Manziel, Texas A&M rout Oklahoma
ARLINGTON, Texas — Johnny Manziel stretched out both of his arms and ran off the field as if he was flying.
With the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback known as Johnny Football, Texas A&M certainly is soaring in the SEC.
Manziel tiptoed the sideline for a 23-yard touchdown on the first drive of the Cotton Bowl, the first of his four touchdowns as part of his bowl-record 516 total yards, and the Aggies capped their first SEC season with a 41-13 win over 12th-ranked Oklahoma on Friday night.
“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 after his first game since becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman.
With first-year coach Kevin Sumlin and their young star quarterback, the Aggies (11-2) broke the SEC record with their 7,261 total yards this season (the first over 7,000 after 633 in Cowboys Stadium). They also averaged more than 40 points a game.
And they capped their debut season with an overwhelming victory in the only postseason game matching teams from those power conferences. It is the Aggies’ 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 TD pass to Ryan Swope with 4 minutes left in the third quarter for a 34-13 lead. They got louder and longer after that.
“I think tonight was really indicative of this season,” Sumlin said. “It’s one of the teams I thought in the country that truly got better every week.”
Texas A&M never trailed while winning its last six games. That included its win at SEC champion Alabama, which plays for the BCS national title Monday night.
Manziel set an FBS bowl record with his 229 yards rushing on 17 carries, and completed 22 of 34 passes for 287 yards.
“Johnny Manziel is everything he was billed to be, expected him to be,” said Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, who after the game shook the quarterback’s hand and told him “good job.”
SEC teams have won the last five Cotton Bowls, all against Big 12 teams, and nine out of 10. That included Texas A&M’s loss to LSU only two years ago.
Oklahoma, led by quarterback Landry Jones in his 50th career start, had 401 total yards as a team.
Jones completed 35 of 48 passes for 278 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He won 39 games and three bowls for the Sooners, in 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 played at Cowboys Stadium.