Mannion to start against Golden Bears

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- With Cody Vaz missing practice everyday this week, Mike Riley has named Sean Mannion the starter for this Saturday's game with Cal.

"I'm just excited for the opportunity," says Mannion. "It's been good to be back, and I'm just trying to do everything I can to help the team win."

The last time Mannion started for the Beavers, he threw four interceptions in the loss to the Washington Huskies.

However, in typical Mannion fashion, he says he's spent the past two weeks trying to improve and learn from the sidelines.

"(Danny) Langsdorf talked to me about not trying to do too much," says Mannion. We have a ton of amazing players on this team, so I don't have to try and make the most miraculous play every time."

Some of the "amazing players" surrounding Mannion say he's looked sharp in practice this week.

"It's been a couple of weeks since the injury, so he's not worried about that anymore," says Brandin Cooks. "His ball was on fire this week. They were coming with heat."

Storm Woods agrees, "I know he's going to step in a do his job and throw for 300 (yards) or something like that, like Sean usually does."

Vaz tested out his ankle with a trainer at practice on Thursday. Riley said that Vaz's ankle is improving, but he was unsure if Vaz will be able to backup Mannion this Saturday.