Sean Mannion - Page 4

Oregon State Beavers Dominate Colorado, 44-17, as Sean Mannion Shines


It wasn’t a perfect game, but it was certainly the most complete performance for an Oregon State Beavers football team (4-1, 2-0) that’s won four-consecutive games. And the key for the Beavers’ once again was junior quarterback Sean Mannion.

Mannion (27-of-52, 414 yards, six touchdowns and one interception) set an Oregon State record for most passing touchdowns in a game. While it wasn’t the perfect performance I was predicting, it’s certainly a testament to just how important he is to the team.

Sean Mannion
Sean Mannion | (Greg Wahl-Stephens/Associated Press)

The two biggest surprises of the game were without a doubt the Oregon State running attack and the Beavers’ secondary. Coming into the game as one of the worst units in the country statistically, both showed up against Colorado with dominating performances.

OSU combined for 120 yards rushing, which while it doesn’t sound impressive is nearly double the average on the season. Wide receiver Brandin Cooks, along with another 100+ yard performance catching the ball added 47 yards on nine carries (9.4 YPC) including a long of 23.

And as for the secondary. Oregon State’s defensive backs held Colorado starting quarterback Connor Wood to 14-of-34 for 146 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions and an abysmal 3.5 QBR.

And equally impressive was the way the Beavs shut down Colorado receiver Paul Richardson. Through two games Richardson had games of 218 and 219 yards but was held to just 70 on Saturday.

Junior safety Ryan Murphy had one of the two Beavers touchdowns making it back-to-back weeks with a pick. His 27-yard interception return was the highlight of his four tackle day.

Terron Ward
Terron Ward | (Greg Wahl-Stephens/Associated Press)

Moving forward the Beavers are now just two games away from becoming bowl eligible with arguably their two easiest opponents directly ahead. Following a bye week, OSU will go on the road to face Washington State and Cal before starting a brutal slate of games.

Oregon State closes out the season with games against Stanford, USC, Arizona State, Washington and this team from Eugene called the Ducks that’s had some success.

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Sean Mannion Could Put Up Career Numbers Against Colorado


Talk all week has been about the offensive firepower that will be on display Saturday between the Oregon Ducks and Cal Bears, but there’s another game in the Pac-12 this week that could see new records set.

Yes, the Oregon State Beavers led by captain Sean Mannion could very well light up the scoreboard and stat sheets on Saturday and be the offensive highlight of the week.

Sean Mannion
Sean Mannion | (Greg Wahl-Stephens/Associated Press)

Through four games Mannion leads the FBS with 1,604 yards, which is nearly 300 yards more than the next highest. His 133 completions on 186 (71.5%) is the 10th best passing percentage in the nation and best in the Pac-12. He’s well above Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota who has only completed 59.8% through three games.

And Mannion’s 15 passing touchdowns? Yeah, that’s an FBS best as well. In fact, no other Pac-12 quarterback has thrown more than eight.

The Beavers have been abysmal on the ground this season, a rarity for a Mike Riley coached team. And so far it doesn’t look like there will be any change to that regardless of what Riley says. At 55.0 yards per game and 2.1 yards per carry only Connecticut, Miami (OH) and Florida International have been worse at running the ball.

Storm Woods could be making a return as early as next week as he’s back in practices for the Beavers, and until he’s suited up why would OSU even want to attempt a running attack? Not to take anything away from Terron Ward and the stable of walk-ons behind him, but no opponent has to worry about a balanced attack from the Beavers.

But why is this week the one that Mannion breaks all the records? Will he really amass more than 443 yards and five touchdowns like he did against Utah two weeks ago?

Yes… And here’s why! The Colorado defense is terrible! And I’m not talking about just your run of the mill terrible, oh no. Colorado has one of the worst defenses in the Pac-12, particularly its pass defense.

Colorado Buffaloes
Colorado Buffaloes | (CU Athletics)

The Buffs have allowed 481 yards (240.5 YPG) and 58.5% through the air to the powerhouses that are the Colorado State Rams and Central Arkansas Bears. I’ll confess; I had to look up the Central Arkansas mascot.

Of course, while I rip on the Colorado secondary it pales in comparison to the atrocity that is Oregon State’s. So far they’ve given up 1,148 yards and 63.2% and a Steven Nelson pick-6 is the only bright spot thus far.

But the real reason that Mannion is going to pass for unfathomable numbers and absolutely tear the Colorado defense to shreds is the simple fact that there isn’t a rustier team in football right now than the Buffs. After floods that postponed the Fresno State game and a bye week, it’s been three weeks since Colorado has played a down of live football.

Meanwhile, the Beavers are nearly halfway through the season and are starting to workout the kinks that plagued them against Eastern Washington in week one. They are by no means perfect, but they have the reps at least and are showing signs of improvement.

With Mother Nature and statistics on the Beavers’ side, watch out for an air-raid attack.

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Oregon State Beavers Scrape Out 34-30 Nail-Biter to San Diego State Aztecs

Oregon State Beavers Football
Oregon State Beavers Football | (Alex Gallardo/The Associated Press)

The Oregon State Beavers didn’t make it look pretty, but in a season where wins may be hard to come by a 34-30 win over the San Diego State Aztacs puts the Beavers one game closer and half-way to being bowl eligible.

[gn_quote style=”1″]”It was just one of those nights where we weren’t as good as we could have been, but we kept fighting,” head coach Mike Riley said, “and we found a way to win.”[/gn_quote]

After battling back-and-forth all night, and trailing 30-21 with less than three minutes remaining, a 10-yard touchdown pass from Sean Mannion to backup running back Terron Ward cut the deficit down to just two points. Ward was replacing starter Storm Woods who is still recovering from a concussion suffered against Utah last week.

Instead of going with an onside kick, Riley trusted his defense to hold strong with 2:40 remaining down two points. And he made the right choice as the ensuing play resulted in a 16-yard Steven Nelson pick-6 to give the Beavers the win.

Watching the game was former Beaver great and current Philadelphia Eagles corer Jordan Poyer. Poyer has been a mentor to Nelson who has four interceptions on the season, an average of one per game.

[tweet_embed id=381613298929504256]

“He encouraged me, got my mind right,” Nelson said. “He told me I’m a real good athlete, that he sees it in me, I just need to trust myself. When I started listening to that, I started playing better.”

Also with another dominant performance was Beavers wide out Brandin Cooks who finished the game with 14 receptions for 141 yards (10.1 YPC) including a long of 46 yards. Cooks is now up to 639 yards on the season (159.8 YPG) and closing in on the Oregon State record books.

Brandin Cooks
Brandin Cooks | (Alex Gallardo/The Associated Press)

Fortunately for the Beavers, they have a light schedule over the next month before a gauntlet to conclude the regular season. Oregon State will host the re-building, but much improved, Colorado Buffaloes next weekend. From there the Beavers will have an off week before back-to-back road tests against Washington State and Cal.

Looking at those three games, the Beavers will need at least two wins if they have any hopes of making a bowl game. Oregon State finishes its season with No. 5 Stanford, USC, Arizona State, No. 16 Washington and close out with the Civil War against the No. 2 Oregon Ducks. Finding one win in that list is a daunting task.

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Running Woes an Unknown for Oregon State Beavers Football

Storm Woods
Storm Woods runs against Hawaii | (Steve Dykes/AP Photo)

To say that the Oregon State Beavers football team has struggled to move the ball on the ground through their first three games of the season would be the biggest understatement in the history of understatements.

Better descriptors would beabysmal, dreadful, embarrassing, pathetic, atrocious, deplorable, a travesty to the great sport of college football.

You catch my drift. But just how bad is the Oregon State run game? Well, if words don’t paint a clear enough picture let’s take a look at the numbers:

  • 210 total rushing yards (70.0 YPG)- That comes in at 117th overall in the FBS, or seventh worst in the entire country.
  • 2.5 yards per carry–  114th in the country and 10th worst
  • A season-long run of nine yards- making them the only FBS team to not have a double-digit yard run. Also for context of how bad a long of nine yards is… the Oregon Ducks are averaging 8.5 YPC.

Running woes are quite the change for an OSU program that’s featured some of the best backs over the past decade plus. With names like Steven Jackson, Ken Simonton, Yvenson Bernard, Jacquizz Rodgers and most recently Malcolm Agnew, to see such difficulties is quite bizarre.

To make matters worse for an already maligned run game, the Beavers will be without running back Storm Woods for the immediate future after a scary injury. You can read more about his condition HERE.

Storm Woods
Storm Woods | (Randy L. Rasmussen/The Oregonian)

So what does the Beavers offense look like without Woods in it? Gone is the leading rusher who totaled 152 yards on 45 carries (3.4 YPC) and two of the team’s three scores on the ground.

Oregon State’s next leading rusher is Terron Ward who has only amassed 43 yards on 18 carries (2.4 YPC). Ward also has their only other rushing touchdown. Following Ward is junior fullback Tyler Anderson who only has 15 yards rushing on four carries (3.8 YPC).

It’s safe to assume that Beavers will rely even more on their quarterback play going forward. But that might not be the worst thing for the Beavs.

Sean Mannion and his go-to receiver Brandin Cooks have been the only consistent players through three games. Mannion (95-of-130, 1237 yards, 12 touchdowns and one interception) is one of the great surprises in all of college football this season while Cooks (29 receptions, 498 yards and seven touchdowns) has not failed to live up to the incredible hype he received entering the season.

But the Beavers need to continue to go to the ground. One-dimensional offenses can work against the lowest level of competition, but heading into conference play they need to be able to keep defenses honest.

With top-tier secondaries like Washington State, Stanford, USC, Oregon and Arizona State on the schedule for the Beavs, they won’t be able to move the football when opposing defenses know what’s coming.

If the Beavers hope to have any success moving forward into the conference season, they’ll need to have their reserves step up. And it’d sure help if Woods isn’t out for too terribly long.

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Storm Woods Suffered Concussion Against Utah, Out Indefinitely


Oregon State running back Storm Woods was knocked out of the Beavers’ conference win against Utah on a pass play where, diving out to throw a block for Sean Mannion, Woods’ head was snapped back. He was helped onto a stretcher and gave fans a thumbs up before being carted off, but OSU coach Mike Riley said Woods suffered a concussion.

Storm Woods
Storm Woods | (Randy L. Rasmussen/The Oregonian)

Woods was sent to the University Hospital in Salt Lake City, treated there and cleared in time to join the Beavers on their charter flight back from the Salt Lake International Airport.

He is going to take the traditional OSU procedures for concussion treatment. He is out indefinitely prior to the week of practice to prepare for the San Diego State game. For this week, he’s being replaced by junior Terron Ward and, possibly, senior Jovan Stevenson. Riley said Sunday he’s not ready to name a backup for Ward, and instead of Stevenson, it could be the unfortunately named redshirt freshman Chris Brown.

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Pac-12 Roundup: How the rest of the Pac-12 performed in week 3

The Pac-12 had a solid showing this past weekend, going 8-1 in incompetence games. There are now five Pac-12 teams ranked in the AP’s Top 25. Arizona State is the most recent to join the list, coming in at No.23, after their 32-30 win over Wisconsin. Also representing the Pac-12 is Oregon, Stanford, Washington and UCLA. Here is a look at how the games went down this week.

No. 16 UCLA 41

No. 23 Nebraska 21

After being down 21-10 at halftime, the Bruins were able to rally back and take home a win, beating Nebraska 41-21. It was an emotional game for UCLA, who lost a member of their team this week, Nick Pasquale, who was hit by a car the previous weekend. UCLA’s quarterback Brett Hundly threw for 294 yards and three touchdowns. The Bruins’ defense in the second half had an impressive performance, shutting out the Cornhuskers on offense.

No. 5 Stanford 34 

Army 20

Stanford was able to get the win, but surprisingly the Cardinal  was only leading by seven points at halftime. However, Stanford was on their game in the second half and won 34-30 over Army. Stanford’s quarterback Kevin Hogan threw for three touchdowns and wide receiver Ty Montgomery had six catches for 130 yards and one touchdown. Stanford faces Arizona State, who had a big win yesterday against Wisconsin, this upcoming week.

USC 35

Boston College 7

Coming off an embarrassing loss to Washington State last week, the Trojans were able to bounce back with a 35-7 win over Boston College. Trojan quarterback Cody Kessler threw for 237 yards and 2 touchdowns, in his first game since being announced the official starting quarterback. Running back Tre Madden also had a strong day for USC, running for over 100 yards for the third straight time this season.

No. 19 Washington 34

Illinois 24

Washington’s quarterback Keith Price and running back Bishop Sankey had monstrous days as the Huskies clinched a road win against Illinois. The Huskies had a total of 615 yards on offense. Although Washington led the whole game, Illinois was able to get within 10 points in the fourth quarter. However, an interception from Gregory Durce sealed the deal for the Huskies.

Washington State 48

Southern Utah 10

After beating USC 10-7 last week, the Washington State Cougars picked up another win, beating Southern Utah 48-10. The Cougars were impressive on offense, with quarterback Connor Halliday throwing for 383 yards and five touchdowns. Also contributing to the Cougars dominant win was their defense, who held Southern Utah to zero points in the second half.

No. 4 Ohio State 52 

California 34

Cal lost to Ohio State with the lone loss of the Pac-12 this week. Ohio State’s quarterback Kenny Guiton threw for 276 yards and four touchdowns against Cal’s defense. Yesterday’s game marked Guiton’s first start in his college career. Cal’s freshman quarterback Jared Goff finished with 371 yards and three touchdowns. Cal will have a bye this week before they face Oregon in Eugene, Ore.

Oregon State 51 

Utah 48

Quarterback Sean Mannion stepped up for the Beavers when it mattered, helping Oregon State win Utah and bringing their record to 2-1 this season. Mannion had two big touchdowns in the fourth quarter and finished the game with 445 yards and five touchdowns. Also creating a spark of offense for Oregon State, were wide receivers Richard Mullaney and Brandin Cooks.

Arizona State 32

Wisconsin 30

Strange would be an under-statement when referring to how this game ended yesterday, as Wisconsin ran out of time and were not able to set up a last-chance field goal. Running back Marion Grice had a big day for the Sun Devils, scoring four touchdowns for Arizona State.

Arizona 38


Arizona’s win yesterday brings the Wildcat’s record to 3-0 before they head into Pac-12 play with their game against Washington in two weeks. Arizona had a 422 total yards on offense and Ke’Deem Carey lead the team in rushing with 27 carries for 128 yards.


Oregon State Beavers Football Wins Epic 51-48 OT Game Over Utah


The Oregon State Beavers Football team (2-1, 1-0) picked up an epic 51-48 overtime win over the Utah Utes (2-1, 0-1) in what is easily the game of the year in the Pac-12 thus far. The win may silence the Beavers’ critics for another week. OSU has now won two straight after their opening week loss to FCS Eastern Washington.

“I would say I’m too old for this, but I’m not going to,” Beavers head coach Mike Riley said. “It’s the time of your life. It would have been a hard, hard loss. But when you’ve got kids out there playing like that, it’s awesome.”

Oregon State Beavers Football
Oregon State Beavers Football | (Randy L. Rasmussen/The Oregonian)

The Beavers jumped out to an early 13-0 lead after two Trevor Romaine field goals and a 17-yard touchdown pass from Sean Mannion to Richard Mullaney.

Mannion had another strong performance, completing 27-of-44 passes for 443 yards and five touchdowns. He has 12 touchdowns to just one interception on the season.

Also with a big performance was starting wide receiver Brandin Cooks who caught nine passes for 210 yards (23.3 YPC) and three touchdowns, his strongest performance of the season and possibly his career.

“I can’t even describe how I’m feeling,” Cooks said. “I’m just blessed. Blessed to be on this team. Blessed to have these guys making plays. I don’t know where my mind is. I’m just happy.”

However, the talk after the game had little to do with the Beavers’ win but rather the condition of star running back Storm Woods who was taken off the field in an ambulance.

Storm Woods
Storm Woods | (Randy L. Rasmussen/The Oregonian)

“If Storm was here, he would fight his tail off,” Cooks said. “We had to finish it for him. That’s what I told everyone. We had to fight.”

Reports are indicating that Woods suffered a concussion and will be traveling back to Corvallis with the team. His return to football is unknown, but it isn’t likely Beavers fans will see him in action for the immediate future if this season at all. EDN will pass along any breaking news that surfaces on his condition.

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Beavers end home season against Huskies


Don Smalley, EDN

Oregon State will look to salvage whatever is left of its disastrous season when it hosts Washington for a 12:30 kickoff (ROOT Sports, Comcast 34) at Reser Stadium.

At one time, this game might have looked like an uphill climb for the Beavers (2-8). The Huskies had won six of their first eight games. But after losses to Oregon and USC, Washington (6-4) has come back down to Earth.

Joe Halahuni makes his final appearance in Reser Stadium on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Oregon State University.

Adding to their problems, it was announced that Husky quarterback Keith Price is going to have to sit this one out due to a couple of balking knees. Stepping up in his place will be redshirt freshman Nick Montana. Washington coach Steve Sarkisian announced that the son of Hall of Famer Joe Montana, via Twitter, would be his starting signal caller.  Welcome to 2011.

Courtesy of @CoachSark, “Nick Montana will make his first career start this Saturday. So proud. He has earned this opportunity. Need to get Keith Price fully healthy, he has had a great season.”

Montana has appeared in just four games this season in very limited time. He has one touchdown pass.

Since the Huskies are going with an inexperienced quarterback, the Beavers will most likely be given a heavy dose of tailback Chris Polk, one of the top running backs in the Pac-12 and the nation.

“Defensively, what we have to really strive for is a more disciplined, detailed run defense. That’s going to be a major factor,” said Beaver head coach Mike Riley. “Football can be very simple if you can do a good job on first down and second down, and if you can get in the best third down situation, you’ve got a better chance of getting them off the field. That’s what we haven’t done for a good portion of the year, and particularly the last few weeks.”

Polk is third in the conference in rushing by averaging 113 yards and scoring 10 touchdowns. He’s also known as one of the top receivers coming out of the backfield, something NFL scouts drool over when they watch the 5-11, 222-pounder from Redlands, Calif.

When the Huskies decide they want to throw the ball, Montana will have a couple of very good options downfield in two seniors, Jermaine Kearse and Devin Aguilar. Kearse nearly beat the Beavers by himself last season in Seattle by catching nine balls for 146 yards and four touchdowns in the 35-34 double overtime win. In that game, Riley decided to go for two in the second extra period to win the game. The decision turned out to be the incorrect one as tight end Joe Halahuni, who is usually as sure-handed as it gets, dropped the pass, leading to a mad celebration at Husky Stadium.

Reser Stadium will be the stage for the Beaver/Husky football game Saturday. Photo courtesy of OSU.

“In order to have a good season, you have to win the close games and that’s what the Huskies have done,” said Riley. “They’ve lost to teams that are highly ranked like Stanford and Oregon and USC, but they’ve won their other games and there have been some close ones. That has mirrored a lot of the season we have had.”

If Washington’s offense is a strength, its defense is something less than desired. The Huskies are 10th in the conference in scoring defense (34.1) and 10th in total defense (425 yards per game). Despite those numbers, Sarkisian says the defense is getting better.

“Regardless of who we’re playing this week, our defense is improved,” he said. “Obviously we have a major challenge with (the Beavers) ability to throw the football. But the key for us is to stop the run initially, and then hope we can apply some pressure to the quarterback.”

Since the second half of the first game of the season, OSU has gone with redshirt freshman Sean Mannion as their quarterback, and he has experienced some growing pains in 2011. The Beavers are near the bottom in most of the offensive categories in the conference.

James Rodgers will attempt to end his storied career as the all-time receptions leader at OSU. Photo courtesy of OSU.

The game will mark the last home game for 17 seniors including James Rodgers and Halahuni. Rodgers, who currently has 218 catches in his career, needs just three receptions to become the all-time leading receiver at the school. He was granted a medical redshirt by the NCAA to play this season after blowing out his knee last season at Arizona. Although Rodgers hasn’t had the same speed he once possessed, he still has the ability to get open.

“I think the all-time competitor in James Rodgers is a great story because he wasn’t the same receiver (Mike Hass and Joe Newton) were when they were young,” Riley said. “He worked his way to a record. And quite frankly, it snuck up on me. I hadn’t realized he was as far along in this deal.”

Rodgers and the rest of the senior class has seen a lot more winning than they have in 2011. Oregon State has defeated Washington State and Arizona, and that’s it. The win against the Wildcats cost then-head coach Mike Stoops his job the next day, and Washington State might very well be looking to replace Paul Wulff. If the Beavers should pull out the upset, don’t look for the Huskies to be firing Sarkisian any time soon. But a loss in Corvallis won’t set well in Seattle for a program that looks to be on the rise.