Manziel, Aggies bounce back with convincing win over SMU

DALLAS, TX Instead, Texas A&M's redshirt freshman quarterback shifted to his left to avoid the charging linebacker and lofted a perfect pass to Kenric McNeal for a 42-yard touchdown.

It was one of the dynamic plays Manziel made to help the Aggies earn their first victory of the season.

Manziel accounted for 418 total yards and six touchdowns in three quarters, and Texas A&M overcame a sluggish start to beat SMU 48-3 Saturday.

Manziel threw for four touchdowns and a school-freshman-record 294 yards. He also had 13 carries for 124 yards and a pair of a scoring runs.

"You've got to keep blocking because he's going to run around and make plays," Texas A&M offensive lineman Patrick Lewis said. "He's a playmaker."

Texas A&M (1-1) racked up 605 yards in offense and bounced back after losing its Southeastern Conference opener to No. 18 Florida.

Last weekend, Manziel became the Aggies' first freshman starting quarterback in an opener since 1944. He finished that game with 173 yards passing and 60 more on the ground.

Manziel improved on that performance by completing 20 of 36 passes before backup Jameill Showers replaced him in the fourth. In addition to two rushing touchdowns, the dual-threat quarterback kept several other plays alive with his legs.

About the only thing Manziel didn't do Saturday was talk to reporters after the game. Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin does not allow freshmen to speak with the media.

"Some of the stuff he does is amazing," Texas A&M linebacker Jonathan Stewart said of Manziel. "You would have thought he was back in high school the way he was running around."

SMU (1-2) suffered its most lopsided home loss since 2002, when it dropped a 52-6 contest to Oklahoma State.

Chase Hover kicked a 25-yard field goal in the third quarter for SMU's only points.

SMU's Zach Line rushed for 104 yards. That was the senior's 17th career 100-yard performance, second in school history behind NFL great Eric Dickerson.

"For whatever reason, we weren't able to get in rhythm," said SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert, who was 23 of 49 for 203 yards passing and an interception. "We had missed opportunities and we have to do a better job."

Mike Evans had 123 yards receiving and Uzoma Nwachukwu caught a pair of touchdown passes for the Aggies, who are 11-0-1 against their former Southwest Conference rivals since 1984.

Texas A&M running back Christine Michael, who rushed for 899 yards in 2011, and safety Steven Campbell were suspended for the game for violating team rules. The suspensions were made known just before kickoff.

The Aggies started slow Saturday after a shaky second half last week against the Gators. Texas A&M punted three times in the first quarter and failed on fourth-and-2 from the SMU 34.

Texas A&M's Taylor Bertolet missed a 23-yard field goal before Manziel and the offense put up 20 straight points to close out the first half.

"We just got together as an offense and Johnny started picking us up with his plays," Lewis said.

Manziel found Ryan Swope for a 29-yard touchdown pass midway through second quarter.

Manziel then used his running ability two drives later when he scampered up the middle for a 48-yard TD. On the extra point, SMU's Margus Hunt blocked his 16th career kick - which is second in NCAA history.

The 6-foot-8 Hunt set an NCAA record last weekend by blocking his ninth career field goal.

The Aggies stretched their lead to 20-0 when Manziel scrambled to his right and hooked up with Nwachukwu for a 26-yard touchdown pass with 1:03 left in the first half.

Manziel made his highlight reel play on Texas A&M's first drive of the second half. After eluding Reed, Manziel dropped in a perfect ball to McNeal, who took the pass and ran in for a 42-yard touchdown.

"He's a great athlete," Reed said. "I came through on a blitz and I had an arm on him. He's really shifty and he was able to make a play after I missed him. It's definitely frustrating."

Manziel added a 15-yard touchdown run and a 12-yard scoring pass to Nwachukwu in the third.

Manziel broke the freshman passing record of Kevin Murray, who threw for 280 yards against Rice in 1983.

Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.