Manziel leads Aggies to victory
TribLIVE Sports Videos
ARLINGTON, Texas — Johnny Manziel tiptoed the sideline for a 23-yard touchdown on Texas A&M's first drive of the game.
The Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback known as Johnny Football and the 10th-ranked Aggies were just getting warmed up in the Cotton Bowl. There were plenty more highlights after that nifty run.
In his first game since becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman, Manziel set a Cotton Bowl-record with 516 total yards and accounted for four TDs as the Aggies capped their first SEC season with a 41-13 win over 12th-ranked Oklahoma on Friday night.
With first-year coach Kevin Sumlin and their young star quarterback, the Aggies (11-2) fit right in with the SEC after leaving the Big 12. They broke the SEC record with their 7,261 total yards this season (the first over 7,000 after 633 in Cowboys Stadium). They also averaged more than 40 points a game.
And they capped their debut season with an overwhelming victory in the only postseason game matching teams from those power conferences. It is the Aggies' first 11-win season since 1998, when they won their only Big 12 title.
The chants of “S-E-C!, S-E-C!” began after Manziel's 33-yard TD pass to Ryan Swope with 4 minutes left in the third quarter for a 34-13 lead. They got louder and longer after that.
Texas A&M led by only a point at halftime, but scored on its first three drives of the second half — on drives of 91 and 89 yards before Swope's score on a fourth-and-5 play.
Oklahoma (10-3), which like the Aggies entered the game with a five-game winning streak, went three-and-out on its first three drives after halftime.
SEC teams have won the last five Cotton Bowls, all against Big 12 teams, and nine out of 10. That included Texas A&M's loss to LSU two years ago.
Manziel set an FBS bowl record with his 229 yards rushing on 17 carries and completed 22 of 34 passes for 287 yards.
Oklahoma, led by quarterback Landry Jones in his 50th career start, had only 312 total yards.
Jones completed 35 of 48 passes for 278 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He won 39 games and three bowls for the Sooners. His career started on the same field in the 2009 season opener when he replaced injured Heisman winner Sam Bradford in the first college game played at Cowboys Stadium.
Already with a 24-yard gain on an earlier third down, the Aggies had third-and-9 on their opening drive when Manziel rolled to his left and took off. When he juked around a defender and got near the sideline, he tiptoed to stay in bounds and punctuated his score with a high-step over the pylon for a quick lead.
Officials reviewed the touchdown play, but it was clear by the replay shown on the huge video screen above the Cowboys Stadium field that Manziel stayed inbounds.
Manziel added a 5-yard TD run on a bootleg play in the second quarter, and capped the scoring with a 34-yard pass to Uzoma Nwachukwu with 9 minutes left in the game.
The first TD run was Manziel's school-record 20th of the season. He became only the fourth FBS quarterback with 20 TDs rushing and 20 passing in the same season.
The other 20-20 quarterbacks were Auburn's Cam Newton and Florida's Tim Tebow, who like Manziel are Heisman winners from the SEC, and Nevada's Colin Kaepernick.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- NFL parity makes playoff chase a multi-team muddle
- Finding balance between toughness, excessiveness key for Penguins’ Downie
- Iraqi family, torn apart for opposing Saddam, reunites in Pittsburgh
- Clues to Chief Justice John Roberts’ thinking on new ObamaCare case
- Inching closer to return, Pitt’s Wright could boost defense
- LaBar: Timing perfect for Sting’s debut at WWE’s Survivor Series
- Arziona’s Miller gets boost from Char Valley grad’s play
- CT scans can find smokers’ lung cancer early
- Two-alarm fire reported in Swissvale
- East Allegheny girls basketball team embraces new outlook
- Ford City boys basketball coach brings winning personality for final season