Could Moevao be Oregon State's starting QB next year?

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Might Lyle Moevao become Oregon State's starting quarterback ... in 2010?

Oregon State is looking into the long shot possibility that Moevao, a fifth-year senior, might be able to receive a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA due to an injury hardship, coach Mike Riley said Tuesday.

"Our odds don't appear great, but we are not through exploring that," Riley said.

It won't be easy to win over the NCAA. Typically, a player gets a sixth year when he misses two complete seasons due to injury, like USC's Jeff Byers and Josh Pinkard. Moevao, a JC transfer, took a normal redshirt in 2006 when he ran the Beavers' scout team.

Previously, Oregon State tried and failed to get a sixth season for tight end Joe Newton, who missed the 2005 season with an Achilles injury.

Moevao, the Beavers' starting quarterback in 2008, still is not 100 percent after he had offseason shoulder surgery. He's struggled, in particular, to throw deep balls.

"He is healthy, but he's not strong, and that affects directly the velocity of the ball," Riley said. "He even says it feels like somebody's got a string on the end of the ball and they are pulling it back."

There's another complication: If starting quarterback Sean Canfield got hurt, Moevao probably would replace him. That's not a sure thing, though, because redshirt freshman Ryan Katz is capable, and it may be worth it to roll the dice on Moevao getting a break from the NCAA.

Moevao's mechanics are fine and he can throw the short and intermediate routes well, but if a defense knows it doesn't have to worry about deep passes, it gets a big advantage.

"There is that possibility [of Katz being the No. 2]," Riley said. "Now, Lyle is taking turns with our team. I would feel OK putting him in because he can make throws. He can obviously operate in our offense. He has been physically ruled ready to go by our doctors and trainers."

The best-case scenario, of course, is Canfield stays healthy, Moevao gets a sixth year and Katz gets another year of seasoning next fall. With only a handful of seniors presently in the starting lineup, the Beavers appear to set up very well for 2010.

Not to get anyone's hopes up or anything.