Manziel leads A&M to Cotton Bowl rout of Sooners
"It was obvious tonight that we didn't play the way we should have played," said Jones, whose frustration was evident when he yelled at a teammate after a failed fourth-down play. "We couldn't run it. We couldn't throw it. It happens, you know."
SEC teams have won the last five Cotton Bowls, all against Big 12 teams, and nine out of 10. That included Texas A&M's loss to LSU only two years ago.
It had been six weeks since the Aggies played their last game, and four weeks since Manziel became the first freshman to win college football's highest individual award.
Manziel got it started with an electrifying 24-yard run on third down on the opening drive. Then on a third-and-10, Manziel rolled to his left and took off, juked around a defender and got near the sideline. He tiptoed to stay in bounds and punctuated his 23-yard score with a high-step over the pylon for a quick lead.
Officials reviewed the play to make sure he did stay in bounds, and the replays showed clearly that he did.
"There is too much talk about how you perform after the Heisman and about the layoff and all of that," said Manziel, who set an SEC record with 4,600 total yards in the regular season. "There wasn't anything holding us back. No rust, there was no nothing. We played as a unit."
The chants of "S-E-C! S-E-C!" began after Swope's TD catch with 4 minutes left in the third quarter. They got louder and longer after that, and Manziel spread both his arms out and ran off the field like he was flying.
Oklahoma was in the Cotton Bowl for only the second time. It was the first bowl matchup between the former Big 12 rivals, but the 17th consecutive season they have played each other.
The Sooners had won 11 of 13 in the series since Bob Stoops became their coach. That included a 77-0 Oklahoma win in 2003 that was the most-lopsided loss in Texas A&M history.
Sumlin was the A&M offensive coordinator in 2002 when the Aggies upset the top-ranked Sooners. The next year, Sumlin was hired by Stoops as an assistant, and he stayed there five seasons before going to Houston as head coach and now the Aggies.
"I think tonight was really indicative of this season," Sumlin said. "It's one of the teams I thought in the country that truly got better every week."
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