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Manziel, A&M roll past Mississippi State, 38-13

The SportsXchange

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- With another stellar outing Saturday, freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel of 16th-ranked Texas A&M made a convincing case to be in the Heisman Trophy picture.

Manziel amassed 440 yards of total offense and two touchdowns in a 38-13 victory over No. 15 Mississippi State.

Manziel, who is becoming known "Johnny Football," completed 30-of-36 passes for 311 yards and rushed 21 times for 129 yards and two touchdowns.

"There are a number of great plays he has made for us over the course of the year," coach Kevin Sumlin said. "Johnny has the green light to take off when he wants.

"He was able to do some great things with his feet this game, especially on third downs. We were also getting some great downfield blocks for him."

The Aggies finished with 693 total yards on 97 plays. Texas A&M remained balanced with 361 yards rushing and 332 yards through the air.

"We're very fortunate to have a quarterback like that because the play is never over," Aggie running back Ben Malena said. "All we have to do when Johnny's start improvising is stay with the play and make sure he can get into the open field."

Malena added 112 yards rushing and a touchdown on 17 carries for the Aggies (7-2, 4-2 in the SEC). Ryan Swope caught nine passes for 121 yards.

Texas A&M wasted little time getting on the scoreboard. The Aggies drove 73 yards in 10 plays on their opening possession, with Malena plowing in from a yard out.

It was more of the same on Texas A&M's second drive, when Christine Michael busted off left tackle for a 21-yard scoring run to make it 14-0, still in the first quarter.

Manziel got into the scoring column on the first drive of the second quarter when he scrambled 37 yards for a touchdown.

The Aggies would extend their lead later in the quarter when Taylor Bertolet kicked a 24-yard field goal to make it 24-0.

The only highlight for Mississippi State in the first half came on the final play, when Josh Boyd blocked Bertolet's 33-yard field goal attempt.

Texas A&M started the second half by driving for another touchdown, with Michael scored from a yard out, and it was 31-0.

The finally Bulldogs were able to get on the board midway through the third quarter. Following a 42-yard pass to Chris Smith, Tyler Russell connected with Chad Bumphis from 15 yards for a touchdown.

Mississippi State scored again early in the fourth quarter after a missed field goal attempt by Bertolet. Russell scored on a four-yard keeper, but the two-point conversion pass failed and Texas A&M's lead was 31-13.

Manziel and Texas A&M were not done. He orchestrated another scoring drive on the ensuing possession and got into the end zone on a four-yard run.

Mississippi State (7-2, 3-2) managed only 310 yards of offense, 212 passing and 98 yards rushing.

"We as a team played very poorly today; that's 100-percent my fault," coach Dan Mullen of Mississippi State. "As a head football coach, that all falls on my shoulders.

"In every phase, we played very poorly. I will give them credit, their kids played very well. They have a good football team and they play hard. That was as bad of a performance that I think we've had here in a long time."

Russell completed 19-of-30 passes for 212 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.

LaDarius Perkins rushed 13 times for 42 yards for the Bulldogs and Arceto Clark caught five passes for 64 yards.

NOTES: Mississippi State quarterback Tyler Russell equaled the single season school record with his 16th touchdown pass, tying Derrick Taite (1995). ... In his first season in the Southeastern Conference, Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin has as many SEC career victories as Tennessee's Derek Dooley and as many SEC West wins as Mississippi State's Dan Mullen. ... In his last two games, Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel has had 790 yards of total offense and seven total touchdowns.
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