CORVALLIS — Oregon State's Cody Vaz, who came on in relief of Sean Mannion against Washington, will be the starting quarterback for No. 13 Oregon State against Arizona State on Saturday night, coach Mike Riley said Monday.
Riley made the switch for "the integrity of competition,'' and said, "you try to make the decision that's best for the team right this minute.''
Mannion has thrown seven interceptions in his last two games, including four in 20-17 loss to the Huskies on Saturday.
It'll be Vaz's third start of the season.
After knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus, Mannion sat out wins at BYU and against Utah before returning to face the Washington. But in Seattle, Mannion was benched after throwing the four picks, and Vaz promptly led the Beavers on a game-tying touchdown drive before the comeback fell short.
"It's pretty obvious we think Cody's playing a little bit better right now and deserves to start,'' Riley said.
Mannion offered no excuses and said he and his knee felt fine.
"I practiced the week before and got a ton of film in — there's no excuse,'' Mannion said. "There's a little bit of disappointment, obviously, but at this point, all I can do is just work hard and try to become a better player."
"I'm just going to keep taking care of what I can control and work hard every day," he added. "I'm going to support Cody any way I can. I told him I'm going to support him 100 percent."
Vaz offered similar sentiments.
"We are both supporting each other," he said. "We are in it together. No matter who is playing, we'll help each other out. Whatever it takes to win. We both want to win."
Vaz has completed 43 of 69 passes (62.3) for 603 yards and four touchdowns with an interception. He has a passer-efficiency rating of 154.86.
Mannion has connected on 125 of 203 passes (61.6 percent) for 1,579 yards and eight touchdowns. He's been picked off eight times and has a rating of 132.04.
"Everybody knows Cody is a good player and Sean is a good player," center Isaac Seumalo said. "We trust the coaches' decision. We just have to do our jobs."
In other news, the Beavers kicked freshman safety Chris Miller off the team following his arrest early Saturday morning.
Miller, from Pomona, Calif., had not played this season and was considered a redshirt.
He was arrested at 2:08 a.m. Saturday, according to the Corvallis Police Department, after an altercation at the Theta Chi fraternity house.
According to the report, Miller was asked to leave and refused. He then pulled a knife, and a fistfight ensued.
Miller was arrested a block and a half away from the fraternity house.
Miller was released Monday on $25,000 bail.