Saturday, September 22, 2012
Instant analysis: Texas A&M 70, South Carolina State 14
By Sam Khan Jr.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Starting quarterback Johnny Manziel only saw the field for a half, as Texas A&M cruised to a 70-14 win over FCS opponent South Carolina State. Taking a look at the win:
It was over when: The clock hit triple zeroes in the second quarter. Texas A&M had a commanding 49-7 lead at the half, one that it wouldn't relinquish, after producing 347 offensive yards in the first half.
Game ball goes to: Dustin Harris. The senior cornerback had his second consecutive start at cornerback but made his biggest waves on special teams, recording a school and SEC single-game record 246 punt return yards. That included a 96-yard return for a touchdown. Harris is no stranger to big plays on special teams -- he led the nation in punt return average a year ago. He consistently had good returns and set the Aggies' offense up with great field position throughout the night.
Game ball, Part 2: Johnny Manziel. The redshirt freshman quarterback had a five-touchdown day while only playing a half. Manziel was 15-of-20 passing for 174 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 78 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries. His playmaking ability continues to impress through three games.
Rising star: Deshazor Everett. The sophomore got his second consecutive start at safety, had four tackles, a half-tackle for loss and a pass breakup and returned an interception 22 yards for a touchdown late in the game. Defensive coordinator Mark Snyder loves him at safety so expect to see Everett stay there.
What it means: The win essentially served as a tuneup for the Aggies as they prepare for the rest of their SEC slate, which begins next week against Arkansas. Texas A&M opened its season with a 20-17 home loss to SEC foe Florida but gave Aggies fans reason for optimism despite the loss considering the way they played. The next two weeks bring a home game against Arkansas before they hit the road to play Ole Miss.