Ag’s Beat ArkansasSports Saturday, September 28th, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Johnny Manziel made Texas A&M feel right at home in Fayetteville.
Manziel accounted for 320 yards of total offense and threw two touchdown passes to Mike Evans as No. 10 Texas A&M pulled away for a 45-33 win over Arkansas on Saturday night.
Manziel, who totaled 557 yards of offense in a win over the Razorbacks last season, was 23-of-30 passing for 261 yards and he rushed for 59 yards for the Aggies (4-1, 1-1 Southeastern Conference).
Trey Williams had 83 yards rushing to lead Texas A&M, which finished with 262 yards rushing on 44 carries.Deshazor Everett had a 34-yard interception return for a touchdown.
The win was the Aggies’ ninth straight on the road.
The game was the first for the Aggies in Fayetteville since 1990, when both schools were members of the Southwest Conference.
Manziel appeared to turn Razorback Stadium into his personal playground in the first half, zigzagging his way through the Arkansas defense on his way to 253 total yards.
The Aggies led 24-20 at halftime, behind touchdown catches of 9 and 7 yards by Evans – the second of which came over a host of Arkansas defenders and put Texas A&M up 24-10. The Aggies went up 30-20 to start the second half when Everett intercepted Allen and returned it for a touchdown.
Arkansas had the ball down by one score or less three times in the second half, but Texas A&M’s defense held each time – ending one drive with Everett’s interception and forcing two three-and-outs.The teams combined for 1,006 yards of offense. The Aggies, who entered the game leading the SEC in scoring at 50.2 points per game, outgained the Razorbacks 523-483 in total yardage.
While Manziel controlled the action for much of the first half, Texas A&M turned to its running game to hold off a renewed Arkansas offense in the second half. The Aggies rushed for 150 of their 262 yards in the second half, during which they ran the ball 29 times and threw it only seven.
After the Razorbacks pulled within 31-27 on a 9-yard touchdown run by Alex Collins, Texas A&M responded with an 8-play, 68-yard touchdown drive – with all eight plays coming on the ground. Williams capped the drive with a 17-yard touchdown run.
While the Aggies had little problem moving the ball, Arkansas’ offense surprised Texas A&M with its ability to move the ball.
The Razorbacks lost at Rutgers last week after leading by 17 points in the second half. They played that game with AJ Derby at quarterback, but Arkansas coach Bret Bielema tweeted Friday night that Allen was healthy and would return against the Aggies.
The sophomore looked comfortable during warmups and even better once the game started, throwing a 12-yard touchdown pass to Keon Hatcher on Arkansas’ first drive.
Collins led the Razorbacks with 116 yards rushing on 14 carries, and fellow freshman Hunter Henry had four catches for 109 yards.
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