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Oregon State vs. Arizona 2012: Sean Mannion shines against Wildcats secondary

Sean Mannion had a huge game on Saturday night, throwing for 433 yards and three touchdowns against Arizona's secondary.

Christian Petersen - Getty Images

The Oregon St. Beavers knew Sean Mannion was going to need to come up big against the Arizona Wildcats this weekend if they hoped to win. 433 yards and three touchdowns later, the Beavers are now 3-0 this season and moving up in the polls.

Mannion was the star of the game throughout. It seemed like whenever Oregon State needed a big play to be made, the sophomore quarterback would deliver a crisp pass or gun a ball deep down the field. He led the Beavers on numerous lengthy drives, including a masterful two-minute drive in the closing moments as his team trailed late.

SB Nation's Oregon State blog, Building The Dam, took a look at why Mannion was so successful this weekend in Tucson.

It became apparent early that Wheaton and Brandin Cooks, who came up with 149 yards on 9 catches, were too fast for the Arizona secondary. Both ran out of what was often pretty good initial coverage again and again, for big play after big play. And when the 'Cats switched up their coverages in the second half, Wheaton and Cooks were still able to find openings, and extend plays.

It made it much easier for Mannion to direct long scoring drives, that covered 83, 84, 77, and in the fourth quarter, 86 and 75 yards, both of which when the Beavers were behind and needing a touchdown.

Mannion and the Beavers will have to refocus in a hurry as they begin preparing for Mike Leach and the Washington St. Cougars. Given their play in recent weeks, OSU should enter the game next weekend as heavy favorites.