Manziel, Aggies edge Duke 52-48 in Chick-fil-A

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 31, 2013 at 11:42 pm •  Published: December 31, 2013
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ATLANTA (AP) — Even by Johnny Manziel's Heisman-winning standards, his lead role in Texas A&M's comeback was one to remember.

It could prove to be a perfect ending to Manziel's college career.

Manziel threw four touchdown passes, and Toney Hurd Jr. returned an interception 55 yards for the late go-ahead touchdown in Texas A&M's 52-48 victory over Duke on Tuesday night in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Led by Manziel, the Aggies rallied after trailing 38-17 at halftime. It was the highest-scoring game in the bowl's history.

Manziel, playing in what might be his final college game, completed 30 of 38 passes for 382 yards and ran for 73 yards and a touchdown.

"I was in a zone I haven't been in before," Manziel said. "Ever. I just wanted this game."

Hurd's interception return gave the No. 20 Aggies (9-4) their first lead with 3:33 remaining.

No. 22 Duke (10-4) took a 41-31 lead into the fourth quarter. The Blue Devils couldn't hold off the comeback and are still looking for their first bowl win since beating Arkansas 7-6 in the 1961 Cotton Bowl.

Hurd stepped in front of receiver Johnell Barnes for the interception, the first turnover for either team. Texas A&M linebacker Nate Askew ended Duke's next possession with another interception.

Duke's Anthony Boone passed for 427 yards and three touchdowns but was left to regret the two interceptions, especially Hurd's.

"It hurt," Boone said. "It was a very unfortunate play on my part."

Manziel, a third-year sophomore who won the Heisman Trophy as a freshman last season, is widely projected as a first-round pick if he decides to enter the NFL draft. He wasn't ready to talk about his decision after the game.

"I can't even talk about anything other than this game," Manziel said. "This was unreal. ... I haven't made (the decision) yet. I'm in the moment right now."

Asked if this would be a perfect way to cap his college career, Manziel said: "I don't know. It's an unreal feeling, I know that. The way these guys fought, it was unreal. I'm proud of them."

Texas A&M's defense opened the second half with its first stop of the game. The Blue Devils, successful on two fourth-down calls in the first half, were stopped on fourth down from the Texas A&M 35.

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