Saturday, April 21, 2018
Colleges

Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M Aggies rout Oklahoma Sooners in Cotton Bowl

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 to come.

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.

"There is too much talk about how you perform after the Heisman and about the layoff and all of that," Manziel said. "There wasn't anything holding us back. No rust, there was no nothing. We played as a unit. … To go out and win 11 games and do what we've done is impressive."

Manziel set an Division I-A bowl record for quarterbacks with 229 yards rushing, on just 17 carries. He also completed 22 of 34 passes for 287 yards.

With first-year coach Kevin Sumlin and their young star quarterback, the Aggies (11-2) broke the SEC record with 7,261 total yards (including 633 in Cowboys Stadium). And the Aggies capped their debut season with an overwhelming victory over their old Big 12 rival for their 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 touchdown pass to Ryan Swope with four minutes left in the third quarter for a 34-13 lead. They got louder and longer after that.

"To come in and go against a Big 12 rival and do everything we wanted as a team, and send these seniors out with a win, we couldn't feel any better," Manziel said.

Texas A&M led by only a point at halftime, but it 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), in quarterback Landry Jones' 50th career start, had only 312 total yards.

Jones was 35-of-48 for 278 yards with a TD and an interception to cap a career that started on the same field in the 2009 season opener when he replaced injured Heisman winner Sam Bradford in the first college game at Cowboys Stadium.

Manziel's first touchdown made him the fourth I-A quarterback with 20 touchdowns passing and 20 rushing in a season — joining two other Heisman winners from the SEC, Auburn's Cam Newton and Florida's Tim Tebow, plus Nevada's Colin Kaepernick. Manziel added a 5-yard scoring run on a bootleg play in the second quarter and capped the scoring with a 34-yard pass to Uzoma Nwachukwu with nine minutes left.

Jones threw a 6-yard touchdown to Justin Brown just before halftime to make it 14-13 and set Cotton Bowl records when he had 23 completions and 30 attempts (for 175 yards) by halftime.

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