THIS WEEK: No. 25 (BCS) Oregon State (6-1, 4-0 Pac-12) returns home for the first time since Sept. 28 when it hosts the No. 8 (AP/USA Today)/No. 6 (BCS) Stanford Cardinal (6-1, 4-1) at Reser Stadium at 7:36 p.m. on ESPN. The game marks Homecoming on the OSU campus.
HOME AT LAST: Saturday marks only the second home game for the Beavers since a 33-14 win over Hawai’i Sept. 7. OSU played one home game (Colorado) over a six-week span, but now enters the latter half of the season with just one contest outside the state, Nov. 16 at Arizona State. OSU and UCLA have played the fewest home games to this point in the league with three.
ACCURATE PASSER: Quarterback Sean Mannion’s current 68.6 percent completion percentage (229-334) is flirting with the OSU record setting pace for a single season. Sean Canfield in the 2009 season hit on 67.9 (303-446) percent and is the current record holder for a single season. Canfield (2006-09) also holds the career completion percentage record at 64.1 percent (552-861) – Mannion is currently at 65.8 percent (734-1116). He has had 19 passes legitimately dropped this season.
NOT BAD FOR A JUNIOR: Sean Mannion has completed 734 career passes, which ranks second-best in the NCAA for junior quarterbacks behind Taylor Heinicke of Old Dominion (first-year FBS school) with 818. Mannion’s 8,766 passing yards is second for junior quarterbacks trailing only Heinicke’s 9,861, and ranks 11th overall in the country for active quarterbacks. Mannion is the active leader in the Pac-12 for career yards with 8,766 (Keith Price of UW is second with 7,748). He is 19th overall in the Pac-12 record book for yards and will soon pass -- 18. Jake Plummer (ASU/1993-96/8,827; 17. Jason Gesser (WSU/1999-2002/8,830); 16. Willie Tuitama (UA/2005-08/9,211).
NOT BAD FOR A JUNIOR II: Sean Mannion not only is escalating the Pac-12 record book for career yards passing, but also for career touchdowns passing. He is currently tied with Bill Musgrave (UO/1987-90) for 21st in the Pac-12 record book with 60. Mannion is No. 2 on the active list for TD passes by a Pac-12 quarterback chasing Washington’s Keith Price (68). If he hits his average four TD passes per game Saturday, Mannion will jump to a tie for 19th with Kyle Boller (Cal/1999-2002).
MORE MANNION: The 2013 three-time Manning Award recipient and two-time Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week now has 8,766 yards; fourth all-time at OSU. The co-captain needs to average 123 yards per game for the rest of the regular season to catch third-place holder Erik Wilhelm (1985-88) at 9,383 yards. At his current average for the season he would move all the way to No. 2 (with 10,903 yds) in OSU history trailing only Derek Anderson’s (2001-04) career total of 11,249. To catch Anderson he needs to average 146 yards over the next 17 regular season games of his career. Also, at his current career average he would conclude his collegiate career with 13,905 yards, shattering the Pac-12 record of Matt Barkley (12,274). He is the only quarterback in Beaver history to pass for 350-plus yards in seven straight games (current) and the career leader for 400-plus yard games in a career with six. He leads the nation for touchdown passes with 29, including a school-record 6 TD game vs. Colorado earlier this season.
“EIGHT MILES HIGH:” Actually it is specifically 8.5 miles and more horizontal than vertical – at any rate it’s the distance Sean Mannion has thrown for over his final two years in high school and his current career at Oregon State. That’s 14,895 yards with 110 touchdown passes.
MANNION TO COOKS, TOUCHDOWN BEAVERS! Through the seven games of the season, quarterback Sean Mannion and receiver Brandin Cooks have combined for 12 touchdown passes. The duo has now connected 19 times during their careers for scores, the most in Beaver history. Cooks leads the nation for touchdown receptions this season with 12.
NOT ONLY THAT, BUT… Mannion and Cooks have combined for 145 career receptions. The duo tied a school record for connections with 14 against San Diego State earlier this season after having 13 in the season opener vs. Eastern Washington and at California.
COOKS ON RECORD PACE: Junior receiver Brandin Cooks already is fourth on OSU’s record charts for career receiving yards with 2,718 and needs 276 yards to catch third-place holder and former teammate Markus Wheaton with 2,994 yards. Cooks has 20 career touchdowns receiving, tied for the most in school history with James Newson (2000-03) and Mike Hass (2002-05). Cooks tied the OSU record for single game receptions (Mike Hass vs. ASU in 2004) with 14 against San Diego State earlier this season. He is on pace to accumulate 2,016 yards this season, which would make him only the second player in NCAA history to do so – Nevada’s Trevor Insley had 2,060 in 1999.
THAT’S A RECORD: Quarterback Sean Mannion broke a little known Pac-12 Conference record last week in the win over California. He passed for 481 yards against the Bears and combined with his 493 yards the previous week vs. Washington State equals 974 yards – a new league mark for consecutive games overtaking former Cal QB Pat Barnes’ 938 yards in 1996. Here are the records to date for the OSU offensive machine:
• Most Yards Back-to-Back Games – Sean Mannion, 974 yards vs. Cal & WSU (Pac-12 record)
• Most Passing Yards in 1 game – Sean Mannion, 493 yards vs. WSU (OSU record)
• Most Touchdowns Passing – Sean Mannion, 6 vs. Colorado (OSU record)
• Most receptions in 1 game – Brandin Cooks, 14 vs. San Diego State (ties OSU record)
• 40-plus points in 3 consecutive games (current) – OSU record
442.1: The number of average yards the Beavers have passed for over the first seven games, leading the nation by nearly 26 yards per contest over second-place Texas Tech. No Pac-12 team has led the nation for passing since Washington State in 1960 at 185.5 yards per game. The team is on pace for 5,306 yards for a 12-game season and at the current average the Beavers would break the school record of 4,265 (2003) by 1,041 yards. The Pac-12 record is 4,501 yards by Washington in 2002. OSU is first in the nation for overall passing yards with 3,095.
42.3: The percentage of drives that OSU has scored a touchdown on, seventh in the NCAA and second in the Pac-12 to Oregon’s 53.5 (3rd in the NCAA).
SIGNS OF LIFE: The Beaver rushing effort has not been up to par this season, considering the program under head coach Mike Riley has had some of the best backs in league history. That being said, there are signs of life that coincide with an offensive line that has returned to being healthy. Over the last three games OSU has averaged 99 yards per game, compared to 55 yards over the previous four, including a 10-yard effort at San Diego State.
REDZONE PAYDIRT: Oregon State doesn’t lead the nation for red zone percentage, but it does for touchdowns in the red zone. The Beavers have scored touchdowns on 34 of their 46 trips inside the 20-yard line. Only two other teams in the country have 30-plus touchdowns in the red zone, 33 by Texas A&M (most red zone appearances with 48) and 31 by Oregon.
OSU VS. STANFORD: Stanford has won the last three games and overall has a 51-24-3 lead in the series that dates back to 1919. Last season Stanford rallied from behind to win at home 27-23 in a game where both teams were ranked, the Cardinal at No. 16 the Beavers at No. 13. Cody Vaz started for the Beavers, completing 23 of 38 passes for 226 yards and a 22-yard touchdown pass to Markus Wheaton. Stanford QB Kevin Hogan tossed three touchdown passes, including the game-winning score with 5:07 remaining on a 13-yard strike to Zach Ertz following a Beaver fumble. Beaver head coach Mike Riley won his first league game against Stanford, 30-23, Oct. 10, 1998 on The Farm. That ’98 win snapped a 14-game then Pac-12 losing streak for OSU and a 15-game Pac-10 road losing streak.
SET AGAINST THE CARDINAL: Several records and milestones have been set in the Beavers-Stanford long history of the rivalry. Here is a closer look:
o 100-yard rushers vs. Stanford – Steven Jackson (230/2002); Ken Simonton (207/1998); Jacquizz Rodgers (189/2009); Yvenson Bernard 168/2006); Bill Enyart (164/1968); Steven Jackson (148/2003); Roger Smith (146/1971); Joe Francis (138/1958); J.J. Young (136/1994); Don Kasso (133/1960); Rahim Muhammad (122/1993); Bryce Oglesby (121/1982); Ken Simonton (115/1999); Rich Dodge (105/1975);
o Most Interceptions by an OSU QB: 7, Erik Wilhelm (11/14/87)
o Longest Pass Play: 97 yds, Jonathan Smith to Chad Johnson, Oct. 14, 2000 in Corvallis
o Most Tackles: 22, Steve Brown at Stanford, Oct. 28, 1972
o Most Interceptions: 4, Steve Brown vs. Stanford, Oct. 30, 1971
o Most Fumbles Lost by OSU: 7, Oct. 26, 1991 at Stanford
o Most Touchdowns Rushing at Reser: 4, Jacquizz Rodgers, Oct. 10, 2009 & Darin Nelson (Stn), Nov. 7, 1981
o Most TD Passes vs. OSU: 6, John Elway, Sept. 27, 1986
HOME AWAY FROM HOME: The road has been kind to the Beavers this season as OSU is off to a 4-0 start. Northern Illinois has the most true road game wins this season with five, followed by OSU, Oregon and Central Florida with four.
NIGHT OWLS, ER, BEAVERS: Saturday marks the third consecutive 7:30 kickoff for OSU, followed by a 6 p.m. kick Fri., Nov. 1 vs. USC. There have been some long nights for the Beavs in 2013 as the team returned from earlier road games at Utah at 4:30 a.m. PDT (5:30 a.m. MDT), 3 a.m. from San Diego State, 3:30 a.m. from Washington State and 4 a.m. from Cal. No other team in the Pac-12 will have played four night games (6 p.m. kickoff or later) in a row this season at the date of the Nov. 1 game.
BOWL ELIGIBILITY: Oregon State joined Stanford in terms of becoming bowl eligible in the Pac-12 Conference with wins last week. Oregon is also bowl eligible and UCLA can join the party if it wins this week in Eugene. It’s the second year in a row the Beavers have become bowl eligible in October – the team won its first six games of the season last year.
IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING: The Beavers entered the season ranked No. 25 in the Associated Press Poll, but lost its opener to FCS Eastern Washington to fall out of the rankings. OSU, now riding a six-game win streak, would likely climb back into the top 25 human polls with a victory this week making it the first team since Virginia Tech in 2010 to lose to a FCS team (James Madison) and return to the top 25 later in the season. That Virginia Tech team, coincidentally, ended up playing Stanford in the Orange Bowl that season and finished No. 16.
OPPORTUNISTIC SECONDARY: Oregon State enters the week tied for first nationally with Missouri for interceptions with 14. First-year Beaver cornerback Steven Nelson leads the Pac-12 and shares the top spot nationally with Jimmie Ward of Northern Illinois for interceptions by a player with five.
POSITIVE TURNOVERS: Oregon State ranks second in the Pac-12 to Oregon and tied for fourth nationally for turnover margin at plus-10. Last season OSU finished the year at plus-8. The Beaver defense has allowed just one touchdown following OSU’s nine turnovers, and that one was with 3:44 left in a 49-17 win at Cal. Meanwhile, OSU’s offense has converted 10 of the opponents’ 19 turnovers into touchdowns.
NOT LIKE THE “OLD” DAYS: Oregon State is one of 15 teams (4 in Pac-12) in the country that is averaging over 500 yards per game for total offense (no other league has more than two). The Beavers rank eighth at 515.9 yards per outing. The NCAA record for most teams with 500-plus yards per game average for a season is 10 set last year. Starting in 1999, there have been four seasons where just one team has averaged 500-plus yards for a year.
BEAVS AT 103: USC owns the most victories in the Pac-12 Conference this century with 131(107 with vacated wins), followed by Oregon (129), OSU (103), UCLA (91), Arizona State (90), Stanford (88), Cal (87), Washington (74), Arizona (73), WSU (70). Utah has 113 victories this century and Colorado has 70. The Beavers hit the 100-win plateau this century in the Oct. 21 win at San Diego State. The previous 100-win stretch started during the 1966 season, ending with 1999 – nearly 34 seasons (365 games). This century’s 100 victories were achieved in just over 13 seasons (168 games).
IT’S ANOTHER BEAVER FIRST DOWN: While receiver Brandin Cooks generates most of the headlines in terms of Beaver receivers, but quarterback Sean Mannion has spread the wealth with key connections to fellow wideouts Richard Mullaney and Kevin Cummings. Mullaney has secured a first down or touchdown on 25 of his 32 receptions while Cummings has done the same on 13 of his 19 (8 of those 13 catches converted 1st downs on 3rd or 4th down).
TARGET RICH ENVIRONMENT: Oregon State has completed 236 passes this season in seven games. The 236 completions rank as the third-most in the country behind Washington State (294 and Texas Tech (239).
PROTECTING THE PASSER: The Beavers’ have come under scrutiny, particularly the offensive line, for the lack of production in the rushing game. What hasn’t been recognized is the line’s protection of the quarterbacks. Through seven games the Beavers have allowed just nine sacks (1 every 39 pass attempts). At the current rate OSU would allow just 15 sacks for the regular season. Last year the Beavers allowed a sack on every 15 pass attempts and 33 overall for the year.
30 POINTS-PLUS: Oregon State has scored 30-plus points in all seven games this season, the longest streak since 2000 when it strung together nine in a row. OSU is on pace to shatter the school record for points scored in any season – currently on track for 530 points for a 12-game regular season – the record is 433 points in a 13-game slate in 2003. The Beavers have also scored 40-plus points in each of the last three games, a school record.
BALL CONTROL – FOR A PASSING TEAM: Time of possession is more or less a useless statistic, but nonetheless it is peculiar that Oregon State leads the Pac-12 and ranks eighth in the nation for time of possession averaging 33:26 per game. Florida leads the nation for TOP with 35:57, with Georgia Tech, Bowling Green, Michigan State, Virginia, Mississippi State and Wisconsin with a higher average than the Beavers. OSU has 347 pass attempts, the next closest of the teams in front of it in terms of passing attempts is Virginia with 270.
60TH ANNIVERSARY OF RESER STADIUM: This season marks the 60th anniversary of Reser Stadium, which officially opened as Parker Stadium Nov. 14, 1953 with a 7-0 Beaver victory over Washington State. The stadium’s name was changed to Reser Stadium prior to the 1999 season after a generous donation by Al and Pat Reser. OSU has had particular success of late at the Stadium, but overall has had many outstanding victories. Beaver teams have defeated nationally ranked opponents (entering the season) 16 times, including No. 1 USC twice (1967 & 2008).
RESER RECORD: Oregon State’s home record of 61-22 this century at Reser Stadium is third best in the Pac-12 Conference, trailing the home records of only Oregon (72-13) and USC (66-15).
SCHOOL RECORD COACH: Mike Riley continues to build on his school record for victories, now with 87. The longest tenured coach in the Pac-12 has 56 league wins, which is tied for 11th with Rich Brooks (Oregon/1977-94). For more on Riley turn to his bio in this notes package. Riley is the longest tenured coach in the Pac-12 with 13 years at OSU; the rest of the league includes Kyle Whittingham, Utah (9 yrs), Steve Sarkisian, UW (5), David Shaw, Stanford (3), Todd Graham, ASU (2), Mike Leach, WSU (2), Rich Rodriguez, Arizona (2), Sonny Dykes, Cal (first), Mark Helfrich, Oregon (first), Ed Orgeron, USC (first) and Mike MacIntyre, Colorado (first).
TEAM CAPTAINS: The 2013 team captains are seniors Rashaad Reynolds (CB), Michael Doctor (LB), Grant Enger (OG), and juniors Brandin Cooks (WR) and Sean Mannion (QB). Mannion has been selected for the second straight season – no Beaver has ever been a three-year team captain.
WIN THE TURNOVER BATTLE, WIN THE GAME: Over the last 119 games, Oregon State is 47-9 when committing fewer turnovers than its opponent, 11-31 when committing more and 12-9 when even.
75-9: That’s the record of Oregon State when it leads after three quarters with Mike Riley as head coach. Since the start of the 2004 season it is 56-5.
BOWL HISTORY: Starting with the 1999 season, Oregon State has appeared in 10 bowl games – tied for the third-most in the league. Oregon has 13 appearances, followed by Utah (11), OSU (10), USC (10), UCLA (10), Arizona State (9), Cal (8), Washington (7), Stanford (6), Colorado (6), Arizona (4) and Washington State (3).
TRUE “STUDENT-ATHLETES” Oregon State is routinely among the league leaders for Pac-12 academic selections and this year should be no different. The following players will graduate in December: OL Josh Andrews (sociology); WR Kevin Cummings (marketing); LB Michael Doctor (human development/family studies); OL Grant Enger (entrepreneurship); WR Micah Hatfield (human development/family studies); QB Sean Mannion (liberal studies); CB Sean Martin (new media); OL Michael Philipp (public health); CB Rashaad Reynolds (human development/family studies); RB Jovan Stevenson (sociology). Graduates in March include DL John Braun (sociology); LB Charlie Gilmur (marketing); DL Devon Kell (public health); WR Mitch Singler (marketing); QB Cody Vaz (sociology). June graduates include S Steven Christian (master of arts in interdisciplinary studies); P Tim McMullen (exercise & sport science); DL Mana Rosa (psychology).
WOODCHIPS: OSU and Eastern Washington each scored 40-plus points, the first time both teams scored that many in an OSU game since 1999 against Georgia Southern (OSU win 48-41) – that was again achieved in the Beavers 51-48 overtime win at Utah … both the Hawai’I and Utah games required an ambulance on the field for an injured player, in both instances the players were released from the hospital that day/night ... DL Jalen Grimble’s cousin, Xavier Grimble, plays tight end for USC … QB Cody Vaz missed much of the first bye week practice session due to dropping an 85-pound weight on his foot.