The Norman Transcript

January 5, 2013

Records smashed at Cotton Bowl

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel rewrote the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic record book with his performance in Oklahoma’s 41-13 loss.

Manziel’s 229 rushing yards were the most by a quarterback in the bowl’s 77-year history and his 516 total yard smashed the old record of 407 set by Texas Tech’s Graham Harrell in 2009.

OU quarterback Landry Jones put himself in the record book as well. He shattered the record for first half completions with 23. He also completed 10 straight passes during the stretch breaking the previous mark of eight.

Millard will return: OU fullback Trey Millard said he will return for his senior season following the game. He along with safety Tony Jefferson, cornerback Aaron Colvin and wide receiver Kenny Stills are all contemplating entering the NFL draft and forgoing their seasons.

Millard rushed for 28 yards and had one reception for six yards. Stills had seven catches for 67 yards. Colvin led the Sooners with nine tackles. Jefferson finished with six.

Colvin, Jefferson and Stills did not talk to reporters after the game.

Praise for Jones: Jones finished his career Friday night as the Sooners’ passing leader in every career category.

“He’s been an incredibly positive influence on the football team in every way, on the field, off the field, great worker. Close with everybody,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “We’ll miss him. He’s been a great, great player. He threw a lot of great balls out there tonight.”

Didn’t work: OU wanted to keep Manziel in the pocket and force him to throw out of it. Obviously, it didn’t work. Manziel did just about all of his damage outside of it.

The Sooners rushed all night with their front-four and rarely blitzed. They had no sacks.

“Guys that do get some pressure, when it’s a four-man rush, he takes off and runs because they’ve got five guys blocking four,” Stoops said. “You’re trying to get pressure and come underneath on an outside rush, then he aborts it and either waits and throws it downfield or takes off and runs for 40.”

Second half adjustment: OU center Gabe Ikard said the defensive wrinkle the Aggies threw at them in the second half was a simple one.

“They went to a three-man front on us,” he said. “Couldn’t run the ball well enough. Basically the same thing Notre Dame did against us.”

The Sooners rushed for 123 yards, but only 49 came in the second half.

Need a runner: If OU didn’t know an athletic quarterback can terrorize a defense, it did by the end of the third quarter. With Jones leaving for the NFL, OU’s days of having a true pocket passing quarterback are over as well. The Sooners will head into next season with Blake Bell, Drew Allen, Kendal Thompson and Trevor Knight competing for the starting job. All have the ability to make plays outside the pocket.

“Guys that have the ability to extend plays is something that we look for in recruiting quarterbacks,” offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said.

The value was obvious Friday.

Beware of the SEC: Friday marked the ninth time an SEC team has played at Cowboys Stadium. Teams from the league are now 9-0, including four straight wins in the Cotton Bowl Classic.

John ShinnFollow me @john_shinnjshinn@normantranscript.com

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