It didn’t matter that Sean Mannion, who was the only quarterback to record passing stats for Oregon State this season, was out with a knee injury today against BYU. The 10th-ranked Beavers still went into Provo and came away with a 42-24 win.
Coach Mike Riley didn’t change the game plan much, either. Cody Vaz, Mannion’s understudy, threw for 332 yards and three scores in his first career start. That deserves credit. Riley clearly had a lot of trust in his backup QB and didn’t feel the need to hold Vaz’s hand against a good opponent. Vaz was obviously prepared and went out and executed.
This game has to give a lot of confidence for the junior as well. At 5-0, the Beavers host Utah next and have a relatively tough remaining conference schedule. With Mannion out indefinitely, it was important for Vaz to get off to a good start.
Besides, In-N-Out burgers are still the best incentive I’ve seen this year to get players to want to win.