The famed “12th Man” roared to life in the second half of Texas A&M’s season opener against Rice, as Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel returned to the field following and NCAA-imposed suspension.
He ended the game on the sidelines, benched by head coach Kevin Sumlin.
The Aggies cruised to a 52-31 victory over the Owls at Kyle Field. Manziel threw three touchdown passes in the win. After throwing his final TD pass the team was assessed a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, because Manziel responded to the taunting of some Rice players over his autograph-signing troubles.
Sumlin called the incident a “foolish penalty”, and Manziel remained on the bench for the final offensive drive of the game.
Five other players – including key defensive starters – sat out yesterday’s game for violating team rules. The team has one final opportunity to start hitting on all cylinders – against Sam Houston State – before top-ranked Alabama comes to College Station September 14 in one of college football’s most highly anticipated games.