Oregon State starting quarterback Sean Mannion injured his left knee Saturday against Washington State and will be out this weekend at BYU and for the foreseeable future, coach Mike Riley said after Monday’s practice.

Mannion had an MRI and the plan is for him to have surgery soon. Riley wasn’t specific about the damage and Mannion did not talk to reporters because he went to see a doctor.

He did watch practice with a knee brace on and had a noticeable limp.

“We just found that out this morning,” Riley said. “Sean is not going to play. He’s going to have a surgery and will be out for an undetermined amount of time.”

Mannion was injured handing off the ball to a running back and was not hit. He finished the game and walked off the field without an issue.

Junior Cody Vaz will start Saturday and redshirt freshman walk-on Richie Harrington will be the backup. The other quarterback on the roster is Brent VanderVeen, a freshman the Beavers want to redshirt.

“It’s very disappointed for the young man,” Riley said of Mannion. “He invested a ton and he’s going to miss some time. Like I told him, he’ll be fine. The football stuff happens and you have to live with it. He’ll be back and be fine.”

Mannion had been playing well, leading the Beavers to a No. 10 ranking and the first 4-0 start since 2002. He’s second in the Pac-12 Conference in total offense (324.3 ypg) and fifth in efficiency (139.8 rating).

He is him second in the Pac-12 (339.5 ypg) and has thrown for 1,358 yards and seven touchdowns.

“At first we are bummed out because Sean is a great player and a great leader, but Cody Vaz is a great quarterback,” running back Storm Woods said. “I don’t think we’ll miss a beat. We’ll get ready this week and be ready for BYU.”

Riley remained upbeat about his team’s chances this week and the rest of the season when he made the announcement. He believes the offense will not change with Vaz.

“We are going to win the game with Cody,” Riley said. “Cody is a good quarterback. He has been preparing for this for a long time. He’ll be good and we’ll be ready to go.”

Vaz is in his fourth season with the Beavers, so he knows the system and has looked good in practice. Riley touted him as a second starting-level quarterback in training camp.

However, Vaz has not played in a game since his redshirt freshman season in 2010. He completed 6 of 17 passes for 48 yards in five relief appearances.

“I’m not rattled at all,” receiver Markus Wheaton said. “It hurts losing Sean but we have confidence in Cody. He has a real strong arm, just like Sean. He’s ready to play and he’s confident in himself.”

Vaz learned of his promotion before practice, while the rest of the team found out after practice. He was calm about the situation, but did plan to call his family in Lodi, Calif., to let them know about attending his first start.

“I’m pretty excited to be honest, and it has been a while since I’ve been a starting quarterback,” Vaz said. “I’m looking forward to it. I’m going to practice this week and get better and get ready for the game.”

Mannion was also upbeat during practice. He watched Vaz run the team and took his place signaling in the plays.

“He said he is my No. 1 fan and I’ve been his No. 1 fan this whole time,” Vaz said. “We both support each other. It will be good to have him there with me helping me out.”

Cliff Kirkpatrick covers Oregon State sports for the Gazette-Times. He can be reached at cliff.kirkpatrick@lee.net.

(4) comments

Centralsteve

I remember the play; there was a mixup on which side the ball was to be handed to the RB. Didn't look like much, but, it doesn't take much to tear a cartlidge.

airheart

I am so sorry to hear about Sean. That is terrible news. However, I do wish the best for Cody Vaz (from my hometown of Lodi)!! Make sure to represent now Cody!!!

Glennn739

Two issues. 1) How Bad is the knee? A College athlete with today's surgical procedure and proper rehab can get back from a Cartilage surgery in a matter of weeks. It took me 7 weeks but I was 46 years old. At that age we don't heal so quickly. If it is ligament surgery the season is done.

The other issue is the team. At least on this site I do not see a bunch of pissing and moaning and too bad Beavers. As important a part as Mannion played on the team, it is still a team. I only see Mannion's statical improvement being marginal over last year. The real improvement with this team is the offensive and defensive lines, that A) Pass protecting better, B) Opening holes so that there is a real running game taking place, and C) Improved D line play along with the Dime strategy is working.

Cody Vaz has to A) stay healthy B) Try not to do too much C) Zero pass intercepts or fumbles, that goes for his Running backs as well.

Mannion had a whole season to make mistakes and learn from them over the summer. Cody has no margin for error. He does however, as Mannion had, a super improved team that has not even scratched surface of their potential for this year. The sky is not the limit, lets shoot for the Moon.

Fishwrapper
Fishwrapper

I have no problem with Commander Cody's air, man. It is very much a bummer for Mannion, but we're deep enough to take the hit. Believe!

(And for me to have posted anything that cheerleader-ish about football tells you these kids are something special this year.)

With best regards,

Will Overhead, '33
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