In a conference where headlines are dominated by Marcus Mariota of Oregon and Brett Hundley of UCLA, it is easy to forget about Oregon State Beavers quarterback Sean Mannion. And it’s especially easy to forget about Mannion after the Beavers lost to FCS Eastern Washington to start the season, a game in which Mannion played great but EW quarterback Vernon Adams was (deservedly) the star. Still, as they say, numbers never lie (someone should make a TV show about that), and here’s what Mannion has accomplished so far this season:
- His 412.3 passing yards per game is second in the nation, trailing only Cal freshman Jared Goff. Yet Mannion’s completion percentage is far better (73.1% to Goff’s 61.1%).
- His quarterback rating of 181.93 is good for eleventh nationally, and only one player ahead of him on the list (Utah State’s Chuckie Keeton) has also attempted over 100 passes.
- His 12 touchdown passes is tied for best in the nation, and he’s only thrown a single interception. He threw 13 picks last year and 18 in 2011.
With numbers like that, it’s odd to think that Mannion wasn’t even guaranteed to be the starter this year. In 2012 he split time with Cody Vaz, yet was able to beat out Vaz during training camp this summer. In a piece by Ted Miller of ESPN, Mannion spoke about how the quarterback competition benefited him. Said Mannion:
It helped me focus on the things that I can control and not worry about anything else. Throughout the competition, I tried to not worry about what other people were thinking or saying and just focus on becoming the best player I could be. I definitely feel like the competition helped me become a better player (ESPN).
Mannion went on to say that he doesn’t “look at stats” and that the fact he’s putting up one of the best statistical seasons in the country is “cool, I guess.”
(Unfortunately, Miller didn’t ask any questions about Mannion’s thoughts on Laura Mulvey.)
The Beavers will take on the 0-2 San Diego State Aztecs this upcoming Saturday, giving Mannion a prime opportunity to add to his gaudy numbers.