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Oregon State will start QB Sean Mannion, not Cody Vaz in opener

By Chip Patterson | College Football/Basketball Writer

Oregon State will start Sean Mannion at quarterback in their opener against Eastern Washington. (USATSI)
Oregon State will start Sean Mannion at quarterback in their opener against Eastern Washington. (USATSI)

Oregon State's quarterback competition has come to a close, with Mike Riley naming Sean Mannion the starter for the Beavers' season opener against Eastern Washington on Saturday. Mannion and Cody Vaz shared first-team reps through fall camp, continuing the competition that began out of necessity.

Mannion started the 2012 season, leading the Beavers to a 4-0 start before suffering a knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery. Vaz stepped into the starting role, but an ankle injury for the backup and consistency issues when Mannion returned resulted in the two quarterbacks trading starts down the stretch of Oregon State's 9-4 campaign.

In total, Mannion finished the season with eight starts in 10 games while Vaz appeared in seven games, starting five. Mike Riley did not say whether or not Vaz would play in the opener, just that the senior will be "ready when called upon." According to the Beavers' coach, Mannion's decision-making played a role in earning the starting nod.

"Sean's attributes are obviously his ability to get the ball just about wherever you want on the field," Riley told reporters on Monday. "Along with his knowledge about where we're going and what he should do with the ball."

Offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf told The Oregonian that the staff doesn't want Mannion "looking over his shoulder," but after the quarterback shuffle of 2012 it would not be surprising to see Vaz on the field at some point this year.

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