After going to the half time locker room down just 14-13, the Oklahoma Sooners fizzled in the second half and the Texas A&M Aggies rolled to a 41-13 win in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic in Cowboy Stadium.
“You give Texas A&M all the credit for playing a great, great football game, and in particular the second half,” said Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops. “They played outstanding. Johnny Manziel is everything he was billed to be, expected him to be.But, again, Coach Sumlin and his staff totally outplayed us, out coached us the whole second half. It's a team effort. When you lose like that in the second half, the offense goes. We hadn't had a punt the entire first half. We come out and go three and out, three and out, three and out, giving them all the field opportunities. You can't keep giving them opportunities.
“Where in the first half, we played together as a team, limited them, used the clock, scored. That's how you have to play 'em. In the second half it totally broke down offensively and defensively. Defense couldn't get off the field. We had guys plenty of times in position to make a play. Couldn't make a play. That's just where we are. They totally outplayed us in every way.
I don't have one bit of a problem, any of those excuses, we didn't come in ready to play. There's none of that. I didn't have a problem this week with a player being late, being anything. We came in, played a heck of a first half. We were ready to play. They just totally out did us in the second half. Again, compliments to them and we got to make some improvements there in the off season.”
Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel lived up to all the pre-game hype by throwing for 288 yards and two touchdowns and running for 228 yards and scoring a pair of TDs himself.
Landry Jones threw for 279 yards and a touchdown but most of his success was in the first half as the Sooners were shut down by the Aggies after half-time.
“He's been an incredibly positive influence on the football team in every way, on the field, off the field, great worker,” said Stoops. “Close with everybody. We'll miss him. He's been a great, great player. He threw a lot of great balls out there tonight. But we've got some young guys. We just got to move forward with them. But Landry did really all he could the way he's worked for this program.”
Texas A&M took control of the game by scoring touchdowns on its first three drives in the third quarter, going ahead 34-13 when Manziel threw a 33-yard TD pass to Ryan Swope on a fourth-and-4 play. The Aggies also held the Sooners to three and out on their first three possessions of the second half.
“They were running the same defenses we had seen in the first half,” said Stoops. “They executed them and outplayed us. They executed them in the second half better than we executed our offense. No, they didn't come out and all of a sudden have some new defense. I'm sure they didn't feel they needed to either. We only had 13 points. They come out and played the same way and we didn't execute very well.”