Posted September 01, 2013

Texas A&M overcomes suspensions to handle Rice; early Week 1 Snap Judgments

Dana Holgorsen, Johnny Manziel, Snap Judgments, Texas A&M Aggies, West Virginia Mountaineers
Johnny Manziel

After entering the game in the second half, Johnny Manziel threw for three TDs. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Snap Judgments from the Week 1 early slate. For more coverage check out SI.com’s coverage of Clemson-Georgia, LSU-TCU, Alabama-Virginia Tech and our midday and late Snaps.

Texas A&M 58, Rice 31: Sure, Johnny Manziel was suspended for the first half, but the bigger story in College Station was the pregame suspension of a number of key Aggies’ defenders. Rice was able to pick up yards in bunches early and only trailed A&M 28-21 at the break.

But when Manziel came on to start the second half, Texas A&M seemed to wake up — and the defense finally started to get some stops.

Manziel was erratic on his first drive, which started at the Owls’ 34-yard line after an interception. He made a couple of nice runs but also sailed a throw and took a sack (the Aggies kicked a field goal). He settled in after that, scrambling for a first down and completing a sharp pass to wide receiver Mike Evans for a touchdown on his second possession. Of course, no update on the Heisman winner would be complete without a Breaking Bad moment: Manziel’s taunting earned him an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty at one point, which led to what seemed like 15 minutes of moralizing from the ESPN broadcast crew.

He finished 6-of-8 for 94 yards and three touchdowns. He also added 19 rushing yards.

Manziel is a polarizing, but that’s nothing new. By this point, it’s clear that no one wants him to be himself; everyone wants him to fit some preconceived notion of what a quarterback should be, a wish that has grown increasingly absurd. Sometimes players get chippy. Sometimes players talk to other players and make hand gestures and get fiery in the moment. In fact, many of the things people take issue with about Manziel now are the same things that made him such an interesting and dynamic player as a redshirt freshman in 2012.

The Aggies face Sam Houston State next Saturday, and several players will be suspended for at least a portion of that game, including cornerback Deshazor Everett, who was suspended for the first half against Rice, got ejected for targeting a receiver in the second half and will miss the first 30 minutes of A&M’s second game. The bad boys narrative isn’t going away, whether fans like it or not. [RECAP | BOX]

West Virginia 24, William & Mary 17: It was taken for granted that the West Virginia offense would take a step back after losing stars Geno Smith, Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin to the NFL, but the hope was that Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen could rebuild his team quickly enough to handle a CAA opponent that won two games in 2012. Holgorsen started junior quarterback Paul Millard instead of Florida State transfer Clint Trickett, and Millard completed 9-of-12 passes in the first half.

Still, while West Virginia took its opening drive in for a touchdown, its offense didn’t really wake up until the second half. It’s clear that a lack of experience — along with the fact that running back Andrew Blue left the team this week — is having a big impact on WVU’s ability to move the ball. The Mountaineers offensive line started to get a push as it wore down the Tribe defense, and West Virginia finally took the lead for good with 3:22 remaining in the fourth quarter. An interception on William & Mary’s next possession sealed the victory.

Big 12 fans are already on edge after Kansas State’s 24-21 loss to North Dakota State last night. The conference really couldn’t afford to drop two games to FCS opponents in Week 1. [RECAP | BOX]

No. 10 Florida 24, Toledo 6: Gators fans are used to seeing their defense play well. What they don’t usually see is an efficient performance from the Florida offense. Quarterback Jeff Driskel was surprisingly calm and methodical, and running back Mack Brown looked strong on the ground, carrying 25 times for 112 yards and two scores. The Rockets were a popular upset pick coming into this game, but the Gators’ defense kept coach Matt Campbell’s creative offense in check. [RECAP | BOX]

No. 2 Ohio State 40, Buffalo 20: The Buckeyes jumped out to a 23-0 lead in the first quarter and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer went for two after each his team’s first two touchdowns, something that probably didn’t make the Bulls too happy. Buffalo coach Jeff Quinn’s offense finally started to get going after shaking off the rust, and quarterback Joe Licata showed why Bulls fans have high expectations in 2013 — he went 19-of-32 for 185 yards and two touchdowns. But this game was still business as usual for Ohio State, which benefited from efficient performances from running back Jordan Hall (159 rushing yards, two touchdowns) and quarterback Braxton Miller (15-of-22, 177 passing yards, two touchdowns, one interception; 77 rushing yards). The Buckeyes’ defense took a hit with cornerback Bradley Roby’s suspension and linebacker Ryan Shazier missing some time with cramps.

And then there was Khalil Mack:

[RECAP | BOX]

Georgia Tech 70, Elon 0: Coach Paul Johnson doesn’t seem like the type of person who is pleased with a lot of things, aside from maybe a cold glass of water, a well-made bed and a quiet car ride. But even he couldn’t possibly be upset with the way his team performed in Week 1. The Yellow Jackets have struggled with some early-season opponents over the last few years (see: Middle Tennessee State), so having the offense humming from the get-go was a good sign. Quarterback Vad Lee threw only 11 passes as The Rambling Wreck rushed for 367 yards. [RECAP | BOX]

Maryland 43, Florida International 10: Sophomore wideout Stefon Diggs (five catches, 97 receiving yards, one touchdown; 26 rushing yards) is a bona fide star, and a healthy quarterback in C.J. Brown (20-of-24, 276 passing yards, three touchdowns; 105 rushing yards, two scores) is a refreshing sight for the Terps. The Maryland offense has a lot more speed and athleticism than it did in 2012, and it seems that coach Randy Edsall’s recruiting efforts are finally pointing the program in the right direction. It remains to be seen if such a positive start can lead to a winning season, of course, but at the very least, Maryland might be something other than unwatchable this fall. [RECAP | BOX]

Cincinnati 42, Purdue 7: Two new head coaches were on the sidelines for the matchup between the Bearcats and Boilermakers, and only one could walk away with the victory. Darrell Hazell’s Purdue offense put together a nice opening drive that culminated in a missed 40-yard field goal, but it then went dormant for most of the rest of the game, losing two fumbles and two interceptions. Cincinnati, meanwhile, looked comfortable under Tommy Tuberville. [RECAP | BOX]

Boston College 24, Villanova 14: For a while, it appeared as if the Wildcats had a chance for an upset, and their fake punt may well be the play of the week. But the Eagles found a way to grind out a win and avoided spoiling Steve Addazio’s first game as coach. [RECAP | BOX]

Wisconsin 45, Massachusetts 0: In case you forgot, Vegas knows exactly what it’s doing:

Oh, and Wisconsin rushed for 393 yards with an average of 8.9 yards per carry. It looks like coach Gary Andersen has his team’s offensive identity pretty well defined. [RECAP | BOX]

18 comments
SouthJack
SouthJack

Quote from A&M players when asked about Johnny "Cash"'s antics at season opener game, "Johnny has swag......we got the "W" that is all that really matters."  Should we expect anything different from a school program that has no dignity or class. If coach Sumlin had any of either he would tell that scum sucking bottom feeder to hit the door and don't come back after Johnny "Cash" basically told the whole nation "F*** You, the rules don't apply to me!" I actually feel sorry for the SEC because this scum is going to tarnish everyone's reputation that he is associated with! 

kenk928
kenk928

@ReformedBroker honing his a-hole behavior part of training to be a hedge find manager or the new CEO of JPM

MarketPlunger
MarketPlunger

@ReformedBroker Just wait til he hears the words "Welcome to the league, kid" after his head goes bouncing down the field.

WHO*IS*ESPN
WHO*IS*ESPN

Nice to the humbled pri*k back on the field. Too bad his mommy & daddy are as big as losers with this kid.  Hope Bama takes his legs, knees and MOUTH out in few weeks.

amolad
amolad

Sorry, Marty.

If there's anything this country does NOT need right now it's another entitled, rule-breaking twenty-year-old athlete with no sense of sportsmanship.

Or are you just saying anything to disagree with the talent on ESPN?

mjhellund
mjhellund

Guy is an ahole and will never achieve even moderate success in the NFL. He's plain and simple a jerk, and you don't put on signing shows without taking cash to sign.

motorb54
motorb54

The inconsistency of the refs in calling the unsportsmanlike penalty is infuriating.

"Superman" gesture allowed all over the place and celebrated in TV promos both on NBC and on ESPN.

Yet after a goal line stand stop by the Rutgers D a ref throws a flag for the same motion when made by a D lineman.  Gave Fresno an automatic first down which resulted in a touchdown.

This was a game that went into OT.  Total BS call by the ref.

TCUfan
TCUfan

Manziel is a POS human being, nothing more, nothing less.

drax
drax

"Manziel’s taunting earned him an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty at one point, which led to a diatribe of about a quarter’s worth of football from the ESPN broadcast crew."

This.  ESPN apparently took extra time this offseason to get this crew their psychology degrees, because they were much more focused on wearing their Freud hats and dispensing their wealth of knowledge on the human persona.  Oh yeah, and there was a football game that nobody referenced for 15 minutes.

drax
drax

@TCUfan Funny, because every sportswriter who has spent any time with him says the complete opposite.

WHO*IS*ESPN
WHO*IS*ESPN

@drax @TCUfan Funny EVERYONE in the public is already tired of his b.s. antics, lies and selfish attitude.  The media also think obama is doing a great job,too

SouthJack
SouthJack

@WHO*IS*ESPN @drax @TCUfan 

Thank You TCUfan for having  good moral values not only about playing by the rules of NCAA football but also about the direction of our current national leadership, apparently for A&M leadership & fans it is only about getting the "W". Any school that would defend this disgusting scum sucking bottom feeder, who basically just told the whole nation on T.V. - "F*** You, I'm Johnny Football and the rules don't apply to me!" has to be as low class as the company that they keep! SEC please reel this loser in and get him out of our sight because it is apparent that John Sharp and the gang won't since they already said that he is the best thing since sliced bread!