Sean Mannion, Brandin Cooks keep pace in Oregon State's win

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Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion and wide receiver Brandin Cooks continued to combine for prolific passing statistics in a 49-17 win at California on Saturday, but also gave the Beavers scares after taking hard hits on back-to-back plays in the fourth quarter.

Cooks took a shot from cornerback Joel Willis trying to make a catch and extend his career night, while Mannion was leveled under the chin by linebacker Todd Barr on the next play. The hit drew a roughing the passer penalty.

Both appeared to be fine, though Cooks did not return to the game.

Cooks finished with a personal-best 232 yards on 13 receptions, scoring on a 34-yard catch and 14-yard run. It was Cooks' second 200-yard game this season, giving him 1,176 yards in seven games. That puts Cooks on pace to break the single-season receiving yards record of 2,060 set by Trevor Insley of Nevada in 1999.

The scary part for the Golden Bears was that Kameron Jackson, their top available corner, had good coverage on many of Cooks' catches and the junior still came down with the ball.

Mannion went 35-of-45 passing for 481 yards and four touchdowns, his third consecutive game with 400 yards and fifth in seven games this season. With 29 touchdown passes, Mannion is on pace to absolutely shatter Matt Barkley's conference single-season record of 39 set in 2011.

The Mannion-Cooks connection will have to continue to be explosive for OSU to handle the most difficult portion of its schedule, beginning with a home game against Stanford next week. But with Mannion and Cooks playing this well, nothing is out of the realm of possibility for the overlooked Beavers in the Pac-12 North.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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