Photo by Brandon Jones
Texas A&M Football

Post-Game Review: Texas A&M 57, UTEP 7

November 3, 2013

It took a while, but once Texas A&M got on track, the Aggies stormed to a 57-7 victory over UTEP on Saturday night at Kyle Field.

Quarterback Johnny Manziel ran for 10- and 49-yard touchdowns and threw two TD passes to Travis Labhart, one to Malcome Kennedy and another to Mike Evans.

The A&M defense also had a strong showing. The Aggies allowed a touchdown drive in the first quarter, but little else afterward. They forced a fumble and snatched three interceptions — two by safety Howard Matthews.

TexAgs With three interceptions in A&M's last two games, Howard Matthews is recreating his 2012 late-season surge. {"Module":"photo","Alignment":"right","Size":"large","Caption":"With three interceptions in A&M\u0027s last two games, Howard Matthews is recreating his 2012 late-season surge.","MediaItemID":37096}
Rising: Manziel’s points total got a big boost with a half dozen touchdowns — two via run and four via pass. Manziel entered the game tied in “points responsible for” with Arizona State’s Taylor Kelly. The 36 points boosted Manziel’s total to 204 and well ahead of Oregon State’s Sean Mannion, who was first with 190 points responsible for. It was the ninth time in Manziel’s career he produced five or more touchdowns in a game.

Falling: Well, a school record didn’t actually fall, but Evans did equal Jeff Fuller’s A&M single-season record of 12 touchdown catches. Evans pulled in a 26-yard pass from Manziel with 7:39 remaining in the third quarter to tie Fuller’s mark, which was set in 2010.

Best hit: Darian Claiborne didn’t deliver a bone-jarring hit to UTEP receiver Jordan Leslie late in the second quarter, but he did jar the ball loose at midfield. Freshman Noel Ellis recovered the fumble at the UTEP 49-yard line. That led to the Aggies’ fourth touchdown.

Best hands: Kennedy made an impressive leaping grab on the sideline and managed to touch his left foot down in bounds for a 17-yard gain midway through the second quarter. That play gave the Aggies a first down at the UTEP 15-yard line. Kennedy then covered the remaining yardage for a touchdown grab on the next play. He finished with four catches for 63 yards.

Turning point: Despite holding a 15-7 lead early in the second quarter, the Aggies had not performed impressively. But then De’Vante Harris stepped in front of a Blaire Sullivan pass for an interception that gave A&M the football at the UTEP 32-yard line. Three plays later, the Aggies had a 22-7 lead. The Aggies also scored touchdowns on their next two series and had the issue settled at halftime with a 36-7 lead.

Standing 'O': Floyd Raven blocked a punt for a safety at the end of UTEP’s first possession. That was A&M’s first blocked punt since K.J. Williams got one against Texas in 2008 and the Aggies’ first safety since Oklahoma State ran out of the back of the end zone in 2011. … Manziel threw his 50th career touchdown pass on a 15-yard strike to Kennedy with 8:32 remaining in the first half. … Matthews had two interceptions. He has three in the past two games.
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