Johnny Manziel leads No. 9 Texas A&M past Mississippi
OXFORD, Miss. -- Johnny Manziel threw for 346 yards, ran for two touchdowns and No. 9 Texas A&M rallied to beat Mississippi 41-38 on Saturday night.
Texas A&M's Josh Lambo made a 33-yard field goal as time expired to give the Aggies (5-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) the win. They trailed 38-31 midway through the fourth quarter, but Manziel engineered a 75-yard drive, ending with his 6-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 38 with 3:07 left.
After A&M's defense held, Manziel led the Aggies on one final drive that led to the game-winning field goal. He had runs of 12 and 13 yards on the winning drive.
Ole Miss linebacker Serderius Bryant was carted off on a stretcher during the final drive after a big hit. The extent of the injury wasn't immediately known.
Ole Miss (3-3, 1-3) was down 21-10 in the third quarter, but rallied thanks to two unlikely touchdown passes by backup quarterback Barry Brunetti.
Johnny Football made his usual array of spectacular plays, but also a few costly mistakes, including an interception in the end zone during the third quarter and a fumble early in the fourth. In the end, he was victorious.
Ole Miss' Bo Wallace threw for 301 yards and three touchdowns.
It was an entertaining back and forth game featuring two of the league's young offensive coaching minds -- Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin and Ole Miss' Hugh Freeze.
The two teams combined for 41 points in the fourth quarter -- 21 for Ole Miss and 20 for Texas A&M. Texas A&M had 587 total yards while Ole Miss had 462.
Manziel was creating his usual havoc in the first quarter, running for 17 yards on the first play. It was part of a 78-yard drive -- capped by Ben Malena's 7-yard touchdown run -- that gave the Aggies an early 7-0 lead.
They were driving again on their next possession when Manziel rolled out to his left before releasing a long throw. He wasn't touched by the defense, but immediately tumbled to the turf after releasing the pass while clutching his left knee.
The sophomore stayed on the ground for a few minutes before walking off the field with some help from Texas A&M's trainers. Though it initially looked like it could be a significant injury, he was up almost immediately on the sideline, jogging and stretching, and returned on the next drive.
It wasn't long before he was running again, with a nimble, shifty 24-yard dash that allowed the Aggies to convert on a 3rd and 14. But even with Manziel's big plays, Texas A&M's offense never clicked at its usual pace.
The Aggies added an 18-yard touchdown run by Trey Williams late in the first quarter and led 14-10 at halftime. Ole Miss scored its lone touchdown of the first half on a 70-yard pass from Wallace to a wide open Vincent Sanders, who ran untouched to the end zone.
Texas A&M pushed ahead 21-10 in the third quarter on Manziel's 5-yard touchdown run, but couldn't shake the Rebels. Barry Brunetti threw a 16-yard touchdown to Treadwell to pull Ole Miss within 21-17.
Brunetti is the Rebels' backup quarterback and usually only enters the game on obvious running plays. But he caught the Texas A&M defense by surprise on the pass to Treadwell, finding the true freshman wide open in the middle of the Aggies' secondary.
Brunetti's second touchdown pass was a 9-yard pass to Evan Engram that tied the game at 24 early in the fourth quarter. They were Brunetti's first two touchdown passes of the season.