Jarring news out of Corvallis late Monday afternoon, via Beavers beat writer Lindsay Schnell: Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion, currently averaging close to 340 yards per game at the helm of a national top-10 passing offense, has sustained a knee injury of unspecified nature or severity and will have to undergo surgery before returning to the team.
Head coach Mike Riley was mum on any other details, indicating only that Mannion injured himself while handing the ball off against Washington State in Week 6 and that there was no date set for his return to action. Mannion threw 16 touchdowns and 18 interceptions quarterbacking for the Beavers in 2011, but has dialed his game up as a sophomore, completing 107-of-169 pass attempts for 1,358 yards and throwing seven touchdowns and four picks in four games this season. His personal improvement has helped spark a team-wide improvement, and the No. 10 Beavers have been one of the biggest surprises of the 2012 season as a result.
Of immediate concern is Oregon State’s Week 7 opponent: The Beavers will face an extremely stingy defense on the road in Saturday’s game against BYU. Oregon State hasn’t done a great deal of running this season; Mannion and receivers Markus Wheaton and Brandin Cooks have provided the majority of offensive momentum by themselves. No other quarterback on Oregon State’s roster has attempted a pass this season, according to the NCAA’s statistical database.