Monday, October 15, 2012
Pac-12 player of the week
By Kevin Gemmell
It was a tight call this week between Oregon State quarterback Cody Vaz and Arizona State quarterback Taylor Kelly.
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).