Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel became the first ever freshman to win the Heisman Trophy after setting an SEC record with 4,600 total yards in the Aggies’ wildly successful 10-2 regular season.
The efforts of he and his teammates earned the program a Cotton Bowl matchup with the Oklahoma Sooners, a team that had gotten used to pounding A&M during the Aggies’ decades as a member of the Big 12.
However, Manziel was not around for any of those beatings. Further, the dual-threat dynamo has a penchant not for studying history, but for making it.
Against the Big 12 juggernauts, the leader of the newest SEC powerhouse set multiple freshman and bowl game records en route to stomping the Sooners, 41-13 in Arlington, Texas.
Manziel was masterful through the air, completing 22-of-34 pass attempts for 287 yards, two scores and one interception that hit off the hands of an open receiver before falling into those of an Oklahoma defender.
However, it was on the ground that Johnny Football frantically dashed his way into the record books. With his 229 rushing yards on a mere 17 carries and two touchdowns, Manziel broke the all-time FBS record for rushing yards in a game by a quarterback.
Manziel also tallied two more scores through the air, giving him four on his historic night and 47 total touchdowns on his entire season.
Of course, it takes a village, so to speak, to dominate an opponent.
Ben Malena took only eight carries for 56 yards and Trey Williams ran a mere six times for 41 yards, averaging 7.0 and 6.8 yards per carry, respectively. The running game was simply clicking on all cylinders.
The most prolific receiver in school history, Ryan Swope, ended his career with a bang, hauling in eight passes for 104 yards, including a slick run after catching a screen pass for a total of 33 yards to paydirt.
Defensively, first team All-American Damontre Moore was all over the field. He and his defensive linemates bottled up an otherwise solid Oklahoma running game.
The Sooners were outrushed by the Aggies 123-326.
As for Manziel’s counterpart, Oklahoma senior quarterback Landry Jones, well, his night obviously did not go so well. Moore and Co. again made sure their quarterback’s statistic blew those of Mr. Jones out of the water. The only passer to throw for more than 3,000 yards in each of his four seasons in Norman kept it close for a little while, even making the score 14-13 going into halftime.
The second half, however, belonged not to the aged senior leader, but rather the dynamic young Manziel, who proved once and for all why he, and not Jones, deserved to be on that Heisman podium in New York City.
The legend of Johnny Football rolls into the Aggies’ offseason, while the team itself celebrates a wildly successful first year as members of the SEC.
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