Instant analysis: Texas A&M 38, MSU 13
November, 3, 2012
By Sam Khan Jr. | ESPN.com
For the second straight week, Texas A&M started quickly on the road and took a commanding lead, this time doing so en route to a 38-13 win over Mississippi State on Saturday at Davis Wade Stadium.
It was over when: Johnny Manziel scampered into the end zone on an 8-yard option keeper with 5:59 left in the fourth quarter. That gave the Aggies a 25-point lead with little time left.
Game ball goes to: It sounds like a broken record, but how do you not give it to Manziel? The numbers he puts up and the plays he makes have made this offense go. On Saturday, he was 30 of 36 passing for 311 yards and finished with 129 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries. That's 440 offensive yards for the redshirt freshman quarterback.
Game ball, Part 2: The Aggies' offensive line. The unit paved the way for another huge rushing day as the Aggies rolled to 361 yards on the ground. (Last week against Auburn, Texas A&M had 352 rushing yards.) And Manziel was sacked just once. The reason he has time to make all those plays is in large part due to the protection he receives from the quintet of Luke Joeckel, Jarvis Harrison, Patrick Lewis, Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Matthews. Also, credit to the defense is much deserved. The unit pressured Mississippi State quarterback Tyler Russell consistently and kept the Bulldogs off the scoreboard in the first half to allow the Aggies to take a 24-0 lead. The unit held the Bulldogs to 85 yards in the first half.
Rising star: Ben Malena. Rising stars are often associated with young players, so it's hard to think of Malena in this way, but the junior running back continues to improve and produce on a weekly basis. He led the Aggies running backs again in rushing, this time with 112 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. He caught two passes for 23 yards and also had a special teams tackle on kick coverage.
What it means: This is the second straight resounding road win for the Aggies in the Southeastern Conference. It has become increasingly clear that this team is a legitimate threat in the SEC West. At 7-2 overall and 4-2 in league play, the Aggies take their perfect road record to a big-time showdown with No. 1 Alabama next week in Tuscaloosa, Ala. It will be the Aggies toughest game to date, but after playing two ranked SEC foes closely (LSU and Florida), this team looks like it has the ability to at least be a threat to the Crimson Tide.
UCLA-Texas A&M Schedule Football Series
Final Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35