.
Tristan Gebbia, a transfer from Nebraska who participated on the scout team last season while he sat out, was 7 for 14 for 67 yards and a 4-yard touchdown to Champ Flemings.
Both played for the Orange team, which was victorious over the Black team, 27-7, in Saturday’s scrimmage.
“I think Luton continues to be sharp,” Smith said. “He had a couple of even movement plays where he continued to show he’s changed his body a little bit. I thought Tristan operated pretty well.”
Luton was part of one of the big plays of the scrimmage, connecting with Jesiah Irish for 42-yards to the 1-yard line. Luton credited Irish with making the play on a ball he said was under thrown.
“We rep it almost every day at practice,” Irish said. “It just comes with confidence with Jake, with Tristan, with everyone. We just have to have that confidence, that trust and hopefully we’ll get it.”
Smith said the ability to convert plays like that — Aidan Willard had a similar play, a 44-yard strike to Ralph Taufa’asau for the Black team — is something the Beavers didn’t convert as often as they would have liked.
“Any time you can push the ball down the field it really helps out everything,” Smith said.” Obviously you get it for a 50-yard gain but (also) everything underneath (with) the threat of going deep. We’re making strides offensively to create some of that.”
Both Gebbia and Luton had positive things to say about each other.
“Jake’s a great guy to be around all the time,” Gebbia said. “He’s got a lot of experience obviously so he gives me some pointers and I try to help him as much as I can. But he’s been around the game a while so he’s a professional for sure.”
Added Luton: “I think Tristan is a great player. To come in like he has and being a scout team guy all last year is tough, that’s always a tough spot. So in spring ball to already be where he’s at mentally and physically, too, I think he’s done a fantastic job.”
Irish, who had five catches for 81 yards, was asked if he has a better connection with either signal caller.
“I don’t,” he said. “Honestly, I’m going to run out there, run my route and try to make the best of my ability to catch the ball and whoever it is I’m going to go get the ball for that person.”
Running back B.J. Baylor, who had two rushing touchdowns Saturday, said it will be a tough call.
“They are both very good quarterbacks," he said. "I feel like it’s going to be very hard to pick one of them because they come in, work hard and focus every day.”