One week after his team took down then- No. 1 Alabama, Johnny Manziel continued to make his case for the Heisman Trophy on Saturday.
Manziel threw for 267 yards and three touchdowns on 14-of-20 passing, while running for 100 yards and two scores on 16 carries as No. 9 Texas A&M knocked off Sam Houston State, 47-28, at Kyle Field.
The freshman from Kerrville, TX was removed from the game early in the third quarter, but not before becoming the first freshman in FBS history to throw for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a single season.
Jameill Showers threw for 86 yards and a score, while Mike Evans caught six passes for 81 yards and two touchdowns for the Aggies (9-2), who have won four straight.
LeKendrick Williams and Uzoma Nwachukwu hauled in touchdown passes in the victory.
Brian Bell threw for 150 yards, one touchdown and one interception on 14-of-30 passing, while Timothy Flanders, Chris Grett and Ridgeway Frank added rushing touchdowns for the Bearkats (8-3). K.J. Williams caught a touchdown pass in defeat.
Texas A&M wasted no time taking the lead as the Aggies struck for seven points on the opening drive of the game. Manziel led an efficient 12-play, 72-yard drive to the Sam Houston goal line before capping the drive with a 7-yard TD strike to Evans, giving his team the early 7-0 lead.
"The last two weeks and even back to Mississippi State, the throws he has made have been critical to us getting better offensively," Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said. "Kliff Kingsbury has done a great job of working with him throughout the year to develop his confidence in the passing game. I think it's an understanding by him of the defense and our personnel. It has definitely helped us offensively."
The Aggies extended their lead to 14-0 early in the second quarter as Manziel conjured up a perfect balance of runs and passes during an 8-play, 95-yard drive before he finished the trek with a 10-yard TD strike to Evans in the back left corner of the end zone.
With 5:25 on the second-quarter clock, Texas A&M began an offensive possession on the Sam Houston 13-yard line following an interception by Donnie Baggs.
The Aggies needed just three plays to find the end zone again as Manziel went with an option to the right on 3rd-and-1. He quickly went left and hustled to the pylon for a 4-yard score. The extra-point try was muffed, giving A&M a 20-0 lead.
Texas A&M began its next drive on the 29 following a Sam Houston punt and Trey Williams finished a 4-play, 70-yard march with a 6-yard TD dive, making it 27-0 late in the first half.
Manziel put the exclamation point on a dominant second quarter with brilliant play fake on the Sam Houston goal line which resulted in an easy 1-yard touchdown run and a 34-0 halftime lead.
"I was disappointed in the first half. I told our guys we didn't have to play perfect in this game to have a chance to win, but we would have to play pretty good. We didn't play very well in the first half. We made some mental mistakes, didn't tackle very well, and missed some assignments offensively," Sam Houston State coach Willie Fritz said.
After forcing a Sam Houston punt to begin the third quarter, Texas A&M got the ball back at its own 11-yard line. On the first play of the drive, Manziel finished off his afternoon with style by hitting Nwachukwu in stride for an 89-yard touchdown strike, widening the margin to 40-0.
Showers took over under center on the Aggies' next possession and the offense didn't skip a beat as the sophomore signal-caller hooked up with LeKendrick Williams on the first play of the drive for an 80-yard touchdown pass, ballooning the lead to 47-0.
The Bearkats finally got on the board late in the third quarter when Flanders capped an 18-play, 75-yard drive with a 2-yard plunge to the end zone.
The Bearkats recovered the ensuing onside kick and got the ball back on the Aggies' 49. Bell then connected with K.J. Williams on a 9-yard touchdown pass, making it 47-14 with 14:20 on the fourth-quarter clock.
Frank finished off an 8-play, 55-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown push for Sam Houston State with 5:37 remaining, and Grett bulled his way into the end zone from five yards out later in the quarter to account for the final margin.
Texas A&M is unbeaten in 12 all-time meetings with Sam Houston State, going 11-0-1 ... Prior to Saturday's encounter, the teams had only met once in the last 70 years, with A&M winning back in 1997, 59-6 ... Texas A&M scored on its opening drive of the game for the eighth consecutive game ... Texas A&M outgained Sam Houston State, 527-382 ... The Aggies went 3-of-10 on third down, while the Bearkats finished 8-of-20 on third down.