FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Brandon Allen gave Arkansas the much-needed offensive boost it was looking for in his return from a shoulder injury.
It wasn't enough to counter Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, who led No. 10 Texas A&M to a 45-33 victory over the Razorbacks (3-2, 0-1 Southeastern Conference) on Saturday night.
Allen missed last week's loss to Rutgers with a bruised throwing shoulder suffered two weeks ago against Southern Mississippi. The sophomore practiced sparingly this week, but Arkansas coach Bret Bielema tweeted Friday night that he would play against the Aggies.
He did just that, finishing 17-of-36 passing for a career-high 282 yards and two touchdowns — though the effort wasn't enough to overcome Manziel and Texas A&M (4-1, 1-1).
"We knew we had to score basically every time we had it," Bielema said.
While Allen's return was a mild surprise, Manziel's performance was anything but. The sophomore put on the show all of Arkansas dreaded in the first half, and the Aggies' running game and timely defense took over from there.
A year after Manziel had his coming-out party in a 58-10 win over Arkansas, totaling 557 yards of total offense, he was back at it Saturday night.
The sophomore accounted for 253 of his 320 total yards in the first half, including two touchdown passes to Mike Evans, as the Aggies came away a winner in their first trip to Fayetteville since 1990 — when both schools were members of the Southwest Conference.
The win was Texas A&M's second straight after a loss to No. 1 Alabama, and it was the school's ninth straight on the road.
Manziel finished 23-of-30 passing for 261 yards, and he rushed for 59 yards.
"We asked (Manziel) to make plays, and he made plays," Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said. "He took care of the ball. We were able to run it and be patient."
Arkansas stayed close throughout, bolstered by the return of Allen.
Arkansas had the ball down by one score or less three times in the second half, but Texas A&M's defense held each time — ending one drive with Deshazor Everett's interception for a touchdown and forcing two three-and-outs.
The teams combined for 1,006 yards of offense. The Aggies, who entered the game leading the SEC in scoring at 50.2 points per game, outgained the Razorbacks 523-483 in total yardage.
Manziel appeared to turn Razorback Stadium into his personal playground in the first half, zigzagging his way through the Arkansas defense on his way to 253 total yards.
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