Johnny Manziel: Texas A&M QB's Big Day Proves Aggies Can Compete in the SEC

Ben ChodosCorrespondent IISeptember 29, 2012

COLLEGE STATION, TX - SEPTEMBER 29:  Johnny Manziel #2 of the Texas A&M Aggies celebrates  a touchdown against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Kyle Field on September 29, 2012 in College Station, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel set a school record for passing yards in his team's game against Arkansas, and his monster performance proves that the Aggies will provide other SEC teams with a tough test.

Manziel completed 29-of-38 passes for 453 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He also led the Aggies in rushing with 104 yards and one more score on 14 carries.

It was a nearly flawless performance from the freshman, and this extremely promising start to his career shows that Texas A&M will be a serious competitor in SEC play for this season and in the future.

While Arkansas’s season has been in a tailspin during the past few weeks, this was still an impressive performance on both sides of the ball for the Aggies. Both Ryan Swope and Thomas Johnson had over 100 receiving yards while senior defensive back Steven Terrell had two interceptions. 

There were several fine performances, but Manziel was the star. He threw two touchdown passes in the final five minutes of the first half to give the Aggies a 17-point lead as they trotted into the locker room at halftime.

This was part of a run of 51 unanswered points that started early in the second quarter and continued through to the final whistle. Manziel showed the ability to keep his foot on the gas pedal until his opponent was completely buried.

Manziel is a fantastic talent with the ability to be extremely productive both on the ground and through the air, but this was a performance that showed maturity uncharacteristic of a freshman quarterback.

Through the first four games of this season, he has completed 67.4 percent of his 86 passes for 641 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions. He has also rushed for 262 yards and five touchdowns.

Texas A&M was edged out by Florida in their season opener but now has won its last three games by lopsided score lines.

The confidence he has gained early in the season will be necessary going forward, as both Alabama and LSU lie ahead for the Aggies. While defeating either of the two giants in the conference will be nearly impossible, Manziel and Texas A&M have the necessary talent to keep these games competitive. 

Against all the other teams in their conference, the Aggies will not only stay in the game, but will likely win. This team is playing extremely well, and if it keeps playing at the same level, its only losses going forward will come against the Tigers and the Crimson Tide.

In their first season in the SEC, Texas A&M faced questions as to how they would be able to handle to competition. Manziel has provided a convincing answer.