With Bolden out, other Oregon State receivers step up
CORVALLIS — There was no hesitation.
When Victor Bolden had to leave Oregon State’s 28-7 win over San Diego State with a dislocated pinky finger and then Rahmel Dockery was lost to an injury, the Beavers didn’t shut down their passing game.
Sean Mannion started looking elsewhere for big plays.
Mannion threw for 275 yards on 24 completions, going to 10 different players.
“I thought the kids adjusting and playing without a couple of guys that do a lot of things for us, I thought they did a nice job,” coach Mike Riley said.
Mannion went to fullbacks, tight ends and, of course, receivers, targeting Hunter Jarmon in particular.
“Losing Vic was hard. Just seeing him go down, it was hard for me just seeing him out and I know he’s hurting,” Richard Mullaney said. “But having Hunter in there making plays, Rahmel getting in there and making plays, it’s very encouraging.
“We all know what they can do, so it’s no surprise to us, but it’s awesome to see them have a big game like they did.”
Jarmon led OSU with five catches for 76 yards.
“Hunter played great. He’s a guy that we expect great things out of him,” Mannion said. “It’s unfortunate the way Victor got hurt and Rahmel got hurt, but I think it was impressive to see our other guys step up and execute the way we expect them to.”
Jarmon, a 5-foot-11, 200-pound redshirt freshman out of Waco, Texas, had catches of 27 and 32 yards, both for big first downs.
The 32-yarder was on second-and-27 to keep a first-quarter scoring drive alive and the 27-yarder was on a touchdown drive to start the third.
It also jumped Mannion past Derek Anderson as OSU’s all-time leading passer.
“He performed well, made a lot of big plays,” Mannion said. “He had at least two big ones on third down, third-and-long situations. So that was important.”
Mannion calls Jarmon his little brother.
“It’s always fun playing with friends and I think this is a team of people who are friends with each other and I still consider Hunter my little brother, despite what he says,” Mannion said.
“It’s always fun to see a guy do well when you know how good a player he is and how hard he works.”
Dockery made the first catch of his OSU career before leaving the game.
Mannion found him deep for a 49-yard play that set up a short touchdown run.
“He split the safety and the corner,” Mullaney said. “We were talking about that all week because the safeties play low and we know we can get by the corners. And he just went up and made a tremendous play.”
Running back Terron Ward added five for 35 yards and Mullaney had three for 46. Bolden finished with two for 21 and tight end Connor Hamlett had two for 20.
Fullbacks Ricky Ortiz and Tyler Anderson also had catches.
Mullaney said the ability of Mannion to spread the ball around and the play of the receivers makes the OSU offense potent.
“Last year with Brandin (Cooks), you’re going to have to give him the ball because he’s special and he can do so many things with the ball,” Mullaney said. “But losing him and having so much talent as we do on the offense, it’s so hard to cover us. We’re throwing to the backs out of the backfield, we’re throwing to the tight ends and the receivers. With all the athletes we have, it’s hard.”