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Monday, September 16, 2013
Player of the week: Pac-12

By Kevin Gemmell

While Oregon State’s injury-plagued defense continues to try to find its footing, it appears to be full steam ahead for the offense.

Quarterback Sean Mannion posted a career-high 443 passing yards with five touchdowns in Oregon State’s 51-48 overtime win at Utah. The most important stat: zero interceptions.

The five scoring strikes matches a school record and gives Mannion 43 for his career, moving him into fourth place on OSU’s all-time list. It was the fourth-highest passing yardage game ever by an OSU quarterback, and he’s now tied for the national lead with 12 touchdown passes and is second nationally in passing yards per game.

Of course, this prestigious Pac-12 blog honor, which Mannion will no doubt be telling his grandchildren about, could easily go to his top receiver. Brandin Cooks caught nine balls for 210 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. Cooks and Mannion have connected for 14 career scores, which ties them for third on OSU’s all-time list of QB-WR hookups.

The road victory gives the once-ranked Beavers a little more stability after a shaky start to the season.

“It’s really big,” said head coach Mike Riley. “It’s a chance to build some momentum and confidence, obviously, and you don’t want to fall in a hole early. It’s great to win an opening conference game. Maybe this is an indicator of how our conference is going to go this year. It’s going to be really, really competitive.”