Mannion on cusp of all-time Pac-10/12 record

NOT MANY PEOPLE are talking about it yet, but they will. Long before the upcoming football season comes to a close, odds are that the all-time passing leader in Pac-10/12 history will be Oregon State’s Sean Mannion.

Sean Mannion needs only 1,802 yards to stand alone.

Mannion will come into his senior season at No. 10 on the Pac-12 career passing list with 10,436 yards. Matt Barkley is No. 1, with 12,237 hashes.

Mannion passed for a single-season Pac-12 record 4,662 yards last year.

He’s never thrown for less than 2,446 yards, and that was a season where he played in 10 games.

Only Mannion and WSU’s Connor Halliday have a realistic chance to surpass Barkley’s record this season. But Mannion is a heavy favorite to finish on top between the two – he comes into this season with 3,000 more passing yards than does Halliday, also a senior.

The stars seem to be lining up for a possible repeat of last year’s record-breaking numbers. Oregon State is trying to move towards a more balanced offense but the running game didn’t look particularly strong this spring, though a patchwork o-line had something to do with that.

Let’s say the line does come together and the Beavs improve their ground game. Everything we know says they’re still not going to be among the top teams in the conference running the ball. And while Brandin Cooks is gone, Mannion has plenty of weapons to utilize.

Richard Mullaney fought through injuries last year. When healthy, there are few with as good of hands or who are better at moving the chains on their down. Connor Hamlett is one of the best pass-catching tight ends you’ll see on Saturdays. He also struggled through injuries last year and should be more productive this season.

And then there’s Victor Bolden, who from this chair has the same rare, explosive burst as Cooks. He’s only going to be a sophomore but I think 2014 is going to be his breakout year and that at this time next summer, we’ll all be talking about if he can duplicate his huge season from 2014.

Mannion won the Manning Passing Academy’s annual Air-It-Out session a few days ago. He’s on all the watch lists. He’s a senior who knows the Beaver offense top to bottom.

And he’s about to become the most prolific Pac-12 passer of all time.

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