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Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel
Photo by Steve Wade
Rattle and Hum Sports

Johnny Manziel quarterbacks the Aggies over the Mustangs

By Tommy Smith

Dallas, TX  Texas A&M freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel had a breakout day against SMU Saturday, as the Aggies thumped the Mustangs 48-3. Manziel completed 20 of 36 passes for 294 yards and four touchdowns. The duel threat quarterback added 124 yards rushing on 13 carries and two more touchdowns. Manziel broke Kevin Murray’s Texas A&M freshman passing record of 280 set in 1983 against Rice.

The win was the first of the season for the Aggies (1-1) and their first as a member of the Southeastern Conference. It was the 11th time A&M has beaten SMU in their last 12 meetings. SMU (1-2) managed a 21-21 tie with the Aggies in 1994, in a game played at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Texas A&M now lead the all-time series between the two former Southwest Conference opponents (43-29-7). SMU has not beaten Texas A&M since a 28-20 victory in 1984.

The Texas A&M defense silenced the Mustangs’ run and shoot offense that has sputtered to begin the 2012 season. SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert was sacked four times while throwing for 203 yards and an interception. The Mustangs longest play from scrimmage came on a Gilbert to Darius Johnson pass that went for 30 yards. SMU running back Zach Line did run for 104 yards on 16 carries passing Reggie Dupard and Craig James on the school’s all-time list with his 17th career 100+ yard rushing performance. Only Eric Dickerson has recorded more 100+ yard games at SMU with 28.

The Aggies announced the suspension of two senior starters just prior to the game as running back Christine Michael and safety Steven Campbell sat out the contest for reportedly violating team rules. Neither the offense nor defense seemed disrupted by their absence as Manziel paced the Aggies on the ground and Demontre Moore lead the Texas A&M defense sacking Gilbert twice while recording six tackles.

Offensively, SMU converted only 3 of 18 third down opportunities and were 0-2 on fourth down. Chase Hover punted 10 times allowing Manziel and the Aggies’ offense to wear down the SMU defense. A&M piled up 605 yards of total offense on 87 plays. The game was scoreless until 8:38 left in the first half when Manziel hit wide receiver Ryan Swope on a 29 yard touchdown pass to give the Aggies a 7-0 lead. A&M would then run off the next 20 points taking a commanding 27-0 lead with 10:31 left in the third quarter.

After the game SMU Coach June Jones felt the Mustang offense failed to capitalize early in the game which eventually lead to A&M’s offense finding a rhythm and opening the lead. “If the offense had been able to answer the call in the first 15 -17 minutes of the game, you know, it might have been a little different of a game. Jones said, “I don’t think their quarterback would have played with as much confidence cause he was certainly a little bit not himself early, but you know, we just never got going on offense and we haven’t really got goin yet in the first three games, but there is a lot of football left and hopefully we will pick it up.”

The Mustangs will get a week off to try to pick it up before they face TCU in the third of three straight home games September 29th. The game will be televised on FSN but no kick off time has been set.

NOTEABLE

  • SMU Defensive lineman Margus Hunt’s Blocked PAT at 3:26 of the 2nd quarter was the 16th total block of his career (9 FGs, 7 PATs). That is tied for 2nd in NCAA history.
  • The Attendance of 32,016 ranks 6th at Ford Stadium
  • Zach Line had  a career-high tying 5 receptions and had a career-long 29-yard reception
  • Randall Joyner had a team-high and season-high 9 tackles (4 solo). Second-highest of his career (12)
  • SMU is 15-6 at home since the start of the 2009 season

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