A Sean Mannion or Cody Vaz decision was needed one more time this year.
And the answer is Vaz.
Oregon State football coach Mike Riley named Vaz as his starting quarterback Saturday for the Alamo Bowl against Texas after the last practice in Corvallis before the team left for San Antonio.
“It was a tough decision, but that’s a good thing," Riley said. “You try to mix everything that separates it. We not only used two weeks of bowl practice but mixed in what we thought went on in the season. I have to stress we are choosing between good, not good and bad."
Vaz began the season as the backup, but he and Mannion traded starts due to injury.
Mannion finished the season starting the last three games, while Vaz healed from an ankle injury.
“I’m just really excited," Vaz said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity. It’s a big-time bowl and a great opponent."
Mannion didn’t stick around after practice for comment, but Riley said he was naturally disappointed.
Neither Vaz nor Mannion had a clue who would start until Saturday morning when offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Danny Langsdorf told them separately. They split time equally the past two weeks in practice until Saturday.
“It’s somewhat a roller coaster (ride)," Vaz said. “You have to prepare no matter what. I try to prepare myself like I’m playing."
Vaz is 3-1 as a starter. He has completed 94 of 157 passes for 1,286 yards, 11 touchdowns and one interception, and has a 150.5 passer rating.
Does this mean Vaz is the starter from now on? Vaz is a junior and Mannion a sophomore.
Riley wouldn’t say.
“He is (the starter) for right now," Riley said. “These guys will continue to play on this team. We don’t have to think further than this game."
Notes: Redshirt freshmen safety Peter Ashton, defensive end Lavonte Barnett and defensive tackle Ali’i Robbins are academically ineligible for the bowl game. None played significantly. ... Starting slot receiver Kevin Cummings fell hard on the back of his head in the middle of Saturday’s practice and sat out the rest of the way. He said he was fine but OSU was being cautious with him.