Mannion to start for OSU Saturday

CORVALLIS — Oregon State coach Mike Riley said Monday that Sean Mannion will start at quarterback in Saturday's season finale against Nicholls State, but Cody Vaz probably will play, too.

"I know we'll start Sean, and we'll see from there,'' said Riley, who said he is giving the two-quarterback idea some thought. "If we decide to substitute, it's certainly not for this game — I've been thinking about that for a long time.

"I don't know that we'll do it, but we might. We've got two starting quarterbacks.''

Mannion and Vaz split the reps with the first team fairly evenly at Monday's practice, and Vaz seemed to be moving just fine on his sprained left ankle.

"Nothing changes for me,'' Vaz said. "I just prepare like I always have, and I'll be ready to go.''

Mannion has started the past two games, including the Civil War, partly because Vaz is still recovering from that ankle sprain he suffered at Stanford on Nov. 10.

Riley said there is nothing limiting Vaz this week.

For the season, Vaz is averaging 7.8 yards per throw, Mannion 7.7. Vaz's passer rating is 140.3, Mannion's 133.4. Vaz has completed 57 percent of his passes, Mannion 63 percent.

The Beavers have faced six of the top 27 passing efficiency defenses in the country. Vaz faced three of them (Arizona State, Stanford and BYU), Mannion two (Wisconsin and Oregon).

They split the fifth (Washington), but Vaz (7-for-11 for 97 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions) was more effective than Mannion (18-for-34, 221 yards, one TD, four interceptions) in Seattle.

The glaring number is the interceptions: Vaz has thrown one in 140 attempts; Mannion has nine in 238 throws.

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