Head coach Mike Riley confirmed that Mannion would be the starter after Wednesdays practice. Mannion has not started a game since Oct. 27th when he threw four interceptions against the Washington Huskies. Cody Vaz had been starting ever since, but injured his ankle in last Saturday’s game and has not been able to practice all week.
Mannion was the starter in the first four games of the season before tearing his meniscus. He was forced to miss two games because of the injury before returning against the Huskies. After a rough performance against Washington he was benched in favor of Vaz. Mannion has thrown for over 1,500 yards in 2012 along with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Vaz, a junior, has been impressive since taking over as the signal-caller. He has thrown for eight touchdowns and just one pick this season, and has racked up over 1,000 yards passing.
Mannion is only a sophomore, but his leadership skills have made him a team captain. He did get into the game for one play last week when Vaz went down, and said he doesn’t feel timing will be an issue for this week’s contest. Riley shared how impressed he was with Mannion’s attitude while he was on the bench. He said Mannion handled the disappointment very well, and took the practice time to work on his mechanics and prepared to play as if he was the starter. On Saturday he will get a chance to reclaim his job.
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