Positional Breakdown: Sean Mannion vs. Hawai’i Secondary


For the second time in the team’s last three contests dating back to 2013, Sean Mannion and the Oregon State Beavers will travel to the Aloha State for the chance to build on last week’s 29-14 home win over Portland State.

The Beavers most recent trip to Hawai’i was the 2013 Sheraton Hotels Hawai’i Bowl, in which Sean Mannion lead the Beavers past the freshly Chris Petersen-less Boise State Broncos, 38-23, on Christmas Eve.

Oregon State will face Aloha Stadium’s incumbent Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors in what will surely be a more stout test of the Beavers overall offensive cohesiveness. The Rainbow Warriors were seconds away from upsetting the #25 Washington Huskies. A questionable call on the sideline within the last minute of the game enabled The Huskies to squeak out of paradise with a 17-16 victory.

It was a heart-wrenching way to lose, especially for a fan base struggling with an unsupportive administration leaning towards disbanding the Rainbow Warrior football program.

Despite the 0-1 record, Hawai’i showed themselves to be a formidable opponent. And while rankings in Week 1 are as meaningless as the preseason polls altogether, a quality game against a top 25 team is nothing to be overlooked.

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The key matchup in the Beavers Week 2 contest will be Quarterback Sean Mannion and the Rainbow Warrior’s defensive secondary.

Mannion’s final stat line was respectable; finishing 26 of 45 for 328 yards, a single touchdown, and no interceptions. Most impressive of all was the Senior QB’s ability to spread the ball around, finding eight different targets throughout the game.

Juxtaposed Mannion and his receivers will be a much more athletic group of defensive backs. Should the Beavers fail to shake off the Week 1 rust displayed against Portland State, Hawai’i could make things very difficult.

Senior DB Taz Stevenson lead the team in tackles (10) against Washington. Altogether, the secondary accounted for 22 of the teams 62 tackles.

The Rainbow Warriors were unable to force any interceptions, chiefly due to the style of Washington’s play. The Huskies attempted only 26 passes in the contest and were only able to successfully complete five first downs through the air.

While Oregon State showed a much more balanced attack against Portland State, The Beavers are still very much a throw-first offense. A fact that will present more opportunities for the Hawai’i secondary to make plays.

Mannion’s best chance for success against the Rainbow Warrior secondary will be a repeat of last week’s passing variety. Finding tight ends and running backs in the short yardage passing game will force linebackers and defensive backs to play closer to the line of scrimmage, opening up the lethal downfield strike options in Victor Bolden and Richard Mullaney.

If Mannion can force the defense to play sideline to sideline, Oregon State’s deep receiving corps should have no problem finding holes in the secondary.