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Manziel leads Aggies over South Carolina St. 70-14

Associated Press Modified: September 22, 2012 at 11:03 pm •  Published: September 22, 2012
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — South Carolina St. coach Buddy Pough can't wait to get back to Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play after consecutive 56-point losses to BCS teams.

The latest came when Johnny Manziel threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more by halftime as Texas A&M built a big lead and coasted to a 70-14 win over South Carolina St. on Saturday night.

The loss came a week after the Football Championship Subdivision team lost 56-0 at Arizona.

"They were vastly the dominant team," Pough said. "We've had a good experience for having competed against them. I'm just looking forward to getting back to our league now and seeing what we can do at our own level."

Two of Manziel's touchdown passes went to Uzoma Nwachukwu. All four of Nwachukwu's receptions this season have been for touchdowns.

The Aggies (2-1) were up 14-7 after the first quarter before Manziel scored on runs of 39 and 20 yards to give A&M a commanding lead.

Ben Malena had two rushing touchdowns in the first half and Texas A&M led 49-7 at halftime.

Dustin Harris had a 96-yard punt return for a touchdown and finished with a school and Southeastern Conference record 246 punt return yards for A&M.

"The score got out of hand because of the kicking game, because the kid just returned every kind of punt known to man," Pough said.

Richard Cue threw for 189 yards and a touchdown for South Carolina St. (1-3).

"We left points out there on the field," Cue said. "We didn't execute and we just kind of shot ourselves in the foot."

Texas A&M outgained South Carolina St. 448-223 yards and had 23 first downs to 11 by the Bulldogs.

Manziel was 15 of 20 for 174 yards passing and added 78 yards rushing on eight carries. Malena finished with 88 yards on 11 carries.

Malena put A&M up 7-0 with a 4-yard run in the first quarter. Malena started and played the entire first half with Christine Michael on the sideline a week after Michael was suspended against SMU for violating team rules.

Manziel found Nwachukwu later in the quarter on a 9-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-0 Texas A&M.

The Bulldogs got within 14-7 when Jalen Simmons found a big hole and ran 17 yards for a touchdown. That drive was helped when Steven Campbell was flagged 15 yards for roughing the passer on a blow to the head of Cue.

Manziel's first rushing touchdown was a nifty one. He hurdled a defender near the line of scrimmage and zigzagged through the South Carolina State defense for a 39-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 21-7.

He used his feet again on A&M's next possession, making it 28-7 on a 20-yard run that he capped with a dive into the end zone less than four minutes later.

Manziel went back to the air for the next score, finding Kenric McNeal on a 30-yard touchdown pass to put A&M ahead 35-7.

"We didn't do enough to challenge them long enough," Pough said.

Nwachukwu kept up his streak later in the second quarter when he caught a short pass from Manziel and evaded a defender before barreling into the end zone to complete the 37-yard score.

Malena wrapped up the Texas A&M's dominant first half with a 50-yard run.

Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin used mostly backups in the second half and the clock ran in the fourth quarter. Sumlin inserted Jameill Showers at quarterback for the first drive of the second half and he was intercepted by Dominique Mitchell.

But the Bulldogs couldn't capitalize on the mistake and had to punt. Harris returned it 96 yards for a touchdown to extend A&M's lead to 56-7.

It was the second longest punt return in school history.

Michael played the second half and finished with 26 yards and had a 5-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Lennel Elmore scored on a 39-yard pass from Cue to make it 63-14 with about 12 minutes remaining.

"We're not that far away from being successful," Cue said. "We can learn from these games."


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