Manziel and Texas A&M rout Oklahoma in Cotton Bowl


ARLINGTON, Tex. Johnny Manziel capped off a dream freshman season Friday night with a record-setting performance at the Cotton Bowl.

The Heisman Trophy winner ran for a pair of scores and threw for two touchdowns, as 10th-ranked Texas A&M blew out No. 12 Oklahoma, 41-13, at Cowboys Stadium.

Manziel set an FBS bowl record for most rushing yards by a quarterback with 229 on 17 carries. He also completed 22-of-34 throws for 287 yards and was picked off once.

Manziel’s rushing total eclipsed the previous mark of 201 yards set by Dwight Dasher of Middle Tennessee State in a victory over Southern Miss at the 2009 New Orleans Bowl.

Ryan Swope had eight catches for 104 yards and a TD for the Aggies (11-2), but the big story building into next season will be the hype of Johnny Football. Manziel led the Aggies to their first 11-win season since 1998, capping it with a dominant second-half performance against their former Big 12 foe.

Landry Jones connected on 35-of-48 passes for 278 yards with a TD and an interception for the Sooners (10-3), who earned a share of their eighth Big 12 title this season. OU was outscored, 27-0 in the second half.

Manziel ran 23 yards for a touchdown to cap a 75-yard game-opening drive.

Faced with a 3rd-and-3 right away, Manziel escaped pressure and scrambled 24 yards before sliding down. Ben Malena carried the load on three of the next four plays before Manziel worked more of his magic, this time on 3rd-and-9.

After being chased out of the pocket by linebacker Frank Shannon, Manziel bolted toward the left sideline, but never went out of bounds. Instead, he tight-roped past defensive back Javon Harris into the end zone.

The Sooners had to settle for a 23-yard field goal from Mike Hunnicutt, but were fortunate to get those points. They were stuffed on 4th-and-goal, but a false start negated the play prior to the field goal.

After Hunnicutt split the uprights from 24 yards away early in the second quarter, Manziel used his quick feet to move the Aggies inside the red zone with a 44-yard scramble.

But on third down, Manziel backpedaled and threw off his back foot to the middle of the end zone. Wide receiver Malcome Kennedy bobbled the ball and Harris came up with an interception with 9:09 left until halftime.

Texas A&M got the ball right back thanks to a Dustin Harris interception and needed three plays to push the lead to 14-6. Off a reverse, Kenric McNeal completed a 20-yard pass to Mike Evans, moving the ball to the OU 28. Malena busted down the right sideline for 23 yards.

Manziel then rolled to the left side of the field and dashed into the end zone untouched with 6:14 left in the half.

OU rallied within one with 1:16 left in the half thanks to a 13-play, 83-yard drive, which was culminated by Jones’ 6-yard TD pass to Justin Brown on 3rd- and-goal.

The Aggies scored on their first drive of the second half, courtesy of Malena’s 7-yard TD scamper to expand the lead to 21-13. The key play of the 91-yard trek came on Manziel’s 35-yard completion to Uzoma Nwachukwu.

Trey Williams broke free for a 30-yard TD run for a 27-13 difference following a missed extra point later in the third and the Aggies busted the game open when a fourth down gamble paid off. On 4th-and-5, Manziel threw over the middle to Swope, who ran out of a diving tackler and surged to the end zone for a 33-yard score with 3:55 remaining in the third quarter.

Manziel connected with Nwachukwu on a 34-yard TD pass with 9:03 left in the game.