Johnny Manziel's return from a half-game suspension helped pace the Texas A&M Aggies in a 52-31 victory over visiting Rice. The Owls were feisty in defeat, fighting to within 38-28 early in the fourth quarter, but the Aggie offense with Manziel at the helm was far too potent for the Owls to keep the game close down the stretch.
Of course, since it is Johnny Manziel we're talking about, the game wasn't without controversy. Manziel made a money gesture after throwing for his first touchdown, and after his third score Manziel started yapping at Rice defenders and drew a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. Manziel did not return to the game after that penalty, and Sumlin said in the post-game interview on the field that the penalty is why he was pulled.
Box Score Hero(es): Manziel and first-half starter Matt Joeckel combined to go 20-27 for 284 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. Manziel also rushed for 19 yards on the day.
Rankings Ramifications: Pollsters generally don't punish Top 10 teams that win handily, so barring a loss ahead of the Aggies in the standings, there shouldn't be a whole lot of movement here. Georgia and Clemson are close to A&M in the polls, but it's safe to assume whoever wins that will be ahead of the Aggies, and the loser will drop, so count on the Aggies to stick right around No. 7.
But Did They Cover? Texas A&M was favored by 28 points, so it's like a moral victory for Rice, but with money!
Next Week's Schedule: Texas A&M faces Sam Houston State next week, while Rice welcomes Kansas to town.