Oregon State coach Mike Riley let Sean Mannion and Cody Vaz compete for the starting job this offseason, and both players didn’t make it easy on their head coach. However, Riley has picked Mannion as the Beavers’ starting quarterback, with Vaz expected to serve in the backup role.
Mannion was Oregon State’s quarterback through the first four games of last season but was sidelined due to injury. In the first four games, Mannion had seven touchdowns and four interceptions and threw for 433 yards in a 38-35 win at Arizona.
Vaz started while Mannion was out, leading the Beavers to a road win at BYU and against Utah, but he also missed time later in the year due to injury.
The coaching staff let Mannion and Vaz compete for the starting job in the bowl game, with Vaz eventually getting the starting job. However, Vaz struggled against Texas’ defense, completing 15 of 28 passes for 194 yards and two interceptions.
Mannion needs to cut down on his mistakes, but the junior is the right answer for Oregon State’s offense. Mannion has more talent than Vaz was off to a good start prior to his injury last year.
But if Mannion struggles, the Beavers know Vaz is a capable option.