A&M tops SMU 42-13
Published: Saturday, September 21, 2013
Updated: Sunday, September 22, 2013 14:09
Johnny Manziel and the Texas A&M offense dominated against Southern Methodist on Saturday evening, claiming a 42-13 victory over the Mustangs.
"Here at A&M, we want to play to a standard," senior running back Ben Malena said. "We did a really good job today on the offensive side of the ball keeping the tempo going throughout the whole game. We got a pretty good dominating performance that we needed."
The A&M defense started the game off solid, shutting down SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert and the Mustang offense easily during the opening drive. After a punt, Manziel marched the Aggies down the field for a touchdown, scoring off Malena's three-yard rush.
Following a second stop for the Aggie defense, A&M took over possession again, quickly adding another touchdown as Manziel himself found the endzone on the ground, allowing the Aggies a 14-0 lead. Just before the end of the quarter, SMU added a field goal of its own, cutting A&M's lead to 11.
During the second quarter, Manziel and the offense controlled the tempo, adding two consecutive scores which included a junior Malcome Kennedy reception and a Manziel seven-yard rush. The A&M defense added a score of its own, as senior defensive back Toney Hurd Jr. forced a fumble and junior cornerback Deshazor Everett returned it for a touchdown.
SMU notched a field goal before heading in for halftime.
During the second half, Texas A&M scored twice, adding a touchdown and a field goal. The Mustangs claimed their only touchdown of the game midway through the fourth quarter while the Aggies had their backup defense on the field.
For the Aggies, Manziel finished the half 14-of-21 passing for 244 yards, one touchdown and an interception in addition to a team-leading 12 carries for 102 yards and two touchdowns. Malena added 71 yards and two scores on 13 carries while Brandon Williams, Tra Carson and Trey Williams combined for 15 carries and 67 yards.
The A&M defense impressed following personnel changes which included starting true freshman Darian Claiborne and senior Nate Askew at linebacker. Additionally, junior cornerback Deshazor Everett took over for junior Clay Honeycutt at safety, while backup cornerback senior Otis Jacobs filled in for Everett at his vacant position.
"I think we have the right guys on the field right now," defensive coorindator Mark Snyder said. "We started Darian, and he needs to play. He needs to be on the field. He was able to make the adjustment from Will to Mike in a week (said that statement incredulously). This was the perfect time to do it. I was really proud of him. He brings a lot of energy, he's a lot like Steven Jenkins. Deshazor is an eraser, and he was unselfish enough to go back to safety for us."