ARLINGTON, Texas— Texas A&M fans joined in unison Friday to remind their former conference bedfellow of all that’s changed in one short season.
Chants of “S-E-C! S-E-C!” and “Johnny! Johnny!” echoed throughout Cowboys Stadium countless times during the second half of Texas A&M’s 41-13 Cotton Bowl rout of Oklahoma.
Texas A&M’s offense racked up 633 total yards of offense — averaging nearly 10 yards per play behind Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel’s brilliant performance; the freshman quarterback rushed for 229 yards and two touchdowns, while completing 22 of 34 passes for 287 yards and two more scores.
Manziel set the tone early Friday, capping the game’s opening drive with a flashy 23-yard touchdown run. Oklahoma never tied the Aggies or took the lead after it.
“You give Texas A&M all the credit for playing a great, great football game, and in particular the second half,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “They played outstanding. Johnny Manziel is everything he was billed to be, expected him to be.
“Coach Sumlin and his staff totally outplayed us, out-coached us the whole second half. It’s a team effort.”
Oklahoma controlled the game clock in the first half, but settled for field goals on its first two offensive series.
After a second-quarter Manziel pass was tipped in OU’s end zone and intercepted by Javon Harris, Oklahoma gave the ball right back only a few players later when Landry Jones threw an ugly interception.
Manziel rushed for a 5-yard touchdown three plays later.
Oklahoma (10-3) trailed 14-13 at halftime, but couldn’t muster any offensive production in the second half to keep up with Manziel and the Aggies, who scored touchdowns on each of their first three second-half possessions to open a 34-13 lead.
The Aggies, founding members of the Big 12 Conference in 1996, bolted for the Southeastern Conference, where they were expected to struggle in their first season; the SEC has produced major college football’s last six national champions.
But under Kevin Sumlin — a Stoops assistant at Oklahoma from 2003-2007 — Texas A&M took its new league by surprise in 2012, including an upset victory at defending national champion Alabama.
Since Stoops’ first season at Oklahoma, his teams have typically dominated Texas A&M. His two previous losses to the Aggies came in 2002 and 2010, both at the hostile Kyle Field. Last season in Norman, the Sooners easily handled Texas A&M 41-25.
“To come in and go against a Big 12 rival and do everything we wanted as a team, and send these seniors out with a win, we couldn’t feel any better,” Manziel said.