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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -- Whether or not Saturday was Johnny Manziel's last home game, the Heisman Trophy winner certainly made sure to soak in every last moment.
The crowd chanted ''one more year'' late in the game for Manziel, who is eligible for the draft after this season. Whether he comes back remains to be seen, but he went into the stands to celebrate with the student section when the game was over.
Manziel denied that he even has entertained the thought that he might not play here again.
''Not one bit,'' he said. ''I'm focused on trying to get us to a BCS bowl.''
He did admit that Saturday was an emotional day and said that the crowd was ''awesome.''
''With the chant and with the energy they brought ... just a great way to end this year,'' he said putting extra emphasis on the words ''this year.''
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin wouldn't directly discuss whether he thought Manziel would leave.
''We have a process that we go through,'' Sumlin said. ''We talk all the time about opportunities down the road ... I think we have enough of a relationship as a coaching staff with our players that those conversations will happen.''
Among the crowd of 88,504, third largest ever at A&M, on hand was former President George H.W. Bush and former Texas A&M and current St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha.
Texas governor Rick Perry was the co-pilot in the pre-game flyover and also attended the game.
Manziel set a school career record for total yards with 9,040 and a single-season record with 31 touchdown passes. He became just the second A&M quarterback to run for 2,000 yards in a career and has 3,313 yards passing this year to become the first Aggie with two 3,000-yard passing seasons.
Johnny Football was his swashbuckling self in a game that has become pretty typical for the defensively challenged Aggies.
Mississippi State cut the lead to 10 points early in the fourth quarter, but Manziel threw his fifth touchdown pass to make it 44-27 for A&M (8-2, 4-2 Southeastern Conference). The defense grabbed an interception and Ben Malena's 2-yard TD run extended the lead to 51-27.
Dak Prescott threw for 149 yards and two scores and ran for 154 yards for Mississippi State (4-5, 1-4).
Malcome Kennedy and Travis Labhart had two touchdown receptions each. Mike Evans had 116 yards receiving to break the school single-season record with 1,263.
The Bulldogs got within 10 points again after a touchdown throw by Tyler Russell with 2:19 remaining. But the onside kick was recovered by A&M.
Bulldogs receiver Jameon Lewis threw a touchdown pass to Joe Morrow on a reverse early in the fourth quarter to get within 37-27.
Trey Williams returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. But it was negated by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after he flipped into the end zone.
View gallery."Manziel leads No. 11 A&M over Mississippi St 51-41
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass to Malcome Kenne …
''He's a fun-loving kid but he's got to understand what's at stake every time he's playing,'' Sumlin said. ''That wasn't very smart.''
The Aggies got the ball at the 18 and Manziel threw his fifth touchdown pass three plays later.
The Bulldogs cut the lead to 10 points late in the third quarter on a touchdown pass by Prescott. But A&M made it 37-20 two plays later on a 15-yard run by Williams. That scored was set up by a 75-yard reception by Evans.
Russell started the game in place of Prescott, who missed practice this week after his mother died of cancer on Sunday. Prescott entered the game on Mississippi State's third drive and got the majority of the snaps after that.
Prescott's twitter profile had three pictures of him and his mother, the biggest one featuring him kissing her bald head as she smiled broadly. Before the game he tweeted: ''I Live for you, I Play for you (hash)MOM.''
''Obviously to go through what he had to go through and come out and perform, I'm just proud of him,'' Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said, his voice cracking. ''He's an amazing young man beyond being a football player, a man that most parents would be proud if their kids grew up that way.''
Manziel was intercepted three times, twice by Jamerson Love. The turnovers helped keep Mississippi State close, but the Bulldogs couldn't keep up.
''He made enough plays for us to win - made some big plays,'' Sumlin said of Manziel. ''I'm sure there's a couple of them I know he'd like to have back. He had five touchdowns, for most people that's pretty good.''
Manziel evaded the rush and connected with Kennedy for a 21-yard touchdown to extend Texas A&M's lead to 30-14 in the third quarter.
Manziel had a highlight-reel play on A&M's next drive when he did a nifty spin move to avoid a defender before dashing away and Derel Walker for a 26-yard gain on third-and-25. But Manziel's third interception came two plays later when Nickoe Whitley picked him off inside the 5.
No matter. Johnny Football left them happy as usual at Kyle Field.
ABOUT THE WIN...
- Crowd for the final game in the old Kyle Field was 88,504, which is the third-largest crowd in stadium history. With eight home games in 2013, Kyle Field drew a record 697,003 fans in its final season before the $450 million redevelopment. A&M currently leads the FBS in accumulated attendance in 2013.
- The victory over Mississippi State marked the program’s 700th win. Texas A&M becomes the 17th program in FBS history to reach that milestone.
- The A&M offense generated 537 total yards, the NCAA-best ninth straight game with at least 500 yards.
- Scoring 51 points marked the 13th straight game that the Aggies have tallied at least 40 points, which is the longest active streak in FBS.
- The Aggies improved to 8-2 overall and 4-2 against the SEC.
MANZIEL MAKES HIS CASE
- Sophomore QB JOHNNY MANZIEL generated 493 total yards, including 446 passing yard and five touchdowns against Mississippi State.
- Manziel was just seven yards shy of his sixth 500 yard game in his career, he remains the only player in SEC history with multiple 500+ yard games.
- Manziel passed for 446 yards and five touchdowns on 30-of-39 attempts against the Bulldogs. It was his fifth career 400-yard passing game and his fourth in 2013. He has five of the nine 400-yard games in school history. The five passing TDs matched a career high (also had five against Alabama earlier this season).
- It’s the fourth straight game that Manziel rushed or passed for four or more TDs.
- He generated 300 or more total yards for his 19th straight start (Did not start vs. Rice in season-opener).
- Sophomore QB JOHNNY MANZIEL surpassed the 3,000-yard plateau in passing yards in his 10th game of the season. He is the first Aggie to do it twice, and joins JERROD JOHNSON and RYAN TANNEHILL as the only A&M players to reach 3,000 yards in a season.
- Manziel also broke the A&M school record for career total offense, breaking the old record of 8,888 by Jerrod Johnson from 2007-10. In 23 career games, Manziel has generated 9,040 total yards.
- Manziel threw five touchdowns against the Bulldogs, including his 31st of the season which broke the single-season record previously held by JERROD JOHNSON (30 in 2009).
- Manziel also became the second Aggie QB to surpass 2,000 rushing yards, joining BUCKY RICHARDSON who had 2,095 from 1987-1991.
EVANS PASSES SWOOPE
- MIKE EVANS broke the season receiving yards record in style with a 75-yard connection with QB JOHNNY MANZIEL. He broke the old record of 1,207 set by RYAN SWOPE in 2011. Evans finished with 116 yards on 5 catches and now has 1,263 for the season.
- 12th Man SAM MOELLER blocked a Bulldog punt that rolled through the endzone for a safety. It was the first time the 12th Man has ever blocked a punt in a game. It also marked the second straight game that the Aggies have had a punt block resulting in a safety. It was the first time A&M has had punt blocks in consecutive games since 2008 when the Aggies had blocks against Baylor and Texas to end the season.
- Burlsworth Award candidate TRAVIS LABHART had his first career 100-yard receiving game with 102 yards and 2 touchdowns on 6 catches. The Burlsworth is given to the nation’s most outstanding player that began his career as a walk-on.
- It was the final home game for 13 seniors. Four TDs were scored by seniors -- two by Travis Labhart and one by Nehemiah Hicks and Ben Malena. For Hicks, his first career TD came in his final home game.
12TH MAN, POLO, CAPTAINS, COIN TOSS
- For the 10th straight game, sophomore defensive back SAM MOELLER was the 12th Man.
- Wearing the #90 jersey in memory of fallen teammate POLO MANUKAINIU was true freshman HARDRECK WALKER (normally wears #98). Manukainiu died in a tragic car accident last summer.
- The Aggies’ team captain representative at the coin toss was junior MIKE EVANS because senior captains TONEY HURD JR., BEN MALENA and JAKE MATTHEWS were involved in the Senior Day festivities. Mississippi State won the toss and elected to receive.
Selected Texas A&M Post-Game Quotes
HEAD COACH KEVIN SUMLIN
On the atmosphere in the last game prior to the Redevelopment of Kyle Field…
“How about that? How about the fireworks? That’s a pretty good touch. Seen lot of things change here in the past couple of years. That was a nice touch at the end. I said on the radio show after the game, our players are extremely appreciative of our fans, former students, current students, the 12th Man. A great setting tonight, and everybody was a part of history. A lot of photos, a lot of pictures taken, this place will never look the same, it’s a growth process, but for our guys to be a part of that, was a big deal and for our seniors it was a long-lasting memory, and it was really important to our team that our seniors left today with some good feelings and good memories that they can have for a lifetime.”
On his class of seniors…
“I really break them down into three groups. You’ve got the guys who have been here for 4-5 years, that have worked through and seen a lot of different things. Played in two separate conferences, have been in some pretty big games in their career, both good and bad. You have a group of walk-on guys, guys like Travis Labhart, guys who have toiled around here in obscurity but have hung on and been on the team. Travis, he’s earned a scholarship and now you see what happens with him. The third group is guys like Steven Jenkins and Derel Walker that group of guys, guys who are recent guys who were added as transfers or junior college transfers and it all blended into one group. There is one common thing about them, tonight was senior nights, and it’s always emotional, there is no doubt that there were different journeys, different paths to get here, to where they are now. They’re all going to leave here together and our job, as a team, was to make tonight a positive memory for them.”
On Johnny Manziel’s emotions…
“He was ready to play, just like a lot of people. Not really, he’s a pretty emotional guy all the time. Nothing surprises me before the game with him. I’d be more surprised if he wasn’t very emotional because that’s how he plays the game. I think you see in situations like tonight, particularly on senior night, it’s emotional for the guys who know this is their last home game, but also some guys who are younger really see and feel that emotion, like: “Wow, it’s really coming to an end for these guys, and we’re not going to be able to play and hang out.” I think that hits the younger players, the older you get—because when you are a freshman, you think this is going to go on forever, and time flies by and the closer you get to that stage, you start thinking about, ‘wow, that’s me,’ you see it in juniors, sophomores and the emotion really kind of snowballs from there.”
On the play of Manziel and where the offense can improve…
“I thought he made enough plays for us to win, made some big plays, really critical plays before the half, I’m sure there’s a couple of them I knew he really wanted to have back, trying to do too much a couple times, but he gave us a chance there. He had five touchdowns, for most people that’s pretty good. We got to do a better, job, we turned it over, we lost the turnover battle today, we did a terrible job in the penalty department, at critical times. We had two turnovers going in to score, which you’re giving away 14 points or 10 or six at the least. Yeah, we’d like to have those back, and we got to continue to preach that and get better – certainly with our opponents that are coming up.”
SOPHOMORE DL JULIEN OBIOHA
On the defense’s performance…
“We had our ups and downs, but we got the W so I think we did pretty well. We had a lot of bright spots in tonight’s performance, but we had a lot of bad spots, so we have to work on those bad spots. We had a lot of three-and-outs, a lot of stops, so we just have to keep up all those stops.
On facing the read option with Dak Prescott at QB…
“Dak is a great quarterback, I think he’s about 230-240 lbs. so he’s really hard to bring down. He sheds tackles almost Tim Tebow-like. He is the first quarterback like that that we’ve faced all year. We face a lot of mobile quarterbacks, but none that are his size. He’s a good quarterback and he did his thing today, but luckily we stopped him enough times to get the W today.”
On the post-game emotions…
“To sum it up in one word, it’s gratefulness. This team is grateful for being able to close out the traditional Kyle field with a win today.”
SOPHOMORE QB JOHNNY MANZIEL
On the game today…
“It was awesome. Great atmosphere for our last home game of the year. It was the last home game for all the seniors who I’ve developed such a close bond with. They’re all nothing but stand up guys from Jake Matthews all the way to Toney Hurd. It was an emotional day, but fun. Sawing them off with the crowd today was awesome.”
On whether he thought about the possibility of this being his last home game ever…
“Not one bit. I’m just focusing on getting us to a BCS berth in the best bowl game we can get to. That’s my only focus right now.”
On the “One more year” chant…
“It was a cool deal for not only me, but Mike, Cedric, Deshazor, guys who are going to go on to play at another level hopefully, so it’s awesome. Kyle Field is a special place. Nothing will be the same about Kyle field after today, and to leave that mark like we did today and to go out that way couldn’t have been any better. It was really emotional and really awesome, and it really speaks volumes to how awesome this student body is and this fan base and how special everything about Texas A&M is. It’s a really special place and I love it here.”
On his legacy of records…
“I know that we have two more games left in the season to push those records and get more wins, which is more important than anything else. I’d rather have a great team record and a 10-2 season going into a great bowl game. All personal records aside whether it’s for me, Mike. The defense, whatever it is, we just have to continue to push forward. We have two great tests left, playing against two really great teams, so we have to try and go out and scratch and claw and win those games to stay perfect on the road.”
On Travis Labhart…
“He’s one of my favorite people on the team, really just a solid, stand-up guy. I’ve been lobbying for him since I became a starter to try and get him on the field because I thought he was a special talent, and so far he’s proven that this year. He goes out there every week and makes the most of every opportunity he gets. There’s really no other way to put than just going out and balling every week.”
SENIOR RB BEN MALENA
On Senior Day experience…
“From the beginning of the day I was just excited to get out there and see the fans, the 12th Man one last time. At the end of the game, it was bittersweet. The most important thing is that we got out of there with a ‘W’ and that we have two more games coming up.”
On playing with Johnny Manziel …
“You some take it for granted playing with the best player in the nation. Today, he really made that play. He broke the defensive lineman’s ankles and threw the ball to Derel Walker. That’s not something that you can practice in quarterback drills. His awareness, his elusiveness and his determination to win are remarkable. There are just some things that you can‘t coach. Most importantly, he’s the defending Heisman trophy winner. Not many people can say that they’ve played with a Heisman trophy winner.”
On career progression and relationship with student body…
“That’s an experience that is once in a lifetime, especially at the college level. Starting off my career the way that I did and rising to where I am is amazing. Being voted as team captain is one of the best things that I have experienced at Texas A&M. The 12th Man is the best student body in the country, hands down, and I am going to miss them.”
JUNIOR WR MALCOME KENNEDY
On feel of the game…
“There was a lot of energy from the start. When we came out and heard how loud the 12th Man was, we just knew it was going to be a great game because of the energy that they bring to the team. Most people can’t say that their home crowd is like that. Just coming out and feeling them and knowing it was the last game on Kyle Field before the renovation just pushed us.”
On Mississippi State’s size…
“When coaches tell us stuff like that, we as players blow it out of proportion and we have this imagination that makes them way bigger. Everybody is a football player out there, and Alabama was pretty much the same size. Of course when size is compared to speed, one of them is going to win, and tonight it was speed.”
On touchdown …
“It was initially a ten-yard dig across the middle. Normally when I get past the first defender I look back at Johnny and he either looks ready to trigger and throw or like he is going to scramble. He just jumped out of there like he normally does and escaped his defender and I just got to a nice spot that he could hit me safely without an interception and I decided to make a play out of it.”
“It was just making mistakes, especially penalties. Penalties put us in a situation where we have to call things that are out of the norm. It’s harder to deal with those kinds of calls and plays. We fumbled and messed up on our own. It’s just something that we deal with and manage and thankfully tonight it didn’t cost us the game.”
On potential Johnny Manziel’s and Mike Evans’ last game
“We’ve created so many memories. It’s so much bigger than just those two. The coaching staff came in and we embraced them and they set us on this road. Having those guys out there it was fun watching them, everybody would love to see them back here again but you’ve got to make some decisions in life and it was fun playing with them.”
SENIOR WR TRAVIS LABHART
On last home game as senior…
“It was something I’ll remember forever. A lot of family was down for the game. All week I was trying to have my best week of practice and really stay focused. As soon as we got on the bus from the hotel I just really started thinking about the ride over there because we take it for granted. The spirit walk was just outstanding. The whole process of game day was great but when you get out there on the field you want to perform at your best and luckily I was able to do that today.”
On this season…
“You always want to be involved. You always want to be a guy and not just somebody who sit there on the side. That is something that I really tried to work on during off-season. I did a lot of work, there are so many things you train for and work for. I started out this year as a backup for Mike, so I knew I wasn’t going to get much playing time there. You just keep plucking away and hope for your opportunity, and luckily I was able to get that. It’s just been a blessing going out every night and playing your hardest regardless of the score sometimes. Knowing that you did your best to help your team is humbling.”
On Johnny Manziel…
“He is such a great guy and great leader. I’m going to miss the heck out of him because this is my last year. It was just a great environment. Those fans are second to none. I laugh every time I hear them yelling because they are crazy- good crazy. There is nobody else in the college world that is as good as they are so it was a cool experience.”
On playing with Johnny Manziel…
“I absolutely love it because it creates opportunities for me. I’m not the fastest guy but I can be shifty and hard to follow. It is fun; it’s a great offense. We still have not put a complete game together. Johnny is just a great quarterback, obviously one of the best. I’m lucky to be able to have him as a quarterback because a lot of people don’t have an opportunity to catch passes from a guy like him.”
SENIOR DB TONEY HURD JR.
On last game…
“It was great. From the beginning of the day I had so many emotions. It actually didn’t hit me until I came out and they announced my name. It’s a great moment to be able to play in front of that crowd.”
On Mississippi State players…
“On offense they had a lot of great skill-position guys. They came ready to fight and they weren’t going to give up until the clock it zero. They fought hard but at the end of the day we came out with a ‘W’ and that was big for the senior and our team moving forward throughout the season.”
On defensive progress…
I’ve seen a lot of progression from the younger guys, learning the defense and understanding what Coach Snyder is trying to do with his schemes. Guys like Donnie Baggs have stepped up for us. A lot of linebackers have stepped up for making big plays, us allowing us to go base and nickel and even penny sometimes. It’s just a great situation for us to come at the end of the year.”
Selected Mississippi State Post-Game Quotes
HEAD COACH DAN MULLEN
"Give A&M a lot of credit. They have some big time playmakers. A lot of people coming into this game wouldn't think that Mississippi State would have more yards, but they had more points. A&M does a great job of improvising. They get a lot of yards outside of the framework of their offense, and they did that tonight. Giving up points right before halftime was a huge momentum killer. It has probably cost us a couple games this year. I am proud of the way our kids fought. There is nothing good about losing a game, but I am proiud of the way our kids battled for four quarters. We are going to continue to battle, continue to fight, and continue to believe. We are going to need that down the stretch."
On Johnny Manziel...
"Manziel is so hard to defend. A lot of times we stopped their offense, but we couldn't stop him. All of a sudden, we would stop the offense and there he goes. He starts running from sideline to sideline, twisting around, juking one way, juking another way, and then all of sudden the ball gets launched 30 yards downfield. I'll be honest, there is no way to draw up a defense to defend that."
FRESHMAN WR DE'RUNNYA WILSON
"Coach has been telling us all year to have accountability and trust. The team trusted in me, and I trust the team. Coach told us that big time players make big time plays, and I knew that we needed to go out there and make big plays. Every day I learn something new. I try to do the little things, and the little things take care of the big things."
JUNIOR LB MATT WELLS
"A&M has a good team and Manziel is a good player. He can make big things happen with his feet by making the plays longer. We are going to have to find a way to close games. This takes a little bit out of us, but we just have to keep fighting which we did tonight."