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Saturday, January 5th, 2013

Sanford Trophy Winner (Offensive MVP) - Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel

Photo By: Photo by Ian Halperin/CBAA
The Texas A&M Aggies defeated the Oklahoma Sooners, 41-13, in the 77th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic January 4, 2013 at Cowboys Stadium.

The phenomenon of Johnny Football only grew bigger after Friday night’s 77th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic.

Freshman Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel established a Cotton Bowl record with 516 total yards to lead the Texas A&M Aggies to a 41-13 victory over Oklahoma in front of 87,025 people at Cowboys Stadium to claim the J. Curtis Sanford Offensive MVP honor for his performance.

Manziel accounted for four touchdowns – two rush and two pass – as well as set the FBS record for rush yards by a quarterback in a bowl game with a 229. In addition, he threw for 287 yards.

“There is too much talk about how you perform after the Hesiman and about the layoff and all that,” Manziel said. “There wasn’t anything holding us back. No rust. There was nothing. We played as a unit and that’s all you can ask for. To go out and win 11 games and do what we’ve done, is impressive.”

Just the eighth Heisman winner to play in the Classic, Manziel opened the game by registering the Aggies’ first two touchdowns. Both scores came on the ground as the dual-threat quarterback recorded a 23-yard TD run on 3rd & 9 on Texas A&M’s first possession. Later, on his sixth rush attempt of the contest, Manziel capped a three-play drive with a five-yard TD run to put the Aggies up 14-6.

The Aggie quarterback totaled 113 rush yards and 75 pass yards in the first half alone.

TAMU broke open the game with three touchdowns in the third quarter, including a Manziel TD pass. The Kerrville, Texas, product threw for 168 yards in the quarter alone. His first aerial touchdown of the game came on 4th & 5 as Manziel connected with Ryan Swope on a 33-yard pass that gave A&M a 34-13 advantage. His second touchdown from the air was a 34-yarder to Uzoma Nwachukwu early in the fourth quarter, which put Texas A&M up 41-13.

“As far as an offensive standpoint for me, this is the kind of a game that turned the page again,” Manziel said. “Asked me questions earlier in the year about what game made it all click. There was the Arkansas game, and this game tonight made me flash back to that. The coaches did a great job of putting a great game plan together. Everybody went out and executed tonight. It was a great night for the offense.”

Manziel, who has three years of eligibility remaining, finishes the season with 1,410 rush yards, 3,706 pass yards, and 47 combined touchdowns. He is only the fourth player in NCAA FBS history to rush for 20 or more touchdowns and pass for 20 or more touchdowns in a season, finishing with 21 and 26, respectively.

“Johnny Manziel is everything he was billed to be and expected to be,” Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops said. “Even when guys are in position, he is so quick and strong running. He's just hard to
get to.”

The Classic marks the eighth game this season Manziel has recorded multiple rush touchdowns. It is also the ninth game of the year in which he has been responsible for four or more touchdowns, including the third straight contest in which he has achieved the feat.

Manziel becomes the third Aggie quarterback to earn the Classic’s Offensive MVP honors, joining Edd Hargett (1968) and Bucky Richardson (1988). His performance helped A&M to its 15th bowl victory and fifth Cotton Bowl Classic win.

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