The Beavers went into preseason camp with a three-way competition at quarterback.
But Tristan Gebbia, who started last season but suffered a serious hamstring injury that required surgery, is dealing with soreness and is unavailable. Nolan was his backup last season.
Sam Noyer, who transferred to Oregon State after starting for Colorado last season, struggled in the opener against Purdue and was replaced by Nolan late in the third quarter.
“He didn’t bat an eye in regards to his prep through the summer and fall camp, knowing it was a competition going on,” Oregon State coach Jonathan Smith said. “We talked about it during fall camp, how close it was. That guy just kept plugging away, and he was totally prepared for this first start.”
On Idaho’s side is Mike Beaudry, a graduate transfer from Connecticut who threw for 186 yards and two touchdowns in a 56-14 loss at Indiana last weekend. Beaudry has been competing for the starting nod with freshman CJ Jordan.
Coach Paul Petrino told reporters this week he thought Beaudry was better suited for the game against the Hoosiers, and that Jordan should see playing time against the Beavers.
“They’ll both play this week and they’ll both play this weekend and we’ll look forward to them both playing better,” Petrino said.
Oregon State running back B.J. Baylor leads the Pac-12 with five rushing touchdowns this season. His two multiple-touchdown games are the first for the Beavers since Jermar Jefferson in 2018.
Baylor ran for a career-high 171 yards and three touchdowns against Hawaii.
While Oregon State has favored a running-back-by-committee approach with Baylor, Deshaun Fenwick and Trey Lowe, it was obvious Baylor was on a roll against Hawaii.
“He was the hot hand and we were going to stick with that. I think the other thing besides all of his yards and getting explosive runs is he did a good job in protection, Smith said. ”B.J. had a couple of pickups against pressure that allowed Chance to make throws down the field. He had a complete game.”
Big Sky teams have pulled off several upsets of FBS teams this season. The biggest was Montana’s 13-7 victory at then-No. 20 Washington in its opener. UC Davis bested Tulsa 19-17, and Eastern Washington beat UNLV 35-33.
Idaho hasn’t defeated a Power Five school since 2000.