CORVALLIS, Ore. — Sean Mannion passed for 414 yards and a school-record six touchdowns and Oregon State won its fourth consecutive game Saturday with a 44-17 victory over Colorado.
Brandin Cooks caught nine passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns for the Beavers (4-1, 2-0 Pac-12), and had five carries for 47 yards.
Mannion battled gusty wind conditions to complete 27 of 52 passes. The OSU junior leads the country with 2,018 passing yards.
Caleb Smith also caught two touchdowns passes for the Beavers, who never trailed.
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Colorado (2-1, 0-1) played its first game in three weeks. Flooding postponed the Buffaloes’ Sept. 14 game against Fresno State, in addition to a bye week, causing Colorado coach Mike McIntyre to say earlier this week that “it seems like three years ago since we last played.”
The Buffaloes’ offense was out of sync for most of the game. Quarterback Connor Wood connected on just 14 of 34 passes for 146 yards. Paul Richardson, who came into game as the country’s leading receiver averaging 208.5 yards per game, was held to five receptions for 70 yards.
The Beavers’ oft-maligned defense played its best game of the season. Ranked No. 92 in total defense, Oregon State limited Colorado to 124 yards through three quarters, and 300 for the game. The Buffaloes converted only 2 of 15 third downs.
Oregon State’s offense generated 542 total yards.
The Beavers led 17-3 at halftime. OSU scored on its opening possession on a 36-yard field goal by Trevor Romaine, then added touchdowns on Mannion passes of 3 yards to Smith and 8 yards to Cooks.
Oregon State put the game away during the third quarter on a combination of its offensive efficiency and Colorado’s special-teams miscues.
Mannion and Cooks connected on a 22-yard touchdown pass on the Beavers’ opening drive of the second half for a 24-3 lead. Oregon State then converted two Colorado fumbles on kickoff returns into touchdowns, on passes of 42 yards to Terron Ward and 10 yards to Smith, to take a 38-3 lead.
Mannion broke OSU’s record for touchdown passes in a game on an 11-yard throw to Connor Hamlett with 6:48 left in the fourth quarter.
Colorado scored two touchdowns during the fourth quarter, on Wood passes of 24 yards to Tyler McCullough and 28 yards to Richardson.
Mannion has thrown for at least 350 yards in each of his five games this season, an OSU record, and his 52 career touchdown passes tie him for third all-time with Erik Wilhelm.
“The record (six touchdown passes) is all a team effort and I think it shows,” Mannion said. “Brandin made a ton of plays for me. Caleb (Smith) had two touchdowns, which was huge. Connor Hamlett and Richard Mullaney both had big fourth-down conversions. It was a real good group effort.”