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Friday, February 7, 2014
Top 2013 performances: Sean Mannion

By Ted Miller

We're looking at some of the top individual performances in the Pac-12 in 2013.

Up next: Mannion mans up

Sean Mannion
Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion had one of the best games of the year throwing for 443 yards and five TDs against Utah.
Who and against whom: Oregon State QB Sean Mannion put up huge numbers and turned in a clutch performance in the Beavers 51-48 overtime win at Utah.

The numbers: Mannion completed 27 of 45 passes for 443 yards and five touchdowns.

A closer look: This is on the short list of most entertaining Pac-12 games in 2013, though the Pac-12 blog seems to remember trying to perform amateur counseling on Twitter for Utah fans who appeared to be ready to defenestrate themselves afterwards. It also is a toss-up between Mannion and receiver Brandin Cooks as to who was the biggest star. Cooks caught nine passes for 210 yards and three of those five Mannion TD tosses. But it was Mannion, who threw no interceptions on 45 passes, who made the biggest clutch plays down the stretch of this back-and-forth barnburner, including converting on two crucial fourth down passes in the fourth quarter and a 6-yard TD pass in overtime for the win. Mannion was brilliant -- at least in the second half -- on the road and without any help from his running game. Moreover, he and the Beavers won despite a scary injury to RB Storm Woods, who remained down on the field with an apparent neck injury for too long for anyone to feel comfortable. The first fourth-down conversion came from the Beavers 45-yard line. Needing just a yard, Mike Riley dialed up a trick play -- Mannion pitched the ball to RB Terron Ward, who threw it back across the field to Mannion, who in turn launched it 48 yards to Cooks -- for the first down. Then, with Utah up 38-37 with about four minutes left, the Beavers faced a fourth-and-9 on their own 22. The game probably ends without a conversion, but Mannion completed a 13-yard pass to Richard Mullaney. He then capped the drive with an 18-yard TD pass to Cooks and a two-point conversion toss to Connor Hamlett. It's worth noting that without this victory, Oregon State wouldn't have ended up bowl eligible.