Published January 13, 2015
Oxford, MS (SportsNetwork.com) - The aura of Johnny Football began in Oxford a little over a year ago.
Texas A&M needed Johnny Manziel's heroics again on Saturday.
Josh Lambo's 33-yard field goal as time expired helped No. 9 Texas A&M down Ole Miss, 41-38, at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
Trailing 38-31 after Bo Wallace found a streaking Jaylen Walton on a wheel route along the right sideline with 6:05 remaining in the fourth, Manziel helped the Aggies (5-1, 2-1 SEC) post the last 10 points of the game.
Manziel sprinted up the middle for a 13-yard gain on 4th-and-7 before hitting Mike Evans on a crossing route for 26 yards down to the Rebels' 6-yard line on Texas A&M's ensuing touch.
Manziel rolled right a play later, put the brakes on, reversed field and took off toward the left pylon before diving in for the score to tie it with 3:07 left.
Following a Rebels (3-3, 1-3) three-and-out, Texas A&M regained possession with 2:33 to play. Manziel ran for gains of 12 and 13 yards before Tra Carson picked up eight yards on 3rd-and-1 later in the drive to set up Lambo's boot.
"It feels so great, not to kick the game-winning field goal, but to do something to help my teammates and reward their effort," Lambo said.
Manziel rallied the unranked Aggies from a 10-point fourth-quarter hole last year as he led a pair of touchdown drives to improve Texas A&M to 4-1 following a 30-27 triumph over the Rebels on Oct. 6.
The reigning Heisman Trophy winner was 31-of-39 passing for 346 yards and an interception and added 113 yards rushing and two scores on 18 carries for the Aggies, who have won three straight since losing to top-ranked Alabama on Sept. 14.
Ben Malena totaled 72 yards rushing on 16 totes in the triumph.
Wallace completed 22-of-36 passes for 301 yards with three touchdowns and an interception for Ole Miss, which has dropped three consecutive tilts on the heels of a 3-0 start.
Backup signal caller Barry Brunetti was 3-of-4 for 28 yards with a pair of TD passes and added 24 yards on the ground on five carries. Laquon Treadwell hauled in eight passes for 77 yards and two scores, while Vince Sanders had 90 yards receiving and a touchdown on three catches in defeat.
Ole Miss linebacker Serderius Bryant was carted off on a stretcher during the fourth quarter after delivering a hit to Manziel following a scramble.
"Not really sure what the injury is," Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said. "It looked like he had some movement to me. We're hopeful and we'll be praying for him."
Malena scampered in from seven yards out on the Aggies' first drive of the game to open the scoring and their defense stuffed Brunetti on a quarterback keeper on a 4th-and-1 to give them the ball at the Ole Miss 45.
Lambo, though, missed a 36-yard field goal.
Manziel temporarily left the game on that drive after tweaking his left knee. He tumbled to the ground and immediately clutched it after releasing a throw downfield following a rollout to his left. He stayed on the ground for a few minutes before walking off the field with the help of trainers.
A wide-open Sanders broke free for a 70-yard score along the left sideline to get the Rebels on the board late in the first before Trey Williams ran in for an 18-yard score to put Texas A&M back in front on its ensuing march.
Andrew Ritter's 42-yard field goal in the second accounted for the period's only points as Ole Miss trailed, 14-10, at the break.
Manziel ran in from five yards out on the Aggies' initial touch of the third to give them a 21-10 advantage, but Ole Miss answered with a 14-play, 75-yard trek that was concluded when Brunetti fired a 16-yard TD strike to Treadwell.
After Manziel was intercepted in the end zone by Keith Lewis late in the third, the Aggies' Darian Claiborne returned the favor as he picked off Wallace three plays later. Lambo split the uprights from 37 yards out a bit later to give the Aggies a 24-17 margin early in the fourth.
Brunetti hit Evan Engram for a 9-yard score on the Rebels' next sequence to tie the contest with 12:10 remaining.
Manziel, though, fumbled two offensive snaps later and Trae Elston pounced on the loose ball at the Texas A&M 41. Wallace connected with I'Tavius Mathers for a 21-yard gain before finding Treadwell for a 19-yard score to put Ole Miss in front.
Williams capped a 7-play, 75-yard march with a 9-yard TD run to knot the score again midway through the fourth.
The Aggies outgained the Rebels, 587-462 ... Texas A&M was 9-of-14 on third down, while Ole Miss finished 6-of-14 in those situations ... Williams had 50 yards rushing on seven carries.