Manziel leads Texas A&M past SMU 48-3
DALLAS (AP) — Johnny Manziel was on the verge of being clobbered by SMU's Taylor Reed early in the third quarter.
Instead, Texas A&M's redshirt freshman quarterback shifted to his left to avoid the charging linebacker and lofted a perfect pass to Kenric McNeal for a 42-yard touchdown.
It was one of the dynamic plays Manziel made to help the Aggies earn their first victory of the season.
Manziel accounted for 418 total yards and six touchdowns in three quarters, and Texas A&M overcame a sluggish start to beat SMU 48-3 Saturday.
Manziel threw for four touchdowns and a school-freshman-record 294 yards. He also had 13 carries for 124 yards and a pair of a scoring runs.
"You've got to keep blocking because he's going to run around and make plays," Texas A&M offensive lineman Patrick Lewis said. "He's a playmaker."
Texas A&M (1-1) racked up 605 yards in offense and bounced back after losing its Southeastern Conference opener to No. 18 Florida.
Last weekend, Manziel became the Aggies' first freshman starting quarterback in an opener since 1944. He finished that game with 173 yards passing and 60 more on the ground.
Manziel improved on that performance by completing 20 of 36 passes before backup Jameill Showers replaced him in the fourth. In addition to two rushing touchdowns, the dual-threat quarterback kept several other plays alive with his legs.
About the only thing Manziel didn't do Saturday was talk to reporters after the game. Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin does not allow freshmen to speak with the media.
"Some of the stuff he does is amazing," Texas A&M linebacker Jonathan Stewart said of Manziel. "You would have thought he was back in high school the way he was running around."
SMU (1-2) suffered its most lopsided home loss since 2002, when it dropped a 52-6 contest to Oklahoma State.
Chase Hover kicked a 25-yard field goal in the third quarter for SMU's only points.
SMU's Zach Line rushed for 104 yards. That was the senior's 17th career 100-yard performance, second in school history behind NFL great Eric Dickerson.
"For whatever reason, we weren't able to get in rhythm," said SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert, who was 23 of 49 for 203 yards passing and an interception. "We had missed opportunities and we have to do a better job."