Without the defense from last year, there seems to be even more pressure than ever before on Johnny Manziel to perform like a Heisman. Even when his passing game isn’t at its best and an early injury threatens to take him out, the Texas A&M hero always finds a way to deliver.
Despite a first quarter scare, Manziel has one of his most impressive performances for the Aggies, leading them to a 41-38 win over Ole Miss, bringing them back from 7 points down by rushing for a touchdown himself with 3 minutes left in the game and leading the Aggies 56 yards down the field with time expiring to hit the game winning field goal.
Manziel finished with 0 touchdown passes and an interception, but he did complete 31-of-39 passes for 346 yards, setting up a very strong and easy running game for his team, combining for 241 yards on 45 carries. He ran for two touchdowns himself (Aggies scored five on the ground), making it 26 rushing touchdowns for him over the last two seasons, more than any other College Football quarterback over that timespan.
It was a wild, no-defense fourth quarter, which worked well for Texas A&M, who just can’t seem to put on the dominant defensive performances from last year on repeat, struggling hard against weaker teams than the Rebels to put their foot down and create stops. It’s still about Manziel making big plays with his legs to save the day, which might the reason why this team probably isn’t going to compete for the national title when this season is over.
Bo Wallace didn’t run as well as Manziel did, but he also threw for over 300 yards, adding three touchdown passes and an interception. The two combined for 798 of the teams’ 1,049 total yards. Remaining in the SEC West picture has mostly been up to Manziel, and there wasn’t a single person who took to the microphone after the game that didn’t praise the sophomore for simply being the best player in College Football.
The thing that makes him different is that he’s one of the greatest competitors I’ve ever been around. He’s only got one way to do things. If you know him, if he couldn’t go 100 percent, he wasn’t going to go.
It’s now still the wait for Alabama to lose. But Texas A&M, who lost to the Tide by 7 points, also have a problem called LSU. If the Tigers are the team that beats Alabama, they’ll be the ones who take the top spot in the conference, which means that A&M would have to be impressive enough in their win over LSU, in Baton Rouge mind you, in order to claim the top spot in the SEC West. They haven’t given up on those early season expectations putting them not too far behind Alabama for the division crown, but it’s not only up to them, and is conditioned on both beating LSU convincingly, and hoping the Tigers beat Alabama when the time comes. Otherwise, it’s going to be another season with the Cotton Bowl as their biggest consolation.