Cody Vaz led Oregon State to one of the top turnarounds in college football this season. He replaced Sean Mannion after the fourth game and ended up leading the Beavers to a No. 13 national ranking and a Valero Alamo Bowl appearance.
One of the main reasons Vaz was brought in to replace Mannion was due to Mannion becoming turnover prone and Vaz possessing better ball security. To the coaches credit, Vaz only threw one interception after he was named the starter but in Oregon State’s 31-27 loss to Texas in the Alamo Bowl Vaz was not his usual self.
Vaz was extremely ineffective as he turned the ball over three times, throwing two interceptions and fumbling once. He also tweaked an ankle that limited his mobility and it led to Alamo Bowl record 10 sacks by the Texas defense.
Due to his poor play and lack of mobility Oregon State should have benched Vaz in favor of Mannion.
Sure, the Beavers led 20-10 at halftime but they could have been up by more if Vaz didn’t turn the ball over twice in the first quarter. On top of that, Vaz’s third quarter interception quelled any momentum Oregon State was starting to build and it directly led to a Texas scoring drive that shifted the momentum back in the Longhorns’ favor.
Time after time the Texas pass rush got to Vaz and he was unable to scramble away to avoid the sack. Anytime a quarterback becomes immobile he’s just a sitting duck every time he drops back to pass and that’s exactly what happened to Vaz. The Beavers abandoned the run game, why they did is a head-scratcher, and it left Vaz vulnerable.
Meanwhile, Mannion was eagerly standing on the sideline the entire game with his helmet strapped on, ready to get in the game but the coaches never made the move. Mannion spelled Vaz on Oregon State’s second drive of the second quarter and led the Beavers on a five play, 47 yard TD drive to give them a 20-10 lead but he never saw the field again. All Mannion did was hand the ball off on the drive but the change of pace seemed to spark the Beavers.
It just wasn’t Cody Vaz’s day and Oregon State head coach Mike Riley should have realized that and replaced him. Give credit to Texas and their defense but Oregon State should not have lost that game.