- Kevin Gemmell, ESPN Staff Writer
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But given the opponent and the circumstances, the nod goes to Vaz, who performed admirably in a hostile environment and a high-pressure situation.
By now, we all know that Vaz stepped in for injured Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion, who is out at least a couple of more weeks following knee surgery last week. Vaz, playing for the first time since 2010, led the undefeated Beavers into Provo, Utah to face a BYU team that was third nationally in scoring defense.
And he lit it up. Vaz completed 20 of 32 passes for 332 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions in a 42-24 win over Brigham Young. He completed his first five passes as part of a 75-yard touchdown drive that ended with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Markus Wheaton.
He got the ball to his playmakers and let them do the rest. Well, almost. He did throw a pretty good block that helped spring Wheaton on a touchdown run.
His superb wide receivers, Wheaton and Brandin Cooks also delivered fantastic games -- Wheaton with two receiving and one rushing touchdown, Cooks with 173 receiving yards. With playmakers like that on the outside, it made life a lot easier for Vaz, who delivered strikes on the deep balls and -- above all else -- protected the football.
The No. 8 Beavers are back at home this week to take on Utah before making a pivotal trip to Seattle to face Washington. The last time OSU was 5-0, there were 48 states in the Union (1939).
2dChantel Jennings and Ted Miller