Aggies Roll Missouri on Senior Night, 59-29

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -- Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin watched Johnny Manziel turn in another strong performance, and then went to work campaigning for his redshirt freshman quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy.

29 - 59
Kyle Field • College Station
Attendance: 87,222 • Temperature: 61˚
Boxscore: HTML  |  PDF

1 2 3 4  
Missouri   (5-7, 2-6) 0 7 9 13 29
A&M   (10-2, 6-2) 21 21 10 7 59
 Stats at a Glance
First Downs 21 33
Rushes-Yards 36-189 42-237
Passing Yards 276 410
Passing A-C-I 38-20-1 50-35-1
Total Yards 465 647
Fumbles 1-1 3-0
Interceptions 1-0 1-11
Punts 6-52.0 3-39.0
3rd Downs 5-14 12-16
4th Downs 1-1 0-0
Sacks 1-10 1-2
TOP 29:53 30:07
 Individual Leaders
MU - Kendial Lawrence 16 carries, 87 yards, TD
A&M - Johnny Manziel 12 carries, 67 yards, 2 TD
MU - Corbin Berkstresser 20-38, 276 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
A&M - Johnny Manziel 32-44, 372 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
MU - L'Damian Washington 4 catches, 98 yards, TD
A&M - Malcome Kennedy 7 catches, 110 yards
MU - E.J. Gaines 10 tackles
A&M - Howard Matthews 13 tackles

Manziel threw for 372 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two more scores as No. 9 Texas A&M handled Missouri 59-29 on Saturday night.

No freshman has ever won the award given to college football's top player.

''I think the voters are going to recognize (the numbers),'' Sumlin said of Manziel, who has 4,600 yards of total offense. ''It doesn't matter what year you are when you're talking about those numbers and the league we are (in), I think tells you all you need to know.''

The Aggies (10-2, 6-2 SEC) scored touchdowns on their first six drives to build a 42-7 halftime lead and coast to their first 10-win season since 1998.

''That's something that nobody can ever take from them, and it was real important for them to accomplish that,'' Sumlin said of reaching double digit wins.

About the only drama in this one came when Manziel was shaken up on a tackle at the end of a run in the first quarter.

''You worry, but just talking with him and talking with our medical people we knew it wasn't very severe pretty quickly,'' Sumlin said. ''He was the first guy saying he wanted to get back in there.''

Johnny Football missed just four plays before returning with a brace on his left knee. And it didn't seem to slow him down one bit.

The Aggies were up 21-0 when he returned, and he threw touchdown passes on three straight possessions to end the first half.

He scored on an 18-yard run to start the third quarter, and added another rushing touchdown when he bulled in from 1-yard out early in the fourth.

Manziel added 67 yards rushing and completed 32 of 44 passes on Saturday. He has thrown for 24 touchdowns and ran for 19 this season.

The win snaps A&M's three-game losing streak to Missouri (5-7, 2-6 SEC), and will keep the Tigers from becoming bowl eligible for the first time since 2004.

''We don't act like this is just real unusual that they scored some points,'' Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. ''It's not. We're talking about a great quarterback. I'm certainly disappointed we didn't play better (but) the things he did to us, he did to a lot of people.''

Backup quarterback Corbin Berkstresser started for Missouri with James Franklin out after having a concussion last week. He threw for 276 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

Missouri's Kendial Lawrence had 16 carries for 87 yards and a touchdown to surpass 1,000 yards rushing this season.

''The last three years I've been here we always went to a bowl game,'' Lawrence said. ''So this is tough to end this way.''

After Manziel's touchdown run in the third, Taylor Bertolet hit a 50-yard field goal.

L'Damian Washington got in front of the defense on a 74-yard catch and run near the end of the third quarter to cut A&M's lead to 52-16. Berkstresser tossed another touchdown with about seven minutes left.

Manziel was intercepted by E.J. Gaines late in the third quarter, and the Tigers capitalized on that turnover with a 1-yard run by Berkstresser early in the fourth.

Manziel's last touchdown run came with about 12 minutes left to extend Texas A&M's lead to 59-23. He returned for one play of the next drive before being going to the bench to a round of applause as he flashed the Aggies' 'Gig 'Em' sign.

The Aggies are hoping that Saturday's performance will give Manziel a final push before Heisman voting closes. 

When he was shaken up, Manziel was brought down by a tackle to his left leg and held his left knee. He remained on the turf for a couple of minutes while trainers checked him out. The crowd was silent for a bit before a chant of ''Johnny, Johnny'' erupted.

He was helped to his feet and walked off the field on his own power. Backup Jameill Showers went in for the next play and Christine Michael scored his second touchdown on a 38-yard run to push A&M's lead to 21-0. Manziel missed the first three plays of A&M's next possession, before returning to start the second quarter.

He capped his first drive back with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Swope to make it 28-0.

Texas A&M got the ball back after a fumble. Manziel was under heavy pressure on the ensuing drive, and escaped two diving defenders to throw a 5 yard touchdown pass to Mike Evans on the run.

His next touchdown pass was much the same as he wriggled out a defender diving at his leg and juked another defender before running to the opposite side of the field and finding Uzoma Nwachukwu to make it 42-0.

The Tigers used a fake punt to extend a drive and Lawrence scored on a 4-yard run just before halftime to leave A&M up 42-7.

Michael got A&M going with a 1-yard touchdown run on its first drive to make it 7-0.

A 2-yard run by Ben Malena pushed the lead to 14-0.


Post-Game Notes


+  The Aggies defeated Missouri 59-29 for their 10th win of the 2012 season. It was A&M's first 10-win season since 1998 and the 12th 10-win season in program history.

+  A&M finished the regular season with a 6-2 record vs. SEC opponents, which tied for second in the SEC West division.

+  It was A&M's fifth-straight win.

+  The win snapped the Aggies' three-game losing streak to Missouri.

+  It was the 10th win of head coach Kevin Sumlin's first season at Texas A&M. The previous high winning total by a first-year Aggie coach was eight by R.C. Slocum in 1989 and D.X. Bible in 1917.


+  Redshirt freshman QB Johnny Manziel erased 2010 Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton's SEC record for total offense. Manziel finished the day with 439 total yards to break Newton's old record of 4,327 gained over 14 games. After 12 games, Manziel has generated 4,600 total yards.

Another big game for #johnnyfootball

+  QB Johnny Manziel passed for 372 yards and three TDs and rushed for 67 yards and two TDs as the generated 439 total yards and five scores.

+  Manziel matched one of the oldest records in the Aggie record book with his 19th touchdown. Joel Hunt originally set the record in 1927 and it had been matched previously by Darren Lewis in 1990 and Jorvorskie Lane in 2006.

+  Manziel was responsible for five TDs against the Tigers, bringing his season total to a record 43 scores (19 rushing, 24 passing). Manziel had been tied with Jerrod Johnson, who was responsible for 38 TDs in 2009.

+  It was Manziel's fifth game with 400 or more total yards, and his ninth straight game with at least 300 total yards.

+  Manziel has generated five or more TDs in six games in 2012, including the last two.


+  Texas A&M became the eighth SEC team to surpass the 6,000-yard level in total yards this season. The Aggies surpassed 6,000 total yards for the second straight year and the third time in program history.


+  Redshirt freshman WR Mike Evans grabbed eight passes for 99 yards, surpassing the 1,000-yard mark for the season in the process. Evans is the first freshman and the third player in school history with 1,000 yards. He has 75 catches for 1,022 yards and five TDs on the season.

+  Senior WR Ryan Swope joined former teammate Jeff Fuller as the only players in school history to surpass the 3,000-yard plateau in career receiving yards. For his career, Swope has 244 receptions for 3,013 yards.

+  Texas A&M wore white helmets at Kyle Field for the first time since 1978.

+  The Aggies set a school record with their fifth 50-plus point game of the season. A&M posted four 50-plus point games in 1912 and 1997.

+  Texas A&M ended the game with 537 points on the season, setting a new single-season school record. Last season, A&M set the mark with 508 points.

+  Senior RB Christine Michael scored a pair of TDs to become the 15th Aggie to score 200 or more points during his career.

+  Sophomore WR Malcome Kennedy posted career bests with seven catches for 110 yards (previous bests were four for 60 yards vs. Oklahoma in 2011).

+  Tonight's attendance was 87,222, which is the eighth-largest crowd in Kyle Field history and the second-largest of the SEC era. For the season, Kyle Field's average crowd was 87,013, which was just off the school record of 87,183 set last year.

Captains, 12th Man

+  Game captains for the Aggies were: senior center Patrick Lewis, senior safety Steven Terrell, senior linebacker Sean Porter and senior wide receiver Ryan Swope. Missouri won the toss and deferred their choice to second half. A&M defended the north goal

+   Making his eighth 2012 start and 20th of his career at 12th Man was defensive back C.J. Jones, a senior from Klein Forest HS in Houston.

Post-Game Quotes

On getting a Gatorade bath from the seniors
"It was cold. Damontre got me with the ice. But it's always worth it. These guys - I said it last week, for 12 weeks to play the way they've played, they've accomplished a lot without a bye week. It was really important to them to finish up the season and finish what they started. We weren't always perfect, but we did play with a lot of effort and a lot of enthusiasm. Our older guys have really bought into what we were trying to get accomplished. Our seniors and experienced players and junior class really led the way for us. I'm particularly happy for these seniors to go through what they've gone through with different coaches, different position coaches, going into the new league, handling everything and winning 10 games for the first time since 1998 - that's something that nobody can ever take from them. It was really important for them to accomplish that."

On the Heisman
"I really hadn't said much about it until last week, but what I said last week still holds true. I think you put Johnny's numbers up against anybody in a single season - not just this year but any year, anybody who has ever played the game - and they speak for themselves. The voters are going to recognize that. It doesn't matter what year you are, you're talking about the types of numbers. You put that in perspective with the league that we're playing in, I think the combination of those two things tell you all the things you need to know about voting."

On Spencer Nealy
"What you saw tonight was a culmination of him every week. I can remember in the spring and in two-a-days going, 'Wow, we're going to move him inside and play D-tackle?' The guy week after week after week after week has played with incredible energy, has been another catalyst for us on this team with his energy during the week, during the game, a guy that's probably not supposed to do what he's done, but nobody knew that. We all knew it, but not Spencer Nealy. I don't think he knew that he wasn't supposed to go in there and play the way he's played all year at 270 pounds. He's a leader by example but there are other guys who see that and say, 'Well if he can do that I ought to be able to do that. All we've got to do is play with effort and know what you're doing and that gives us a chance.' He's another one of those guys I was talking about that it's so important to him. He's such a team guy but it's so important to him that he made other people around him better."

On the senior class
"It was satisfying tonight, but if you've been paying attention, it's been that way for the last six weeks, really. I know that Johnny gets a lot of credit and so does Mike Evans, but these guys have been doing this over the course of this season, in particular the last half of the season when we went on the road stretch and we had to play on the road. The great leadership during the week, big plays by [Jonathan Stewart], last week Sean Porter, Steven Terrell, I could go on and on. Dustin Harris has become more steady and made plays, I keep talking about Pat Lewis - we couldn't do anything without him. We can't go up-tempo if he doesn't get to the ball. He makes all of the protection calls. He really targets the ball and takes the heat off of a young quarterback. We told C-Mike earlier this week that this is Senior Night - you're going to be starting. He responded in a big way for us early in the game. All of those guys have really contributed and led this team. As I said, as a coaching staff we're forever grateful for them because they didn't sign up for us. They have had different people come in since they've been here, whether they were position coaches, head coaches, philosophies, change in positions. They could have easily said, 'You know what, I'm tired of this,' and they didn't do that. There's no way that we could have won half as many games as we did this year if those guys didn't buy in and lead this football team."

On what this season means to the future of the program
"Coming into the year, we really didn't care what everyone else's expectations were. We had a lot of work to do and we still have work to do. The biggest concern from everybody except for the people in this room was whether we could compete in the SEC? In Birmingham, the three main questions were 'You guys don't have a quarterback, your offense is a question mark and you're thin in the defensive front - How are you going to compete in the SEC?' I think that these guys kind of took that to heart and they set a tone for this program that 'You know what, not only can we compete but we can win.' We have a process that's in place now that our current players understand. I think that what these seniors have done is to really set the tone for how to do things away from Saturday. There was a big change in that type of culture, so for us right now, I think that beforehand, it really was just guys having faith; belief without proof. And now if you're a young player in the program you understand the process that makes sense because of your rewards and if you're a young prospect out there, you understand that we've got a great university, we've got a great game day experience, and we're in probably the best league in the country and you can come to Texas A&M and win. From that standpoint, this year is extremely important."

On what this win meant as a senior
"It means a lot. First of all, it was a 10-win season for us at the end of the regular season and we hadn't beaten Mizzou at home for the past couple of years. It was really important for us as seniors on Senior Night to get a win and really help the program and continue to win and continue to build our future."

On whether he would have predicted a successful season
"I think it has to do with the seniors and the attitude we came in with. The type of season we had last year was just a nightmare of a season. We just tried to put it behind us, almost as if it didn't happen. This is a new team and we had high expectations. We expect to win every game, even when people didn't really give us a chance coming into the SEC. We set our own expectations real high. To be honest, we knew we could win this many football games in a season. People in the fan base, people in the school believed in us and that's what it's all about. It's about us, us playing to our standards and that's what we did and that's why we had the success we had this season."

On beating Missouri for the first time in his career
"It was a big relief - not only to beat Mizzou and Arkansas for the first time this season, this is only the 11th team in Texas A&M history to win 10 ballgames and we take a lot of pride in that. Every win was big. This has been a season of first, like Coach Sumlin always says. We beat Arkansas for the first time and we just beat Mizzou. We're just real happy right now and we're real excited about what we've got going as a team."


On first half effort
"It meant a lot on senior night to play fast and physically. As seniors we have seen all types of seasons, so it meant a lot. It was great for us to finally come out and have a season full of Texas A&M football."

On excitement
"It felt great, the seniors were all ready for this game. We all wanted to do as much as we could do to make sure we got this win, and fortunately we did."

On senior memories
"We will remember all the fun times we had together: on the field, off the field, and in the locker room. Probably not specific plays but time we spent with each other and relationships we were able to build over the past four years."


On how big this game was
"It was really fun; we hadn't beaten them over the seniors' careers, so it was a really great experience to knock them off and come up with ten wins for the season. It is huge for us."

On how far the team has come.
"We feel ten times better than the beginning of the season. As soon as a good team can clean up all the small mistakes they make they win a lot of games. I think we realized what was going on and fixed it." 

On what it took
"It took great leadership from both coaches and players. I think the seniors really stepped up and led us when we needed it. It was a combination of leadership from people that were supposed to be leading us the entire time."

On attitude about season
"It's been a very special year. As seniors, we look forward to trying to win every game. We had a young team this year but they came along and did what we need them to do and we came out on top."

On near-perfection with third-down conversions
"We try to keep the drive alive and keep the defense off the field. We do whatever it takes. We call ourselves the "Third-Down Warriors" so we just try to keep the ball going."

On Johnny Manziel's potential for winning the Heisman
"At the beginning of the season, I said that Johnny would win the Heisman and I think he should win it. Have you ever seen anybody like Johnny? I think he is the only person in the world that can do what he does. You can't teach what he does. I think he deserves it, freshman or not."

On the season
"Its' definitely been a very special season; getting to experience the SEC and the change when no one thought we could compete. I'm glad I get to share it with these seniors, these coaches and this team, and it's one that I will remember for the rest of my life."

On shedding tears
"I think everyone probably shed a few tears tonight. It was an emotional night. We had a very close senior class and we were very tightly knit and we are going to miss each other; it was our last night to play on that field in front of the greatest fans in the country. I'm glad I get to share it with guys like Spencer, Sean Porter, and Steven Terrell, but at the same time I'm going to miss these guys."

On Johnny Manziel
"I think he has progressed tremendously. I knew he could run the football in high school. He was a big question mark and when he was named starting quarter back he took off from there and he hasn't slowed down. He is a tremendous player and has a passion for the game. He is exciting to watch and the scary thing is that his is only a freshman."


On Senior Night
"For four years a lot of people said that I couldn't do something which I loved because that puts the biggest fire underneath a person. It's been a phenomenal season. It makes me proud to be a part of it. It's been absolutely extraordinary."

On last game
"It started out with those fireworks.  I consider all of us blue-collar guys, we roll our sleeves up and work hard for what we get, and that's how I feel. Seeing fireworks like that was pretty neat and I got pretty pumped up. It was our last time and that's how you have to play."

On why Johnny Manziel should win Heisman
"Johnny is the most exciting player in the world. 'Heismanziel' is pretty catchy. Johnny deserves it and he has competed consistently. He is an incredible player and a good guy too."

Missouri Post-Game Quotes

Head Coach Gary Pinkel
"Texas A&M was like the team we saw on TV. Their offense is very potent. Johnny Manziel is a great player. It was perfect storm in the wrong way. We couldn't get off the field on defense, and offensively we had our struggles as we've had all year. That combination is not very good. Obviously, we are very disappointed. We knew James Franklin wasn't going to play on Wednesday, because he had all the symptoms. We knew all along Corbin was going to play. You should give A&M credit. They have scored a lot points against a lot of teams this year. We are talking about a great quarterback. Johnny made most of his plays running around back there just like John Elway used to do for Stanford. The things he did to us he did to a lot of people."

Senior Running Back Kendial Lawrence
"We made a lot of mistakes to start the game, and it affected us the whole game. The offensive line is a great group of guys that has been through a lot, and getting that 1000 yards means a lot. It is tough ending the year like this. The last three years we have gone to a bowl so it is tough to end on this note."

Freshman Quarterback Corbin Berkstresser
"We were very disappointed after the game, especially the seniors. They are trying to take in everything right now and it is very emotional. They just played their last college football game. I couldn't get in a rhythm against their defense. We were trying to play catch up the whole game. We just tried to compete the best we could."