Behind a resurgent performance from quarterback Johnny Manziel and a stalwart defense, the Texas A&M Aggies eviscerated the Mississippi State Bulldogs, 38-13, on Saturday.
Johnny Football had yet another fantastic game in a freshman season full of them, completing 30 of 36 passes for three touchdowns while rushing for 129 yards and two more scores as well.
Led by Manziel, the Aggies' offensive attack put the Bulldogs in a deep hole from almost the opening whistle. Texas A&M stormed out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and took a 24-0 lead into halftime.
The second half proved to be little more than glorified garbage time, as Mississippi State could not get on the board until midway through the third quarter.
In the end, the trading of late-game scores finished the score at 38-13, as the Aggies wound up gaining 718 total yards of offense. That gaudy number was the first time the Bulldogs gave up more than 600 yards since a 2001 meeting against the Florida Gators.
Undoubtedly, Saturday's loss serves as a crushing blow for Mississippi State, which came into last week's matchup with Alabama in the national championship hunt. Now, at 7-2, they may need some massive help to even reach a BCS bowl berth.
For the Aggies, this win keeps their slim hopes alive to turn Manziel's already-magical season into something legendary.
With the game wrapped up, let's take a look at the full recap, beginning with the best tweets on Saturday.
"Johnny Manziel" is an anagram for "Fran Tarkenton." Or should be.— Gregg Doyel (@GreggDoyelCBS) November 3, 2012
In a semi-related tweet, Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel reminds us that most thought that Texas A&M would be a second-tier SEC team for years to come:
Remember when it was going to take Texas A&M years to be competitive in the SEC? …— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) November 3, 2012
Meanwhile, the folks at SEC Logo's Twitter feed were more concerned with the fantastic jerseys the Aggies were wearing Saturday:
A second loss on the season all but ends any hopes that Mississippi State could play for an SEC championship. However, don't tell that to Sean Tuohy Jr., who is still holding out hope for a national championship:
This could significantly affect Mississippi State's national title, but i still believe.— Sean Tuohy Jr. (@SJTuohy) November 3, 2012
Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M: A
After having the most frustrating performance of his young career against LSU two weeks ago, Manziel came out and continued to show why he got so much Heisman hype.
Though that train has certainly passed, Johnny Football's brilliance shows that the future is amazingly bright for the Aggies.
LaDarius Perkins, Mississippi State: C
Game circumstances mostly kept the Bulldogs' star running back from having much of an impact, as he rushed for just 42 yards on 13 carries.
Nonetheless, Saturday will serve as the second-straight disappointing outing for Perkins, who also failed to make an impact against Alabama last week.
If Perkins doesn't find a way to recapture his early season form, Mississippi State could fall even farther down the stretch.
Ben Malena, Texas A&M: B
Manziel mostly shouldered the load on the ground, but the Aggies running back still took advantage of his opportunities when given, rushing for 112 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries.
Malena won't come near the 1,000-yard mark or anything, but the junior back is still having a massively underrated junior campaign. Simply put, another great job against what proved to be shockingly weak competition.
Tyler Russell, Mississippi State: C
Overall, the Bulldogs quarterback didn't have bad numbers on Saturday, as he completed 19 of 30 passes for 212 yards with a touchdown and interception, while running for a touchdown as well.
Nevertheless, nearly all of that came in garbage time. Russell spent most of his day failing to make any true impact against Texas A&M, leaving his own defense in an unfortunately precarious position.
Texas A&M Defense: A
Of course, you cannot give out grades for this game without crediting the Aggies defense. Facing off against a high-powered opposing attack, they came out and stopped the Bulldogs at will.
Just a fantastic performance in a season full of them.