One of the biggest questions facing Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel coming into the Cotton Bowl was whether or not the Heisman Trophy winner would suffer from the "Heisman Jinx," as many of his fellow Heisman fraternity members have in their bowl games after winning the award.
But all of the doubters clearly forgot something in the lead-up to Friday night's Cotton Bowl: Johnny Football is a magician.
He pulled out every trick in the book in No. 9 Texas A&M's 41-13 win over No. 11 Oklahoma inside Cowboys Stadium.
Manziel rushed for 229 yards and two touchdowns, passed for 287 yards and two touchdowns and generally had his way with the Sooner defense. Oklahoma generated virtually no pass rush and took terrible angles trying to stop the freshman phenom.
I guess hanging out courtside at NBA games, playing golf with the Jonas Brothers and giving 12th-man jerseys to Megan Fox didn't bother Manziel all that much.
But it wasn't just the video-game statistics that made Manziel's night so spectacular—it was his ability to do whatever he wanted against the Sooner defense. Tiptoeing down the sideline, throwing flat-footed strikes 30 yards downfield, running by defenders like they were standing still—it didn't matter.
In other words, it was the kind of game that Texas A&M fans saw Manziel put together on a consistent basis in 2012 en route to the Heisman Trophy.
It wasn't just Manziel, though. He had time to cook dinner, read a book, take a nap and do whatever else he wanted to in the pocket thanks to the stout Aggie offensive line.
When he got out in open space, it was as if Oklahoma's defenders didn't recognize how fast he actually was, taking horrible angles and barely touching him when trying to bring him down. It's gotten to the point where you just have to sit back and laugh because Manziel doesn't seem real.
He is very real, though. Opposing defensive coordinators are going to have to try to figure out a way to slow him down in 2013.
If offensive tackles Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews decide to leave, it will hurt. However, Manziel will still have running back Ben Malena, 6'5" wide receiver Mike Evans and likely 6'5" true freshman wide receiver Ricky Seals-Jones at his disposal.
It almost seems impossible, but Manziel's future looks even brighter than his present.
If the "Heisman Jinx" wasn't broken before, Manziel may have done it on Friday. He was 13 passing yards shy of posting a 300/200 game and became the fourth straight Heisman winner to take home a bowl victory in the same season.
If he keeps this up, he could have another shot to further prove the jinx to be fiction before his career in College Station comes to a close.
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