Aggies Hold Off No. 23 Louisiana Tech, 59-57
 

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) -- Johnny Manziel accounted for six touchdowns, including two to fend off a late rally, and No. 22 Texas A&M held on for a 59-57 win over 23rd-ranked Louisiana Tech to hand the Bulldogs their first loss Saturday night.

59 - 57
Independence Bowl • Shreveport, Louisiana
Attendance: 40,453 • Temperature: 79˚
Boxscore: HTML  |  PDF

1 2 3 4  
A&M   (5-1) 21 18 7 13 59
La Tech   (5-1) 0 16 14 27 57
 Stats at a Glance
A&M LT
First Downs 27 37
Rushes-Yards 46-283 42-165
Passing Yards 395 450
Passing A-C-I 40-24-1 59-44-0
Total Yards 678 615
Fumbles 1-1 0-0
Interceptions 1 0
Punts 3-40.0 4-56.2
3rd Downs 15-22 5-17
4th Downs 0-0 2-5
Sacks 2-17 1-6
TOP 32:13 27:47
 Individual Leaders
RUSHING
A&M - Johnny Manziel 19-181, 3 TD
LT - Kenneth Dixon 19-111, 2 TD
PASSING
A&M - Johnny Manziel 24-40, 395 yd, 3 TD, 1 INT
LT - Colby Cameron 44-58, 450 yd, 5 TD
RECEIVING
A&M - Mike Evans 4 catches, 137 yd, TD
LT - Quinton Patton 21 catches, 233 yd, 4 TD
DEFENSE
A&M - Damontre Moore 17 tkl, 2.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks
LT - Jamel Johnson 12 tkl, 0.5 TFL

Texas A&M (5-1) won its fifth straight game and improved to 11-0 all-time against Louisiana Tech (5-1) in a game that was originally supposed to be played on Aug. 30, but was postponed because of Hurricane Isaac.

Louisiana Tech trailed by 27 points early before mounting a furious second half rally attempt capped by a 13-yard touchdown reception by Ray Holley to cut the lead to two points with 38 seconds left. But Colby Cameron's throw fell incomplete and the Aggies had the win.

Louisiana Tech had cut the lead to 2 earlier in the fourth quarter before Manziel answered with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Thomas Johnson to extend the lead to 53-44 with seven minutes left.

Texas A&M forced a punt and Manziel scored on a 72-yard run with about two minutes left and the kick failed.

The scrappy Bulldogs wouldn't go away though, and Quinton Patton scored on a 62-yard reception seconds later. They then recovered an onside kick which led to their last touchdown.

Manziel ran for 181 yards and three touchdowns and threw for 395 yards and three more scores. These teams entered the game averaging more than 1,000 yards between them, and as Saturday night crept into early Sunday morning, they outdid even those outlandish standards.

A&M finished with 678 yards of offense and Louisiana Tech had 615. Tech's output is even more impressive considering the offense sputtered in the first quarter and had just 33 yards.

The Bulldogs, who entered the national rankings this week for the first time since 1999, saw their nation-best 12-game regular-season winning streak snapped. It was their first regular-season loss since Oct. 1, 2011 against Hawaii.

The Aggies led by 23 in the third quarter before the furious comeback attempt by Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs reeled off 21 straight points capped by an interception return for a touchdown to cut the lead to 46-44 with 12 minutes left.

A 21-yard touchdown run by Kenneth Dixon, which he finished with a defender hanging off of him, cut A&M's lead to 46-36 early in the fourth quarter. The first 2-point conversion attempt failed, but a pass interference call gave the Bulldogs another shot and Cameron ran it in.

Shakeil Lucas intercepted a pass from Manziel seconds later and returned it 5 yards for a touchdown, but Cameron's 2-point conversion attempt was intercepted to leave A&M with a 46-44 lead.

Texas A&M controlled the game until halftime, but had trouble defending Patton in the second half and were also hurt by penalty after penalty. They finished with 19 for 165.

Patton finished with 21 receptions for 233 yards and four scores.

He scored on a 2-yard touchdown reception with about nine minutes left in the third quarter to cut Texas A&M's lead to 39-23. Manziel answered with a 2-yard run before Patton did it again, scoring on a 5-yard pass from Cameron to make it 36-30 later in the third quarter.

The teams played at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, La., which is about 70 miles from Louisiana Tech's campus in Ruston, La. But the crowd of more than 40,000 was pretty evenly split between A&M and Louisiana Tech fans.

Louisiana Tech entered the game averaging 53 points a game, which are the third most in the country. But early on the Bulldogs looked nothing like the team that had been doing that kind of damage.

Post-Game Notes

About the Win
• The Aggies won their fifth straight game with their 59-57 victory over Louisiana Tech.
• The 116 combined points by the two teams were the most in program history, surpassing the 110 points scored in the Aggies’ 110-0 win over Daniel Baker in 1920.
• It was A&M’s first win over a ranked opponent away from Kyle Field since beating No. 21 Texas Tech 52-30 in Lubbock, Texas in 2009. Overall, it was A&M’s first win over a ranked team since the Aggies whipped No. 20 Baylor, 55-28, in College Station in 2012.
• A&M improves to 11-0-0 all-time vs. Louisiana Tech.
• The victory was the 40th of Kevin Sumlin’s career (in his fifth season).

Record-Setting Manziel
• Redshirt freshman QB Johnny Manziel broke his own school and Southeastern Conference record for total offense with 576 total yards against the Bulldogs. He passed for 395 yards and rushed for a career-high 181 yards, including a career long 72-yard TD run. The 181 yards were the second most in school history by a QB behind David Walker’s 182 vs. SMU in 1977.
• Texas A&M had 13 400-yard total offense efforts prior to this season, but Johnny Manziel already has three in his first six games, including the top two in school and SEC history -- 576 vs. Louisiana Tech and 557 vs. Arkansas.

Damonster’s big night
• Junior DE Damontre Moore had a career-high 17 tackles, including 1.5 QB sacks for a loss of 13 yards and 2.5 total tackles for a loss of 14 yards. His previous high was 12 tackles vs. Kansas State and Texas last year.

Record-Setting Start
• Texas A&M has scored 282 points in the first six games of 2012, which is the most prolific start in school history. The previous high six-game scoring total was 253 by Coach D.X. Bible’s 1917 Aggies, which including a 98-0 victory over Dallas University.

Notables
• The Aggies gained 680 total yards against Louisiana Tech, which is the second-highest offensive output of the season and the third 600-yard plus effort of 2012.
• The Aggies rushed for 285 yards, their second-highest output of the season, and their fifth-straight 200-yard-plus effort.
• Senior WR Ryan Swope was knocked out of the game with an illegal hit by the Bulldogs, but not before he grabbed the 200th catch of his career. He is the second Aggie to reach the 200 catch plateau, joining Jeff Fuller who had 233 catches from 2008-11.
Swope’s single catch vs. the Bulldogs extended his streak of games with at least one catch to 38 games, which is the second-longest in school history behind Fuller’s 46-game string.
• The 20-yard TD catch by sophomore WR LeKendrick “Beep Beep” Williams was the first score of his career.
• The 75-yard TD catch and run by redshirt freshman WR Mike Evans was the longest of his career. Evans finished the night with a career-high 137 yards on four catches.

Captains, 12th Man
• Game captains for the Aggies were: senior center Patrick Lewis, senior safety Steven Terrell, senior linebacker Sean Porter and senior wide receiver Ryan Swope. Louisiana Tech won the toss and deferred to the second half. A&M received and defended the north goal.
• Making his fourth career start at 12th Man was defensive back Justin bass, a sophomore linebacker from Plano, Texas. His older brother, 2011 senior Ben Bass, is on the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad.

Post-Game Quotes

POST-GAME QUOTES
No. 23 Louisiana Tech vs. No. 22 Texas A&M
Oct. 13, 2012

TEXAS A&M

Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin

Opening comments:

"You know, we won. A whole lot of things happened in that football game and it could have gone either way right there with the onside kicks and those different plays, but we made enough plays to win."

"I give them credit. They can score like that on anybody. It took them awhile to get going. Once they did, they got it clicking. They were riling us a little bit defensively. Not a little bit, but we did not help ourselves. With all that said, they did a great job. We were going to have to play well in Shreveport to come out of here with a win and somehow we did.

On special teams:

"I do not think it was a big ... As many positives as we had in those situations, there were negatives. We get a block, the two-point and then miss an extra point; did not recover the onside kick. There were plays we made all over the field."

"You know the two-point conversion, so as many positives as there were on special teams, there were negatives. That is just the way the game was. You cannot have a game with that many yard and that many points without having big plays and with that kind of offense. That was a historic game."

On Ryan Swope and how his injury affected the game:

"I think we would love to have a guy like that in there. It is a combination of the pressure it puts on everybody.  Mike Evans was limping around out there a bunch and had to come out of the game, so we had some young guys in there who had not been out there before, but we are a better football team with Ryan (Swope) out there."

On last week's confidence carrying over to this week:

I hope so. I think our mindset is different. I think we are doing what we need to win games and not lose games. We did a lot of things that really cannot be explained. To get the ball at the 30 and drive it out to the 50 and just a number of penalties that put us all the way back."

"That is stuff we have been talking about since we got here with ball security and penalties. That is something we have been working on and emphasizing, but obviously we have done a poor job and we did a poor job of that tonight. I have never ever been in a football game with that many penalties."

 

On Manziel's response to the pick six:

"I asked him, and we never yell at him unless there is no answer. He said he was trying to throw the football away and it got away from him and was a pick six. For him to come back, and made really two or three really good plays with the option that got called back on the holding call and he had and the scrambles earlier."

"So, there were a number of plays he made after the interception that were great plays. The big one was just the touchdown run, so we have come to get used to that. He threw some good balls tonight. I think he is improving as a passer and obviously he keeps the defense on their feet and that is what he has been doing."

"He has only played six games, so I do not think anyone expects him to be ... he has only played six games as a freshman. I think he will be the first to tell you he is working to get better every game."

On changing momentum after a couple three-and-outs:

"Rolling is scoring every time you get the ball, and we were, so if we stop, then we have a momentum change rather than scoring every time we got the ball."

LOUISIANA TECH

Head Coach Sonny Dykes

"First off I'd like to thank the fans who stuck around for the end of the game. It's a shame so many fans didn't stick around. It was embarrassing that late in the game Texas A&M had more fans (in the stadium) than we did."

 "We didn't get off to a good start. We got some stops in the second half and got back into the game."

 "We had a hard time getting into a rhythm early. I don't know if it was nerves or what. We didn't make the early plays we usually make."

 "We had to adjust to Maziel's speed. Had our defense not played as well as they did in the third quarter, we wouldn't have gotten back into the game. When we started making plays in the third quarter, the team got that sense of excitement."

 "We've been a team of runs. We've done that all year. We had three key penalties in the first half that really hurt us by extending (Texas A&M) drives, but we settled down in the second half."

 "The team played as hard as they could the whole 60 minutes. We got beat in some situations, but they still played hard."

 "Quinton Patton was spectacular tonight. I've rarely seen a receiver play like that. He was truly remarkable."

 "I told the team I was really proud of the way we fought. I've never been more proud of a team fighting back against that kind of adversity. But it was no moral victory."

On the final two-point conversion attempt:

"We had three plays called. We had a run play and two routes. When they doubled Quinton (Patton) we called a play that we've had success with this season with the pass to R.P. (Stewart), but that one didn't work. But it was still a great game by Colby (Cameron)"

Shakiel Lucas

On Quinton Patton:

"He's incredible.  I love watching him play.  Whenever I'm on the sideline, I'm always watching No. 4.  He the best receiver I've ever played with and we know when he's in the game, we always have a chance.  He's the best I've seen with my own eyes."

On the interception and pick-six:

"I don't really remember a lot about it, because as soon as I scored, my teammates mobbed me and were slapping my helmet and all over me.  I jumped the route and when I saw the end zone in front of me, my pee-wee days kicked in and I wasn't going to be denied."

Colby Cameron

On the third-quarter performance:

"We've been a great third-quarter team all season.  We knew we had a chance to do some good things in the second half and we sort of had them on their heels a little bit, but we know that's SEC talent and they are going to keep coming at you."

On Quinton Patton as Tech's premier receiver:

"He's the man.  You really can't ask for more than someone like him.  Anytime I see him with one-on-one coverage, I consider him open.  I have such confidence in him and I've seen him do things that are unbelievable."

On the nation now knowing more about who Louisiana Tech is:

"It's really good to make a name for our program with a game like this.  Even though we lost and it was a tough game to lose, it shows that our program is going in a good direction."

Quinton Patton

On getting in the defensive backs heads during the game

"I was just trying to do all I could to get my team down the field.  The [defensive backs] were trying to hang on my side and get a little aggressive, but I was just trying to stay calm and stay humble and just play my way.  If the calls came, fine but I was just focusing on playing my game."

On being open on the two-point conversion:

"I expect the ball on every play, but I trust Colby [Cameron] 100 percent and if he sees something and thinks someone else is open and goes there, I'm good with that.  I trust him completely to make the right call."

On Colby Cameron

"I'm glad Colby is our quarterback.  Not too many people can take being the quarterback...you have to be of strong mind and strong body.  Sometimes the quarterback gets blamed for everything so you have to be tough all around.  I just really glad Colby is the quarterback for our team."