PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — An aerial blitz is expected when Oregon State meets Washington State on Saturday.
Two of the most potent passing attacks in the Pacific-12 will be on the field as Washington State (4-2, 2-1 Pac-12) plays its conference home opener.
Oregon State (4-1, 2-0) quarterback Sean Mannion leads the Pac-12 with 2,018 passing yards, and has thrown 21 touchdown passes against just two interceptions, while completing 67 percent of his passes. Oregon State ranks second in the nation for passing yards per game at 420, while WSU is eighth at 359.
"He can sling the ball," WSU defensive lineman Toni Pole said of Mannion.
Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday connected with 12 different receivers in throwing for more than 500 yards in last weekend's rout of California.
The Cougars, who lost 19-6 to Oregon State last season, are wary of Mannion, who was intercepted three times in last year's game.
"It's been a whole year for him to get better, and clearly he's gotten better," WSU safety Deone Bucannon said. "We're not going to take anything from last year to this year."
Mannion is just as respectful of the improved WSU defense.
"WSU has a very underrated defense," Mannion said. "Obviously their offense gets a lot of attention, but I think their defense is strong and you can't make any mistakes."
The Cougars did allow 521 passing yards at Cal, but largely kept the Bears out of the end zone.