Sean Mannion To Start Saturday; Plus OSU Bumps And Bruises Report

Sean Mannion will be back in action for Oregon St. Saturday in Seattle against Washington. - (Photo by Andy Wooldridge)

As we reported earlier, after taking one last look in today's practice to make sure there were no problems, Oregon St. head coach Mike Riley announced that quarterback Sean Mannion will start Saturday night in Seattle against Washington.

Mannion was the backup last Saturday night against BYU, but wasn't needed, as Cody Vaz, who made the only 2 starts Mannion missed after having arthroscopic surgery to clean up damage to the meniscus in his left knee, led Oregon St. to the 21-7 win.

But with a clean bill of health, Mannion is back in the starting lineup for the game against the Huskies, with Vaz as a capable backup.

"It's a tough decision to make," Riley said, "but obviously, we feel great about our quarterback situation.''

Mannion will need his offensive line to be healthy as well, which wasn't the case on Monday, though Riley doesn't expect the problems to persist. Left guard Josh Andrews took practice, which was moved inside the Truax center due to heavy weather outside, off to rest a sore ankle, and right tackle Collin Kelly, who is under the weather, also missed practice.

Cornerback and punt returner Jordan Poyer practiced, but had a soft cast on his right wrist. Poyer landed hard on his wrist early in the Utah game, and though he finished the game, the wrist was still swollen and sore today.

Riley cited Poyer's decision making, which is the main reason he's the punt returner over some faster Beavers, as part of the reason for the win over Utah.

"We really won the field position game because Keith Kostol who punted the ball real well into their end, and Jordan making good choices, and not letting it roll on short kicks,'' Riley said.

Poyer expects to play Saturday as well, but he might have to turn over punt return duties to Markus Wheaton, who has kick return experience, if the wrist continues to hamper Poyer's ability to catch the ball.

One other Beaver, defensive end Dylan Wynn, who had a fumble recovery in the win over Utah, also missed practice, but Riley indicated there are no worries. Wynn was having a wisdom tooth removed, and is expected back tomorrow.
"I don't think that will stop him," Riley quipped.
Oregon St.'s ability to keep the bumps and bruises minor, and the players on the field, is as big a reason as any behind the turnaround from last year's 3-9 campaign, when the Beavers had the 4th most missed games in the country, and their 6-0 start to this season.

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