Manziel scrambles his way to upset victory
November, 10, 2012
By ESPN Stats & Information | ESPN.com
John David Mercer/US PresswireJohnny Manziel and the Aggies defeated the AP No. 1 team for the first time since 2002.For the first time since 2002 and the second time in program history, Texas A&M has defeated the No. 1 team in the country.
What went right for Texas A&M?
It all starts with Johnny Manziel, who had 345 total yards of offense and two touchdown passes.
Alabama’s defense was not susceptible to deep passes over its first nine games. The Tide had held opposing quarterbacks to a 22.0 completion percentage and just one touchdown on throws of at least 20 yards downfield.
Alabama had allowed just nine completions on 41 pass attempts thrown 20 yards or longer downfield entering the game and had not allowed an opposing quarterback to complete four such passes in a game since the start of the 2009 season.
But Manziel excelled with the deep ball, completing 4-of-5 passes thrown at least 20 yards downfield, including a 24-yard fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Malcolme Kennedy which proved to be the difference.
Manziel especially made his mark outside the pocket. The Aggies quarterback was 6-for-6 on passes outside the pocket. He totaled 172 yards on those plays, including 94 scramble yards.
Manziel’s 345 total yards are the most by a quarterback against Alabama since Arkansas’s Ryan Mallett had 350 in 2010.
What went wrong for Alabama?
After entering the game with zero interceptions this season, A.J. McCarron was intercepted twice. Alabama turned the ball over three times for the first time since its 2011 season opener against Kent State.
The 29 points allowed are the most Alabama has allowed at home since 2007.
Alabama’s National Championship chances may not be depleted. The Tide are the first AP No. 1 to lose in November since 2007, when Ohio State lost to Illinois and LSU fell to Arkansas. Despite the losses, Ohio State and LSU ended up meeting in the BCS National Championship Game.