The season has gotten off to a rocky start for the Oregon State Beavers. One bright spot, however, has been the explosiveness of their passing offense. Sean Mannion has backed up Mike Riley’s decision to hand him the starter’s job before the season and wide receiver Brandin Cooks has been dominant in the early going. As OSU gears up for the conference schedule, could Cooks be the best wide receiver in the nation?
So far, he has a pretty good case. Through four games, Cooks leads the nation with 43 catches for 639 yards and seven touchdowns. His 159.8 yards receiving per game average is second only to Paul Richardson of the Colorado Buffaloes who is averaging a ridiculous 208.5 yards per game in just two contests. His 10.8 receptions per game is tops in the country and shows that he has stepped up into the No. 1 receiver position seamlessly this season.
And he’s making his receptions count. 60 percent of the team that Cooks catches a pass, Oregon State gets a first down or a touchdown. The junior wideout is making this offense click so far this season by moving the chains and putting points on the board. Against the San Diego State Aztecs needing a fourth quarter rally, Cooks stepped up and caught a season-high 14 passes for 141 yards. In three of four games this season, the receiver has hauled in multiple touchdown passes and gained at least 100 yards receiving.
In short, he’s looked unstoppable and that’s exactly what Oregon State has needed from him. There are a lot of issues on this Beavers’ team through the first month of the season so they need playmakers to step up and lead them as they try and sort themselves out. Cooks has answered the call so far but can he keep it up all season long?