OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - Johnny Manziel and Josh Lambo provided the fourth-quarter heroics that helped Texas A&M escape Mississippi with a thrilling 41-38 victory on Saturday.
Now the No. 7 Aggies (5-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) head back to Kyle Field for a four-game homestand that could vault the Aggies right back into the national championship discussion.
The conversation is possible because of an impressive comeback by Texas A&M. The Aggies fell behind 38-31 with 6:05 remaining, but Manziel led a 75-yard drive, capped by his 6-yard touchdown run, to tie the game at 38 with 3:07 remaining.
After Texas A&M's defense held, Manziel had runs of 12 and 13 yards during the Aggies' final drive, and Lambo booted the 33-yard field goal as time expired for the victory.
It was another example of Manziel's uncanny ability to rise to the occasion. The sophomore completed 31 of 39 passes for 346 yards and rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns, helping the Aggies' offense overcome an uncharacteristically slow start.
He also fought off an injury scare in the first quarter. He rolled out to his left and threw a long pass before falling to the turf while clutching his left knee. After a few minutes lying on the ground, he limped to the sidelines, but just one play before rejoining the offense on the next drive.
``The thing that makes him different - and I've said this before - is he's so competitive,'' Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said. ``He plays on the edge. He only knows one way and that's who he is. There's only one way to do things and if he can't go 100 percent, then he won't go. I asked him, `Are you sure you can go?' and he said he could - I knew he had to be OK.''
Now the Aggies will face No. 24 Auburn on Saturday at Kyle Field. Then it's Vanderbilt (Oct. 26), UTEP (Nov. 2) and Mississippi State (Nov. 9) before the team's next road game against LSU on Nov. 23.
Texas A&M still has plenty of concerns, including a defense that's given up 32 points per game this season. That ranks 13th in the 14-team SEC.
Sumlin said the defense played fairly well on Saturday as the Aggies built a 14-10 lead by halftime. The second half was a different story.
``They made some adjustments in the third quarter, but we just made enough plays in the fourth to win,'' Sumlin said. ``It's about third-down conversions. We were 8 of 13 and they were 6 of 14.''
It also helps to have Manziel, the defending Heisman Trophy winner who continues to deliver spectacular performances.
He's completed 73.2 percent of his passes this season for 1,835 yards, 14 touchdowns and five interceptions. He's also rushed for 427 yards and five touchdowns.
He actually had a few bad mistakes against Ole Miss - including a third-quarter interception in the end zone and a fourth-quarter fumble - that helped the Rebels climb back into the game.
But when the game's on the line, there are few better than Johnny Football.
``Johnny's a beast,'' Lambo said. ``Week in and week out, we can expect greatness from him. It's so awesome to be part of a team that he gets to lead.''
-----
Follow David Brandt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/davidbrandtAP

Recent NCAAF Discussions

Public buries sports books on Tue, Jan 2017 by Timmy1961
Pick Wiz Play 1/15 on Mon, Jan 2017 by Michael Cash
2nd half play ne/hou on Mon, Jan 2017 by Strakey
NFL Championship Betting News and Notes on Mon, Jan 2017 by Blade
NFL WKEND SIDES &OV/UN 8-0 on Mon, Jan 2017 by armyranger
Advertisement
Advertisement

NCAAF Headlines

  • MINNEAPOLIS (AP) New Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck has hired nine coaches for his staff, including offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca and defensive coordinator Robb Smith.
    The Golden Gophers a...
  • The University of Oregon has suspended football strength and conditioning coach Irele Oderinde one month without pay after three players were hospitalized following a series of intense workouts las...
  • (STATS) - Furman will open the Clay Hendrix coaching era with a Sept. 2 trip to its oldest rival, Wofford.
    The opener is part of an 11-game schedule announced Tuesday.
    Furman and fellow S...
  • (STATS) - Southeastern Louisiana will seek to build on a successful season in its 11-game 2017 schedule that was announced Tuesday.
    The Lions, under coach Ron Roberts, reversed a 4-7 record in...
  • (STATS) - Wyoming secondary coach Curt Mallory is expected to be named Indiana State's new coach, according to reports.
    Mallory, 47, has never been a head coach. He is the son of former Indian...
Advertisement

NCAAF Top Stories

Thumbnail 2018 National Championship Odds Despite losing to Clemson on Monday night, Alabama has opened as the favorites to win the 2018 College Football National Championship.
Thumbnail Title Game Spread Holding Steady After some initial movement, tonight’s college football playoff national championship point spread is holding steady hours before kickoff.
Thumbnail Clemson vs. Alabama Prediction Will Alabama cover tonight against Clemson in the College Football Playoff National Championship or will the Tigers pull off the upset?
Thumbnail Watson/Hurts Championship Props Which impact player will step up tonight in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game? Here’s some notable player prop odds for Clemson and...
Thumbnail CFB Championship Injury Report Will No. 1 Alabamaand No. 2 Clemsoncome into tonight’s College Football Playoff National Championshiphealthy? Here is the latest on the injury report.

NCAAF Team Pages