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Sean Mannion to return as Oregon State's starting quarterback Saturday

By Jerry Hinnen | College Football Writer

Attention, advertising executives of respected West Coast hamburger chain In-N-Out: if you've ever wanted to start a promotional campaign highlighting the recuperative benefits of regular Double-Double consumption, now is the time.

Why? Because the Oregon State Beavers, college football's biggest unofficial In-N-Out proponents, have already welcomed back starting quarterback Sean Mannion. Exactly two weeks after Beavers coach Mike Riley announced that Mannion would undergo knee surgery, Riley had the pleasure of announcing after Monday's practice that the sophomore was practicing again and would be his team's starting quarterback when it plays Washington this Saturday.

"Obviously, we feel great about our quarterback situation," Riley said, per the Oregonian. "It's a tough decision to make."

Under normal circumstances, restoring a quarterback who'd thrown for nearly 340 yards a game and led his team to a surprising 4-0 start with wins over Wisconsin, UCLA and Arizona wouldn't be a tough decision at all. But junior Cody Vaz was stellar in the Beavers' wins over BYU and Utah, throwing for a 3-to-0 touchdown-to-interception ratio and a higher QB rating than Mannion's, 152.4 to 139.7. (That he accomplished that statistical feat despite facing two excellent defenses in the Cougars and Utes makes it even more impressive.)

"I obviously want to be out there, I want to be playing," Vaz said after Riley's announcement. "It's going to be tough, but I'm going to handle it the best I can and try to support Sean."

That support will be a major boost as the Beavers prepare for what might be their toughest game of the season, a trip to Seattle's CenturyLink Field to face a Huskies squad that's already upset Stanford and scared USC at home this season.

But after their 6-0 start, Riley, Mannion, Vaz, and the rest of the Beavers also know they have the tools in place to come out with the win -- and given Mannion's remarkably quick turnaround, maybe some In-N-Out-fueled recovery powers even they didn't know they had.

Photo by Rick Scuteri, US Presswire

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