College Football

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       === Manziel starts, Texas A&M rolls past Sam Houston State ===
 
 College  Station, TX  (Sports Network) - Johnny Manziel showed off his Heisman
 form  in his first  start of the 2013 season, throwing for 426 yards and three
 touchdowns  to  lead seventh-ranked Texas  A&M to a  65-28 rout of Sam Houston
 State at Kyle Field.
 
 Forced  to sit out  the first half of last week's season-opening win over Rice
 as  the result of an NCAA investigation as to whether he received compensation
 for signing various memorabilia pieces, Manziel completed 29-of-42 passes with
 one interception while adding a rushing touchdown before being removed late in
 the third quarter with the Aggies comfortably ahead.
 
 "The  biggest  thing that's helped  probably is  just being around these guys,
 being  in  this building  and having my  teammates and still  being able to be
 around  them," Manziel said of the distractions. "It was easy to block all the
 stuff  out, get  off  everything, not  read  anything and  just  grow with  my
 teammates and continue to get a better bond with them and just spend time with
 them."
 
 Tra  Carson  contributed two  rushing scores  for Texas  A&M (2-0), while Mike
 Evans racked up 155 yards on seven catches as Manziel's favored target.
 
 Sam  Houston  State (1-1), ranked fourth  in the latest Sports Network FCS Top
 25,  received a three-touchdown effort from Timothy Flanders that included 170
 rushing  yards on  19 carries. Brian Bell  threw for a pair of touchdowns in a
 losing cause.
 
 Manziel's evening actually didn't start off smoothly, as he was intercepted by
 Desmond  Fite deep  in Bearkats  territory on  the Aggies'  initial drive.  An
 offsides  penalty  negated the  turnover,  though,  and Texas  A&M  eventually
 reached the end zone on Carson's 1-yard run just over four minutes in.
 
 Sam  Houston State  countered with  a  6-play, 74-yard  series highlighted  by
 Keshawn  Hill's 36-yard  run and ending on Flanders' 11-yard scamper that tied
 the game at 7-7.
 
 Manziel  was picked off again deep in SHSU territory on the Aggies' subsequent
 possession,  with  this one by  Eric Fieilo  holding up. However, the Bearkats
 went three-and-out and Texas A&M netted touchdowns on its next two trips.
 
 Sabian  Holmes  hauled in  a Manziel strike  for a 27-yard  score that put the
 Aggies  back ahead late in the first quarter, and Manziel later orchestrated a
 mammoth  14-play, 93-yard march  capped by a Ben Malena plunge from a yard out
 that  extended  the lead to 20-7  after Taylor Bertolet missed the extra point
 try.
 
 Manziel  was  on point again  to increase Texas  A&M's cushion before the half
 closed  out,  hitting Derel Walker for  a 32-yard gain into SHSU territory and
 firing  a 20-yard  scoring delivery to Ja'Quay Williams shortly afterward that
 made it a 20-point game with 4:23 before the intermission.
 
 The  Bearkats had an answer, though, as Flanders turned a short pass from Bell
 into a 33-yard score less than 2 1/2 minutes after Williams' touchdown.
 
 Texas  A&M went into  the break up 30-14 after Bertolet connected on a 35-yard
 field  goal on the  final play of the half. However, Flanders ripped off a 68-
 yard  run on Sam  Houston's second snap from scrimmage in the third quarter to
 pull the Bearkats within nine.
 
 Sam  Houston State  got no closer, though,  as the Aggies put up touchdowns on
 their next four drives to pull away.
 
 Manziel  led an  11-play, 72-yard sequence that resulted in Carson's second 1-
 yard  touchdown of the night. The star quarterback then completed all three of
 his  passes  for 63 yards on  the Aggies' next possession, including a 10-yard
 score  to  Brandon Williams that lengthened  the margin to 44-21 just past the
 midway stage of the third quarter.
 
 The  Bearkats  briefly struck back when  Bell hooked up with Torrance Williams
 for  a 75-yard touchdown,  but gave A&M a short field by failing on an onsides
 attempt  on  the ensuing kickoff. Malena  scampered 25 yards to put the Aggies
 inside  the red zone,  and Manziel crossed the goal line on a 6-yard run for a
 51-28 lead with 5:24 left before the fourth quarter.
 
 Bell  was then intercepted on each of the Bearkats' next two drives, the first
 of  which  Nate  Askew returned  30  yards  for  a  touchdown and  a  30-point
 differential.
 
 Manziel  was  pulled afterward, with freshman  backup Kenny Hill tossing a 14-
 yard touchdown pass to Travis Labhart with 1:15 remaining in the third for the
 game's final points.
 
                                   Game Notes
 
 The Aggies finished with 714 total yards of offense, including a school-record
 500  through the air  ... Bell completed just 6-of-15 throws for 137 yards ...
 Texas A&M posted a 47-28 victory over the Bearkats last November, with Manziel
 throwing  for  three touchdowns and rushing  for 100 yards and two more scores
 ... The Aggies now own a 12-0 lead in the overall series ... Sam Houston State
 has  advanced  to the FCS  championship game in each  of the last two seasons,
 falling to North Dakota State both times.
 
 
 09/08 02:59:43 ET

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