POST-SPRING ANALYSIS: Quarterback

THERE WAS NO quarterback controversy this spring, something Mike Riley made clear at every opportunity. But Cody Vaz played well backing up Sean Mannion, and a rising receiver corps could help Mannion put up some big numbers this season. But some things still have to occur before that happens.

Andrew Kilstrom covered all of the 15 spring practices for BF.C. We asked him to lend some of his observations about the Beavers' quarterbacks coming out of spring drills.

Sean Mannion
I hate to say it but he didn't really have a great camp. Mannion was steady for the most part, but I thought Vaz outplayed him. There is, however, no QB controversy -- Mannion is your unquestioned starter per Mike Riley.

And Mannion played better in first half, and that's important to note. One thing Mannion did do well all spring long -- the deep ball. Mannion threw great deep passes the entire spring.

But he still has problems with reading coverages, and throwing into double coverage. If Mannion can improve his pre-snap reads, and more accurately and consistently determine them whether it's a disguised coverage or not, that will go a long way towards lowering his mistakes.

Last year Mannion threw into double coverages a lot. Everyone expected him to improve this spring. And he did. But only slightly, not by the large margin fans were expecting.

Still, Mannion did throw for 3,328 yards, a school record for a freshman, last year. And spring is the time to experiment and work on different things -- development is a process. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Mannion come out firing on all cylinders in fall camp.

Cody Vaz
He had a really good spring. And Mike Riley says he has two No. 1 guys. If Mannion were to, say, turn an ankle and miss a second half, Riley says he'd be more than comfortable putting Vaz in and you could see why this spring.

What sets Vaz apart is his accuracy. He can not only thread the needle but he hits guys on the play side. The receivers don't have to stop or reach back, they catch it in stride and on the play side.

He also showed good recognition and went through his progressions well.

Vaz doesn't throw deep ball as well as Mannion, he doesn't have what would be called a cannon. But again, he's accurate. Accuracy his biggest plus – those passes inside 30 yards.

Jack Lomax and Richie Harrington did okay this spring. They're not really challenging in the mix right now with Mannion and Vaz far ahead of them. The receivers for OSU look like they can do some serious damage this season -- they could put up some huge numbers if Mannion can improve his decision making and if the o-line improves. Any quarterback can look like a Heisman contender if he has oodles of time, something that wasn't the case this spring. The Beav o-line looked porous for most of the spring, but finished on a strong note the last few practices. How much of that was the Beav d-line and how much was the o-line -- that's the question. It should also be noted that the Beaver secondary played well this spring, and Mannion and the Beavs could find more success against lesser defensive backfields.


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