Oregon State's Mannion keeps adding new milestones
ANNE M. PETERSON
Sep. 25, 2014
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Sean Mannion just keeps checking off the records for Oregon State.
This past weekend against San Diego State, Mannion moved into the top spot on Oregon State's career list with 11,339 yards passing, overtaking Derek Anderson.
The Beavers' senior captain needs 989 yards to break the Pac-12 record for career passing yards, currently held by former USC quarterback Matt Barkley with 12,327. Fellow Trojan Carson Palmer is second with 11,818 and Mannion is third.
Barkley's record was recently revised up by 53 yards by the league.
It's likely that Mannion will reach the mark. Through three games this season, Mannion has 903 yards passing with four touchdowns.
Last season he set a Pac-12 season record with 4,662 yards passing. He threw an Oregon State-record 37 touchdown passes, third-most for a single season in conference history.
But the records aren't all that important for Mannion at the moment. This weekend he'll visit the team that Barkley played for, USC. The Beavers have not beaten the Trojans in Los Angeles since 1960, a string of 22 straight games.
"It's not something that I lay awake at night — just wanting to break a record," Mannion said. "I want to win games."
The Beavers (3-0) are coming off a 28-7 win over San Diego State. Even with 275 yards passing, Mannion did not throw a touchdown pass against the Aztecs: Terron Ward and Storm Woods each rushed for a pair of touchdowns.
Mannion had thrown a TD pass in 26 straight starts.
"He's big, strong, has an excellent arm and is very accurate with the football. But the most impressive thing about him to me is he never gets rattled. When things go bad, it doesn't bother him. He just keeps hanging in there and throwing the ball, and most of the time it's right on the money," San Diego State coach Rocky Long said. "When things are going good, it doesn't seem like he gets over-excited. He just keeps throwing the ball, and most of the time it's on target. I've seen teams get to him and knock him around, but it doesn't make a bit of difference."
Mannion, a perfect fit in Oregon State's pro-style offense, weighed whether to go to the NFL after last season.
His favorite target, Biletnikoff award winner Brandin Cooks, set a league record with 128 catches and a national-best 1,730 receiving yards. Cooks declared early and went to the New Orleans Saints in the first round.
Mannion consulted the NFL Draft Advisory Board, which projected him as a third-round selection.
He decided to stay. He's got a degree in liberal studies and is now working toward a master's.
Oregon State has set up a website, seanmanniontheqb.com, to follow his achievements during his final season.
"It's a great record. He won't talk about it and he probably shouldn't right now. It will be something he'll reflect on," coach Mike Riley said following Mannion's latest milestone last weekend. "But it's a great achievement. There's been a lot of great quarterbacking here."
Riley's offense has produced a number of NFL quarterbacks in recent years, including Anderson, Matt Moore and Sean Canfield.
USC coach Steve Sarkisian is well aware of what the No. 18 Trojans (2-1) are facing in Mannion.
"Sean has got unique ability," Sarkisian said. "He's a really big guy. He's your prototypical NFL quarterback. He has the ability to throw the quick game, but then they've done a great job with the play-action pass and he can really throw the deep ball extremely well."