The #13 ranked Oregon State Beavers returned to the practice field on Monday after suffering their first loss of the 2012 season. With both Sean Mannion and Cody Vaz seeing action at Century Link Field in Seattle on Saturday, questions swirled as to who would start against the Sun Devils this week. Riley made the decision after practice today.
Junior Cody Vaz got the nod after splitting time in practice with the first team with Mannion today. While no determination has been made for the season, Vaz will be the starter on Saturday night when the Beavers line up to play Arizona State.
"Cody is going to start," Riley said today after practice. "Obviously it is not easy, but you have to look at the integrity of competition and you try to make a decision that is best for the team right this minute. I think it is obvious we think Cody is playing a little better right now and deserves the start."
Looking at the numbers, through five games Mannion is 125-203 (61.6%) with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions. In three games (two full games and two series), Vaz is 43-69 (62.3%) with four touchdowns and no interceptions.
Mannion suffered a torn meniscus three weeks ago when the Beavers took on Washington State in Corvallis. He underwent surgery, but was back practicing with the team a week later. While the completion percentage is very similar for both quarterbacks, Mannion has thrown seven interceptions over his last two outings, a disturbing trend for a team still in the hunt for a Rose Bowl berth.
Looking at the numbers from Mannion's last two starts, he is 43-76 (56.6% completion percentage) with two touchdowns and seven interceptions. Vaz was 36-58 (62.1%) with three touchdowns and no interceptions in his two starts this season against BYU and Utah.
Riley did not say what his plan was going forward, but Mannion will continue to battle and heal to regain the starting spot. The coach has said all along that he believes that he has two capable starting quarterbacks and it has been proven this season.