That game was too frustrating. Mannion got off to too slow of a start then looked better early in the 2nd half on two consecutive drives. Tough decision whether to take the field goal off the board or not when it would have been 4th and 1 from around the 13 or 12 yard line. I was mostly hoping they would go for it but didn’t mind the tie either. The decision to bring in Vaz with not much more than half the final quarter to go was deserved but too late. 4 picks was plain too sloppy. Vaz would not have had more than 1. In hindsight I think Vaz would have managed this game better. He had some growth as Riley says during the last two weeks in leading the team to big wins and, beside getting maybe a few balls knocked down, right now he seems to manage the game better.
Mannion’s main slight advantage is probably when both Cooks and Wheaton are in full force. With Wheaton removed, Vaz became more attractive in my opinion. If we didn’t have too much controversy at QB before, I now think we do. The case can be made for Cody as much as Mannion. Had he come back and won that game, I would have been fine saying this is now Cody’s team. What I did not like was that we handled the final seconds as poorly as USC. All we needed was 8 more yards after the completion to Cooks and we would have been in field goal range. We had 2 timeouts left and then made poor tactical decisions. The Huskies would have given up the short 6-7 yard out play in that situation. Vaz missed an opportunity to find a short cross route right after that as the throw would have gone close to a ref. Had he thrown it, the play would have gone for 10+ yards most likely and the game would have almost for sure ended with a makeable field goal try for OSU.
In my pregame writeup I said it was critical that OSU not have drives stall around the 35 yard line which is such a waste. Tonight they had 3-4 drives stall in this area including the final drive which started out so promising. After this game it is a confusing time for Beaver Nation. Are you Team Sean or Team Cody for ASU? My lean is Team Cody and hoping that game helps him get ready for the remainder of the season. Oregon State now has to fight to get to a Holiday Bowl or better, while had we won, it would have been hard not to accomplish a new high bowl mark under Riley.
My Fansided Top 25 ballot:
1. Oregon 2. Alabama 3. Kansas State 4. Notre Dame 5. LSU 6. Ohio State 7. Georgia 8. Florida 9. Florida State 10. Clemson 11. Louisville 12. Oregon State 13. Texas A&M 14. USC 15. Oklahoma 16. South Carolina 17. Mississippi St. 18. Stanford 19. Texas Tech 20. West Virginia 21. Boise State 22. Oklahoma St. 23. Nebraska 24. UCLA 25. Arizona