Manziel, Aggies rout Bulldogs on road - Tucson News Now

Manziel, Aggies rout Bulldogs on road

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The Associated Press/Texas A&M University Athletics Department

STARKVILLE, MS - Johnny Manziel threw for 311 yards and ran for 129 yards and two touchdowns, leading No. 16 Texas A&M to a 38-13 victory over No. 17 Mississippi State on Saturday.

Manziel, a redshirt freshman, completed 30-of-36 passes. He ran for a 37-yard touchdown in the second quarter that helped the Aggies build a 31-0 lead by early in the second half.

The Southeastern Conference's leading rusher added an 8-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Texas A&M (7-2, 4-2 SEC) has won all five of its road games this season. Christine Michael ran for 50 yards and two touchdowns. Ryan Swope caught nine passes for 121 yards, and Mike Evans caught nine for 97 yards.

The Aggies' quick-tempo offense ran 97 plays and gained 693 total yards. Mississippi State had just 310 total yards.

Tyler Russell completed 19-of-30 passes for 212 yards, with one touchdown and one interception for Mississippi State (7-2, 3-2), which has lost two in a row.

Mississippi State's defense had been one of the best in the SEC this season - especially in the secondary - but was blitzed early and often by the Aggies' unpredictable offense.

Manziel completed mostly short passes in the first half, but hit on a few long ones. When the Bulldogs dropped too far back into pass coverage, the speedy freshman gained yards with his feet -- like his long scamper that pushed the Aggies' lead to 21-0 in the second quarter.

By halftime, Manziel had completed 18-of-22 passes for 164 yards, and the Aggies had a 24-0 lead.

If there was any doubt about the outcome, Texas A&M cleared that up with the first drive of the third quarter, cruising 75 yards on nine plays and scoring on a 1-yard run by Michael to push the lead to 31-0.

Now a little more than halfway through his first season at Texas A&M, coach Kevin Sumlin's offense is operating with impressive efficiency. Over the past six weeks, the Aggies have scored 58 points on Arkansas, 59 on Louisiana Tech, 63 on Auburn and now 38 on the Bulldogs.

The Aggies' fast-paced offense had Mississippi State's defense on its heels all afternoon. They were very balanced, gaining 361 yards on the ground and 332 through the air.

It was a crushing loss for the Bulldogs, who started the season 7-0 and had aspirations of competing for the SEC Western Division title.

But the Bulldogs have absorbed lopsided losses to Alabama and Texas A&M in consecutive weeks, and it doesn't get any easier with a road game against LSU next weekend.

Russell threw for just 29 yards in the first half. By the time he had some success it was too late. Russell threw a 14-yard pass to Chad Bumphis in the third quarter and added a 4-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

LaDarius Perkins led the Bulldogs with 42 yards rushing, and Arceto Clark caught five passes for 64 yards.

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