On October 8, it was announced that Mannion would be out “indefinitely” due to an undisclosed knee injury. The second year quarterback suffered the injury in Week 6 against Washington State on a hand off.
Mannion was replaced in Week 7 by Cody Vaz—a junior who hadn’t seen an in-game snap since 2010, and was starting for the first time in his career. He traveled to a tough BYU team, and led the Beavers to 5-0 with a 42-24 win over the Cougars.
Mannion went under the knife on October 10, making his eight day recovery seem out of this world.
The 20-year old from Pleasanton, CA, was enjoying a breakout year, completing 63% of his passes for 1,358 yards and seven touchdowns.
It’s been a great followup campaign to a strong first season, where as a redshirt freshman Mannion threw for 3,328 yards and 16 touchdowns.
While the sophomore is dressing down, he will still be playing backup to Vaz—as to not rush his return. But he has been cleared by doctors, and has already returned to practice.
When asked if this was just for appearances, Riley stated that “I don’t let anybody dress down that can’t play in the games.”
Needless to say, Mannion is a catalyst in that offense, with many thinking he had a strong chance of chasing several of Derek Anderson’s passing records set at Oregon State.
While Vaz was able to lead the team past BYU, and should have no trouble against Utah, the return of Mannion is still exciting news.
Starting October 27, the Beavers start their toughest stretch of games, which includes road trips to Washington and Stanford, as well as the penultimate Civil War game against the University of Oregon.
With a new trust in both quarterbacks, Riley has plenty of weapons up his sleeves. While the long time coach prefers to run a pro-style offense, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see both quarterbacks taking snaps down the stretch.
Either way, it’ll be good to have Sean Mannion back.