Ryan Katz

Ex-LSU QB Stephen Rivers interested in Aztecs

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Depending on how things play out over the next couple of weeks, there could be a pair of Rivers flowing through Qualcomm Stadium this year.

During a radio interview Wednesday, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports, San Diego State head coach Rocky Long confirmed that (almost) former LSU quarterback Stephen Rivers, in a roundabout way, has an interest in transferring to his Aztecs football program.

“There’s been some inquiries from people who know people who know people about whether we’d be interested,” Long said of Rivers. “We’d be interested.”

The 6-7, 223-pound Rivers is the younger brother of San Diego Chargers starting quarterback Philip Rivers, and the opportunity to play in the same city — and the same stadium — appears to appeal to all sides involved.  One potential hangup could be a scholarship, or lack thereof, as Long also confirmed there are none currently available, meaning Rivers would have to become a walk-on if he wanted to transfer to the Aztecs.

Long, though, was quick to note both Ryan Katz and Quinn Kaehler were walk-ons at the position the last two years and started, with the former coming in as a graduate transfer from Oregon State.

“We play the best guys. We could care less if they’re scholarshipped or not,” the coach, who already has five scholarship quarterbacks on his roster, said.

Rivers, a three-star members of the Tigers’ 2011 recruiting class, will graduate in May from LSU and be eligible to play immediately in 2014. He will also have two years of eligibility remaining. Part of the reason for Rivers’ transfer, which his father confirmed last week, is that he was set to be a part of a five-player quarterback competition, which is similar to the situation into which he would enter if he moves on to the Aztecs.

Other programs that have been mentioned in connection to the Athens, Ala., product include Hawaii, Tennessee and North Carolina State, his older brother’s alma mater.

Mannion gets the nod over Vaz as Beavers’ QB

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The parade of quarterback announcements continues Monday, with Oregon State the latest to officially hitch their cart to a player at that position.

Following a lengthy competition with few hints, head coach Mike Riley announced Monday that Sean Mannion will be the starter against Eastern Washington in the opener.  Mannion won the job over Cody Vaz, the former’s competition since the spring of last year.

According to the Corvallis Gazette-Times, there’s no specific plan in place to play both quarterbacks in the opener, but that Vaz “will be ready to go as always.”  Riley then added that “[i]t’s great to have both of these guys.”

And both those guys it was in 2012.

Mannion, who ended up starting most of 2011 over Ryan Katz, started the first four games last season before sustaining a knee injury. Vaz then filled in, and won, the next two games for the Beavers before Mannion made his return in a loss to Washington. That prompted Vaz to return to the top of the depth chart against Arizona State, but an ankle injury the following game against Stanford put Mannion back in charge of the offense. Vaz then was given the nod in Oregon State’s appearance in the Alamo Bowl against Texas.

So, yes, this has been a quarterback seesaw that’s gone on for the better part of a year.

Ultimately, Mannion passed for 2,446 yards with 15 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 10 games (eight starts) last year; Vaz had 1,480 yards passing, 11 touchdowns and three picks in seven appearances (five starts).

Mannion, Vaz will keep battling for QB job at Oregon State

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Oregon State finished 2012 with a solid 9-4 record with Sean Mannion and Cody Vaz (pictured) splitting time at quarterback. Though both proved capable of winning games last season, Mike Riley has said he plans to go with one as soon as one separates himself from the other.

Riley will have to wait a little longer. Mannion and Vaz each played one series in the Beavers’ spring game on Friday, and it appears the competition will continue into fall camp. Officially  Mannion went 8-of-11 for 67 yards and a pick, while Vaz went 4-of-6 for 59 yards on a drive that ended in a 1-yard touchdown run.

I thought it was good,” Riley said of the spring game. “We got out of it what we wanted to. But we’ve still got to get better.”

Mannion, who ended up starting most of 2011 over Ryan Katz, started the first four games last season before sustaining a knee injury. Vaz then filled in, and won, the next two games for the Beavers before Mannion made his return in a loss to Washington. That prompted Vaz to return to the top of the depth chart against Arizona State, but an ankle injury the following game against Stanford put Mannion back in charge of the offense. Vaz then was given the nod in Oregon State’s appearance in the Alamo Bowl against Texas.

Ultimately, Mannion passed for 2,446 yards with 15 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 10 games last year; Vaz had 1,480 yards passing, 11 touchdowns and three picks in seven appearances.

Fractured ankle likely costs Aztecs Katz for rest of season

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Unfortunately for San Diego State, their late-night upset of Nevada came with about as steep of a price tag as a team can have at this level.

Very early in the win, starting quarterback Ryan Katz went down with what was later diagnosed as a fractured left ankle.  Suffice to say, with less than a month and a half left, his regular season is likely over.

Whether the senior would be available for an Aztec bowl game, should they qualify, remains up in the air.

“We feel really bad about Ryan going out, and he is probably out for the rest of the season,” head coach Rocky Long said according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Katz transferred to SDSU from Oregon State this offseason after losing his starting job to Sean Mannion, who, ironically enough, is currently suffering from his own injury issue.

With Katz likely lost for the remainder of the regular season, the Aztecs will likely turn to Adam Dingwell the rest of the way.  Dingwell passed for 177 yards and three touchdowns after replacing an injured Katz, playing a significant role in the 39-38 overtime win.

Instead of basking in the glow of the program’s biggest win in years, though, Dingwell’s thoughts were with the man he replaced.

“That’s a terrible thing to happen to Ryan, especially in his senior season. My heart just goes out to him and his family and I hope he can recover as soon as possible,” the new starter said. “He’s had such a good season, he’s been a great leader for us. I couldn’t be more upset for him.”

Oregon State’s starting QB out indefinitely from knee surgery

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Cracking the Associated Press‘ top 10 after Week 6 demonstrates just how far Oregon State has come under Mike Riley after a pair of down years. Certainly not the only reason, but a big one nevertheless, has been the improvement of quarterback Sean Mannion.

However, the injury bug has struck the Beavers once again in a major way. Riley announced Monday that Mannion will be out indefinitely to recovery from knee surgery. Mannion sustained the injury during Saturday’s win against Washington State, but the extent of it isn’t known.

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.”

Suffice to say, this is a tremendous blow with a road game at BYU coming up this Saturday. Mannion is the only quarterback to have recorded any passing stats this season. Junior Cody Vaz and freshman Brent VanderVeen are the other scholarship quarterbacks on roster. Vaz would in all likelihood get the start for Oregon State. One-time starter Ryan Katz has transferred to San Diego State.