TEXAS A&M (1-0)
Game: Texas A&M 52, Rice 31. After a first half that ended with them up only 28-21, the Aggies took command in the third quarter with the return of QB Johnny Manziel and outscored the Owls 24-10 the rest of the way. Manziel threw three touchdown passes after sitting out the first half because of an NCAA mandated suspension before being benched following an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
Takeaway: Though the 21-point victory was comfortable, statistics for the game show that the Aggies' defense isn't quite ready for the SEC gantlet.
The visiting Owls rushed for 306 yards and threw for another 203 in outgaining the Aggies 509-486 in total offense. Part of the reason, of course, was the suspensions levied against several defensive starters, but with Alabama coming up on Sept. 21, the Aggies don't want to let any potential issues linger.
"We have a lot of pieces that we can be successful with," coach Kevin Sumlin said.
-- Junior QB Matt Joeckel, who had appeared in only five games his first two seasons, was 14-of-19 passing in starting in place of the suspended Manziel. The completions were good for 190 yards and a touchdown.
-- Sophomore RB Tra Carson, who sat out last year after transferring from Oregon, rushed for 76 yards on 14 carries in his Aggies' debut. He scored two touchdowns carries that covered a combined three yards.
Next: At Sam Houston State, Sept. 7.