Published September 16, 2013
Perhaps no Heisman Trophy winner faced more offseason scrutiny than Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel.
But Manziel keeps reminding folks that he's known as "Johnny Football" for a reason.
Manziel racked up the most FBS passing yards of the weekend against the best team in the country, finishing with a school-record 464 yards in a 49-42 loss to top-ranked Alabama.
Manziel is now third in the FBS with 11 passing TDs and sixth nationally with 984 yards passing, even though he threw just eight times in the season opener.
He's also eighth in the country in yards per attempt (11.1) and 16th with a 70.8 percent completion rate, despite his penchant for risky throws.
Manziel will find himself right back in the Heisman race if he keeps putting up such huge numbers — and helps A&M bounce back from the loss to the Crimson Tide.
Here are some of the other efforts that stood out during the third full Saturday of college football.
DUCK ATTACK: Oregon's Marcus Mariota nearly matched Manziel with a career-high 456 yards, but his Ducks remained unbeaten with a 59-14 thrashing of Tennessee. Mariota became the first Duck to throw for over 400 yards since Kellen Clemens in 2005 and, with four TD passes, extended his streak of games with at least one touchdown toss to 16.
RUNNING CAJUNS: Louisiana-Lafayette picked up its 500th win with an unprecedented performance on the ground. The Ragin' Cajuns broke the school record with eight rushing touchdowns in a 70-7 blowout of Nicholls State. Five different players ran for scores for Louisiana-Lafayette, led by three from Elijah McGuire. The Ragin' Cajuns scored touchdowns on nine of their first 10 possessions and were up 63-7 after just three quarters.
WORKHORSE WEISMAN: Iowa has undergone a minor resurgence with an old-school strategy: give the ball to a big back and get out of the way. Converted fullback Mark Weisman ran 35 times for 145 yards in a 27-21 win at Iowa State on Saturday. The 236-pound Weisman has a staggering 65 carries for 325 yards in the past two games, and the Hawkeyes (2-1) have won both games after dropping seven straight dating back to 2012. Weisman has 85 carries through three games, by far the most in the country.
GETTING THEIR KICKS: Cal's Vincenzo D'Amato and Oklahoma's Michael Hunnicutt are having eerily similar season kicking for the Bears and Sooners. They're tied for the national lead with eight field goals on nine attempts, and each is 11 for 11 on extra point tries. D'Amato's longest field goal this season is 43 yards, while Hunnicutt's is 44 yards. Hunnicutt had the better weekend though, hitting three field goals and six PATs in a 51-20 blowout of Tulsa.
AROUND THE COUNTRY: Cal's Jared Goff leads the nation with 1,306 yards passing, with fellow Pac-12 quarterback Sean Mannion second with 1,237 yards. Mannion had 443 yards and 5 TD passes in Oregon State's 51-48 OT win at Utah. ... Paul James of Rutgers is the country's top rusher with 493 yards, but Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon has 477 yards on just 37 carries. ... Mike Evans of Texas A&M has been the main beneficiary of Manziel's stellar play, with a national-best 518 yards receiving on just 20 catches. ... Maryland leads the nation with 14 sacks, while Northwestern is first with eight interceptions. ... Washington State, with pass-happy Mike Leach as its coach, is actually the only team in the country allowing fewer than 100 yards passing per game. The Cougars have let up just 299 yards through the air in a 2-1 start.