The Tyler native and current Heisman Trophy winner set an AT&T Cotton Bowl record with 517 yards of total offense as the 10th-ranked Aggies routed No. 12 Oklahoma 41-13 Friday at Cowboys Stadium. Manziel’s 229 yards rushing on 17 carries was an FBS bowl record. He also completed 22 of 34 passes for 287 yards and two touchdowns.
The Aggies (11-2) never trailed as they captured their fifth Cotton Bowl victory in their 13th appearance. A&M’s last victory in the Cotton Bowl came in 1988 against Notre Dame (35-10).
Texas A&M took control of the game by scoring touchdowns on its first three drives of the third quarter, turning a 14-13 halftime lead into a commanding 34-13 advantage when Manziel threw a 33-yard TD pass to Ryan Swope on a fourth-and-4 play.
Oklahoma (10-3), which like the Aggies entered the game with a five-game winning streak, went three and out in its first three drives after halftime.
Manziel became the fourth FBS quarterback ever to post more than 20 touchdowns passing and 20 touchdowns rushing in the same season, joining Auburn’s Cam Newton and Florida’s Tim Tebow, who are also Heisman winners. The other quarterback to do it was Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick.
Manziel got his school-record 20th rushing touchdown on A&M’s opening drive when he tiptoed down the sideline for a 23-yard score. He added a 5-yard scoring run in the second half to go along with passing touchdowns of 33 and 34 yards.
The Aggies, with first-year coach Kevin Sumlin and their young star quarterback, are wrapping up their first SEC season after leaving the Big 12. The Cotton Bowl is the only postseason game matching teams from those power conferences.
Already with a 24-yard gain on an earlier third down, the Aggies had third-and-9 on their opening drive when Manziel rolled to his left and took off. When he juked around a defender and got near the sideline, he tiptoed to stay in bounds and punctuated his score with a high-step over the pylon for a quick lead.
Oklahoma needed drives of 16 and 18 plays to get a pair of field goals by Michael Hunnicutt (23 and 24 yards). Jones threw a 6-yard TD pass to Justin Brown just before halftime.
Jones’ final career start came at the same place he made his Oklahoma debut in the 2009 season opener when he replaced injured Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford.
After setting Cotton Bowl records when he had 23 completions and 30 attempts (for 175 yards) by halftime, Jones was 29 of 39 for 221 yards after three quarters.
The teams traded interceptions in the second quarter.
Manziel was picked off in the end zone after his bootleg move and a throw that hit Malcome Kennedy in the hands and deflected into the air. Javon Harris grabbed the interception.
The Sooners then crossed midfield before Jones had a pass intercepted by Dustin Harris and returned to the Oklahoma 48.
That A&M drive started with a little trickery, Manziel holding the ball down in his left hand while faking a throw with his right hand. He then pitched to Kenric McNeal, who threw a 20-yard pass to Mike Evans.
Ben Malena then had a 23-yard run before Manziel’s bootleg run for a 5-yard TD.
Oklahoma is in the Cotton Bowl for only the second time.
This is the first bowl matchup between the former Big 12 rivals, but the 17th consecutive season they have played each other. The Sooners have won 11 of 13 since Bob Stoops became their coach.
Sumlin was the A&M offensive coordinator in 2002 when the Aggies upset the top-ranked Sooners. The next year, Sumlin was hired by Stoops as an assistant, and he stayed there five seasons before going to Houston as head coach and then the Aggies.