Texas A&M, in the final home game of the season, is holding off a feisty Mississippi State team at halftime. The Aggies lead Mississippi State 23-14.
Texas A&M built a 16-7 lead in the first quarter, with Johnny Manziel tossing a 12 yard touchdown pass to Malcome Kennedy midway through the quarter. Mississippi State struck right back though when Josh Robinson took the first play of the ensuing drive 51 yards to the house and a tie game.
The Aggies defense held strong on Mississippi State’s next offensive drive deep in their own territory and forced a punt. That punt was blocked by Sam Moeller and the ball went out-of-bounds for two points. Manziel later added another touchdown pass, this time to Travis Labhart for a 33-yard score.
Mississippi State looked to close the gap late in the first half when Dak Prescott completed a short touchdown pass to cap off a drive set up by good punt coverage and a Texas A&M penalty. Prescott’s three-yard pass to De’Runnya Wilson brought the Bulldogs to within two points in the final minute of the half, but Texas A&M took advantage of their final possession of the half by picking up another touchdown in a span of about 30 seconds.
Manziel has already thrown for 233 yards and three touchdowns and has been intercepted once. Manziel’s top target in the first half was Labhart, who recorded 76 receiving yards and two touchdowns on five receptions. Mike Evans has three catches for 30 yards so far.
It was a disappointing way for the first half to end for Mississippi State, and it could get worse. Texas A&M gets the football to open the second half.
While the news of late has been littered with the exits of two SEC wide receivers, one team from the Big Ten is welcoming back a player who plays the same position.
In a press release, Rutgers confirmed that Leonte Carroo has been reinstated to the Scarlet Knights football program. The release stated that head coach Kyle Flood, who is suspended himself, “reinstated Carroo after the student-athlete agreed to the conditions of his reinstatement and after he accepted the responsibility that comes with his return to the team.”
The reinstatement comes one day after a domestic violence charge against him was dropped after the alleged victim decided not to testify against he former boyfriend. Carroo had been accused of slamming a woman with whom he had a previous relationship into the concrete outside of the RU football facility last month.
Carroo has missed the last two games (Penn State, Kansas) because of the suspension. He will be eligible to return to practice today and play in Saturday’s game against 10th-ranked Michigan State.
Despite missing those two contests, Carroo is still tops on the team in receiving yards with 181 and tied for the team lead with three receiving touchdowns. He’s also averaging nearly 26 yards per reception.
Carroo led the Scarlet Knights last season in receptions (55), receiving yards (1,086) and receiving touchdowns (10).
It’s been a bad week for talented SEC wide receivers.
On the heels of Auburn giving the boot to D’haquille Williams following an alleged bar rampage, Tennessee announced Wednesday that Pig Howard has been dismissed from Butch Jones‘ football program. Violations of unspecified team rules was the only explanation offered.
Howard had been suspended for the season opener for the same reason due to an unspecified incident several months before. It’s unknown if the dismissal is related in any way to that suspension.
Injuries had allowed the senior to play in just two games this season, against Oklahoma and Western Carolina. He had one reception for eight yards, with that coming in the overtime loss to the Sooners.
The past two seasons, Howard led the Vols in receiving with 54 and 44 receptions in 2014 and 2013, respectively. He accounted for 1,006 receiving yards in that span, and has also scored a pair of rushing touchdowns.