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Oklahoma football: Mike Stoops says Sooners didn't have players to keep up with Manziel

TEXAS A&M 41, OKLAHOMA 13 — Oklahoma's defensive coordinator calls Texas A&M's Heisman Trophy winner the best player he's ever faced and admits the Sooners didn't have the “extraordinary personnel” needed to handle him.
by Jason Kersey Modified: January 5, 2013 at 3:44 pm •  Published: January 5, 2013

/articleid/3743515/1/pictures/1921624">Photo - Mike Stoops yells at Oklahoma's Julian Wilson (2) during the college football Cotton Bowl game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Texas A&M University Aggies (TXAM) at Cowboy's Stadium on Friday Jan. 4, 2013, in Arlington, Tx. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Mike Stoops yells at Oklahoma's Julian Wilson (2) during the college football Cotton Bowl game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Texas A&M University Aggies (TXAM) at Cowboy's Stadium on Friday Jan. 4, 2013, in Arlington, Tx. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

But the Sooners' problems with running quarterbacks became evident Nov. 10, when Baylor quarterback Nick Florence surprised OU with 83 yards and a touchdown.

It only got worse from there, which led many to believe Manziel, who became the first-ever freshman Heisman winner with his 3,419 passing yards, 1,181 rushing yards and 43 total touchdowns during the regular season.

Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops quipped during the Cotton Bowl's lead-up that a defense's worst mistake against Manziel could be to cover all of A&M's receivers because of Manziel's dangerous ability to improvise.

“It's nothing but respect for him,” said Oklahoma senior safety Javon Harris, who intercepted a first-half Manziel pass in the end zone off a tip.

“In the first part of the game, we tried to keep him contained and stay in the box, but once he slipped out, we were chasing him.”

In the second half, Manziel displayed his passing prowess, tossing 33- and 34-yard touchdowns.

“We had him contained and then all of a sudden he got away and makes a pinpoint throw,” King said.

During Friday's game, Manziel set the all-time FBS bowl record for rushing yards for a quarterback, and set a Cotton Bowl record for total offensive yards in a game.

“Best player I think I've ever played,” Mike Stoops said. “He just does so many good things.

“He's got magic. He's throwing the ball better than he did early in the season and he understands what they're doing. His offensive line does a great job stretching plays for him. He'll have a chance to win four (Heisman Trophies) if he stays healthy.”

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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