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Texas A&M 59, Missouri 29

The SportsXchange

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel did little to hurt his Heisman hopes in his final showing before the votes are counted, leading Texas A&M to points on its first eight drives in a 59-29 victory over Missouri on Saturday at Kyle Field.

No. 9 Texas A&M finished the regular season 10-2 overall and 6-2 in the SEC. Missouri fell to 5-7 and had its string of consecutive bowl games end at eight.

Manziel threw for three touchdowns and ran for two others while piling up 439 yards of total offense against a Missouri team that had given up 400 yards only twice the entire season.

Manziel was 32 of 44 for 372 yards passing. He had 12 carries for 67 yards. He did throw an interception, only his second in five games.

The redshirt freshman and frontrunner for the Heisman scampered in from the 18 in the third quarter and then reached the ball over from the 1 in the fourth quarter. He took a curtain call midway through the fourth quarter, going out for one play and then being replaced by Jamiell Showers, who battled Manziel for the starting job until less than two weeks before the season began.

A&M led 52-10 late in the third quarter before Missouri scored three touchdowns over the final 18 minutes.

L'Damian Washington broke free down the sideline for a 74-yard TD reception from Corbin Berkstresser, who added a 1-yard run and a 25-yard pass to Dorial Green-Beckham for fourth-quarter scores.

Texas A&M scored a touchdown on its opening drive for the ninth straight game and never let up.

Senior Christine Michael, who was ejected from the previous game against Sam Houston for throwing a punch, had a run of 21 yards, a reception of 12 yards before scoring from the 1 on third down.

Texas A&M made it 14-0 on an 87-yard drive that finished with Ben Malena going in from the 2. Johnny Manziel was of 7 of 9 on the drive for 66 yards.

Manziel went out with a knee injury on the next drive but the Aggies kept on rolling. Jameill Showers entered and handed off to Michael, who burst through the defense for 38 yards and a 21-0 lead with 49 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Manziel missed the first three plays of the Aggies' fourth drive and then returned for the start of the second quarter. Eight plays later he found Ryan Swope wide open for a 4-yard touchdown.

Texas A&M's fifth and sixth touchdowns of the half were vintage Manziel. He avoided two defensive linemen, reversed fields twice and threw a strike to his favorite target, Mike Evans, to put the Aggies up 35-0. On the sixth and final touchdown of the half, he stood and looked for a receiver for at least 7 seconds, then escaped a toe-hold by Missouri's Matt Hoch before finding Uzoma Nwachukwu in the corner of the end zone.

The Tigers' lone highlight was a fake punt for 20 yards, which extended Missouri's only drive for points, a Kendial Lawrence 4-yard touchdown run with 16 seconds left in the half.

Notes: Manziel broke Cam Newton's record (2010) of 4,327 total offense on the first play of the second quarter, a 13-yard pass to Ben Malena. ... A&M has scored first in 17 straight games. ... Missouri had given up 400-plus yards twice all season (Alabama and Syracuse), but surrendered 436 yards in the first half. ... The Tigers gave up points on the opening drive of a half for only the third time all season.
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