Oklahoma loses Cotton Bowl 41-13 to Texas A&M

Oklahoma and steady veteran quarterback Landry Jones wound up

being no match for Johnny Football and a former Big 12 rival.

Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel had a Cotton Bowl-record

516 total yards with four touchdowns and 10th-ranked Texas A&M

wrapped up its first SEC season with a 41-13 win over the

12th-ranked Sooners on Friday night in Jones’ 50th and final career

start.

When Jones threw a 6-yard TD pass to Justin Brown just before

halftime, the Sooners (10-3) were down by only a point.

They didn’t score again. And after not punting before that, they

opened the second half going three-and-out on their first three

drives – while the Aggies (11-2) were scoring three consecutive

touchdowns.

”It was obvious tonight that we didn’t play the way we should

have played,” said Jones, whose frustration was evident when he

yelled at a teammate after a failed fourth-down play. ”We couldn’t

run it. We couldn’t throw it. It happens, you know. ”

The Sooners played in the Cotton Bowl for only the second time,

but faced their former Big 12 rival for the 17th consecutive

season.

With first-year coach Kevin Sumlin and their young star

quarterback, the Aggies are already fitting right in with the SEC.

They broke the broke the SEC record with their 7,261 total yards

this season (the first over 7,000 after 633 in Cowboys Stadium).

They also averaged more than 40 points a game.

And they capped their debut season with an overwhelming victory

in the only postseason game matching teams from the Big 12 and SEC.

It is the Aggies’ first 11-win season since 1998, when they won

their only Big 12 title.

The chants of ”S-E-C! S-E-C!” began after Manziel’s 33-yard TD

pass to Ryan Swope with 4 minutes left in the third quarter for a

34-13 lead. They got louder and longer after that.

Texas A&M never trailed after Manziel tiptoed the sideline

for a 23-yard touchdown on the first drive of the game.

”To come in and go against a Big 12 rival and do everything we

wanted as a team, and send these seniors out with a win, we

couldn’t feel any better,” Manziel said after his first game since

becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman.

Texas A&M never trailed while winning its last six games.

That included its win at SEC champion Alabama, which plays for the

BCS national title Monday night.

Manziel set an FBS bowl record with his 229 yards rushing on 17

carries, and completed 22 of 34 passes for 287 yards.

”Johnny Manziel is everything he was billed to be, expected him

to be,” said Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, who after the game shook

the quarterback’s hand and told him ”good job.”

SEC teams have won the last five Cotton Bowls, all against Big

12 teams, and nine out of 10. That included Texas A&M’s loss to

LSU only two years ago.

Oklahoma, led by quarterback Landry Jones in his 50th career

start, had 401 total yards as a team.

Jones completed 35 of 48 passes for 278 yards with a touchdown

and an interception. He won 39 games and three bowls for the

Sooners, in a career that started on the same field in the 2009

season opener when he replaced injured Heisman winner Sam Bradford

in the first college game played at Cowboys Stadium.

But it was the Heisman-winning freshman who stole the show in

Landry’s finale, and kept it from becoming only the third

quarterback to win four bowl games as a starter.

”Best player I’ve ever played. He does so many good things.

He’s got magic,” Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said

of Manziel. ”He’ll have a chance to win four (Heismans) if he

stays healthy.”

Texas A&M had TD drives of 91 and 89 yards in the second

half before Manziel’s TD pass to Swope on a fourth-and-5 play.

”In the first half we played together as a team, limited them,

used the clock, scored. That’s how you have to play them. In the

second half it totally broke down offensively and defensively,”

Bob Stoops said. ”We had guys plenty of times in position to make

a play. Couldn’t make a play.”

Already with a 24-yard gain on an earlier third down their

opening drive, the Aggies had third-and-9, 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.

Officials reviewed the touchdown play, but it was clear by the

replay shown on the huge video screen above the Cowboys Stadium

field that Manziel stayed in bounds.

”There is too much talk about how you perform after the Heisman

and about the layoff and all of that,” said Manziel, who set an

SEC record with his 4,600 total yards in the regular season.

”There wasn’t anything holding us back. No rust, there was no

nothing. We played as a unit. … To go out and win 11 games and do

what we’ve done, is impressive.”