The ballad of Johnny Football picked up a few new verses as No. 15 Texas A&M upset No. 1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
Thanks largely to the mesmerizing play of the Aggies' phenomenal dual-threat freshman quarterback, Alabama found itself facing its largest deficit in years early in the first half. Perhaps no play captured the schoolyard ingenuity and beyond-his-years poise of the emerging folk hero out of Tivy High School in Texas than this touchdown pass in the first quarter.
Taking the snap in the shotgun formation in a 3rd-and-goal situation at Bama's 10-yard line, Manziel (yes, his surname isn't actually football) received the ball and dropped back a few steps, looking to his left. Not liking what he saw, the 19-year-old right-handed quarterback stepped up in the pocket and looked for an escape route to his right. With the pocket collapsing under pressure, Manziel bumped into one of his own lineman. Knocked to his left, Manziel briefly lost both his footing and his grasp on the ball. With waves of Tide rushers crashing around him, he found his feet and the ball, switching it briefly to his left hand as he scrambled back toward the far sideline. Switching the ball back to his throwing hand, Manziel still had the field vision to spy Ryan Swope coming wide open in back of the end zone. Touchdown.
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In its first nine games this season, the Crimson Tide had not surrendered 20 points in an entire game. Manziel rang that up in just two quarters and headed to the locker room at the intermission having completed 15 of 16 passing attempts for 118 yards and this wondrous touchdown while rushing for 82 yards on nine carries.