The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

January 5, 2013

Manziel leads A&M to Cotton Bowl rout of Sooners

— ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — At one point early in the Cotton Bowl, with "Johnny B. Goode" blaring through the stadium speakers, Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel peeked up at the accompanying highlights on the huge video board hanging over the field.

Texas A&M's exciting dual-threat quarterback known as Johnny Football sure puts on a show worth watching.

"Best player I've ever played. He does so many good things. He's got magic," Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. "He'll have a chance to win four (Heismans) if he stays healthy."

Manziel tiptoed down the sideline for a 23-yard TD on the game's opening drive and went on to an FBS bowl record for quarterbacks with 229 yards rushing on 17 carries. He also set a Cotton Bowl record with 516 total yards as the 10th-ranked Aggies beat No. 12 Oklahoma 41-13 on Friday night to wrap up their first SEC season.

With first-year coach Kevin Sumlin and their young star quarterback after leaving the Big 12 for the SEC, the Aggies (11-2) overwhelming won the only bowl game matching teams from those two power conferences. They won 11 games for the first time since 1998, their only Big 12 title season.

The Aggies never trailed while winning their last six games and became the first SEC team with more than 7,000 total yards — 7,261 after gaining 633 in the Cotton Bowl.

"It's huge for this program, and for me especially, with the kind of woes A&M has had over the past decade or however long it's been since they had 11 wins," Manziel said. "For us to get up tonight and watch them battle back, it's good when we strike first. That's what we like to do. It was good to do that and not really look back."

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