The Oregon State Beavers have been on a roll since losing their season opener to FCS Eastern Washington. Quarterback Sean Mannion has been lights out, leading the nation in passing and showing off great chemistry with wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who leads the nation in receiving. Cooks has been great all season long but will enjoy a career day tonight against the Washington State Cougars.
Through five games, Cooks has been unstoppable as he has recorded 52 catches for 807 yards with nine touchdowns. His 161.4 yards per game average is tops in the country as he’s adjusted just fine to his expanded role as the No. 1 receiver for the Beavers’ offense this season. He is on another level right now with Mannion, averaging 10.4 receptions per game.
This week, he goes against a Washington State defense that has been sliding in recent weeks. After playing lights out pass defense in the first four weeks and allowing zero passing touchdowns, WSU has allowed over 400 yards passing per game with five touchdown passes in the last two games against the Stanford Cardinal and Cal Bears. The secondary needs to figure out their issues quickly or Cooks will eat them alive.
Cooks’ best game of his career came earlier this season in a shootout against the Utah Utes. He caught nine passes for 210 yards with three touchdown catches as the Beavs pulled it out in overtime, getting Oregon State their first conference win of the season. With the way that the Cougars have given up big plays recently, that personal best may be in jeopardy of falling today.
Oregon State is going to look to win by throwing the ball down the field and Cooks is instrumental in making that work. There will be opportunities for huge gains through the air today in Pullman and Cooks is going to be ready to take advantage in a record-setting fashion.