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Johnny Football leads Texas A&M comeback over Duke in Chick-Fil-A Bowl

Chick-fil-A Bowl - Duke v Texas A&M Getty Images

Farewell, Johnny. It was wonderful while it lasted.

The 2013 Chick-Fil-A bowl will long be remembered as Heisman winner Johnny Manziel’s final game in college. Years from now, few will remember the details of the Texas A&M comeback to beat an upstart Duke team that played nearly three quarters of flawless football before finally relenting, 52-48, on New Year Eve.

Perhaps even fewer will recall that the key play in the game was turned by the very same A&M defense that allowed Duke to move at will up and down the field all game long.

Never mind all that. For now, breathe in the wonder of Manziel, who threw for 382 yards on 30 of 38 passing, while rushing for another 73 yards and one touchdown. That’s 455 yards of offense and five total touchdowns for those keeping score at home.

It almost wasn’t enough.

Duke scored on its first six possessions and jumped out to a 38-17 halftime lead (the score was 28-3 at one point). Blue Devils quarterback Anthony Boone was phenomenal, throwing for 427 yards on 29 of 43 passing. He was 11 for 11 on third down alone, keeping drives alive time after time. But it wasn’t quite enough.

This was no game for defenses. A combined 1,203 yards and 100 points was belched forth by both offensive attacks.

And yet Tony Hurd’s 55-yard pick six of a Boone pass in the fourth quarter ended up being the difference. Such is college football.

A&M closes the season at 9-4, while Duke finishes its dream season at 10-4.

“I can’t even think about anything other than this game right now,” Manziel said afterward, in response to a reporter who asked whether he would now turn pro. “It’s unreal. I love Texas A&M. I love my teammates. I love ‘em more than anything on the face of this earth.”

Enough to come back for another year?  Stay tuned.

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47 Responses to “Johnny Football leads Texas A&M comeback over Duke in Chick-Fil-A Bowl”
  1. lolnfl says: Jan 1, 2014 12:08 AM

    everybody made fun of duke when fsu played them. now everybody is calling this a great win vs A&M. lol.

  2. saragrace88 says: Jan 1, 2014 12:14 AM

    Reblogged this on Sara vs the World and commented:
    I stayed up til 6am for this game. So glad my Ags didn’t let me down!! Sad that this might be Johnny’s last year with us, but wherever he goes, I’ll be sure to follow.

    Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2011 BTHO duke!! WHOOP!!

  3. afrancis55 says: Jan 1, 2014 12:25 AM

    With the ‘defense’ the aggies play they’d have better luck by just lining up in punt block formation and hoping to get to the QB before he throws. Absolutely pathetic defensive showing tonight, but hey they got a win in manziels finale so A&M can’t complain too much.

  4. vincentbojackson says: Jan 1, 2014 12:26 AM

    I’m rooting for Manziel, but I can’t see him succeeding at the next level right now. He’s got too much Matt Leinart in him. Like Matt, Johnny is a bit immature, likes to constantly party, gamble, and live life in the fast lane. That lifestyle works fine in college but it wrecks careers in the NFL.

    I think he’s turning pro, and I think whoever takes him is taking a huge risk.

  5. nickp91 says: Jan 1, 2014 12:28 AM

    100 points a big comeback and Johnny Manziel

  6. thepftpaperchase says: Jan 1, 2014 12:35 AM

    Chris: The score was never 28-3. Try 21-3 and 28-10.

  7. tuckfexas says: Jan 1, 2014 12:38 AM

    14 points from the defense & you jump in with the ESPN waterheads & start blowing him.

    Pathetic. They beat Duke….think about it.

  8. boomgrounder says: Jan 1, 2014 12:41 AM

    THATS why they cal him Johnny Football!

  9. musketmaniac says: Jan 1, 2014 12:44 AM

    during the final five minutes,duke fans were fantasizing coach k on the side line

  10. amosalanzostagg says: Jan 1, 2014 12:53 AM

    Wow, just wow.

  11. 700levelvet says: Jan 1, 2014 1:44 AM

    Great game….On a side note has Jesse Palmer proposed to Johnnie yet?

  12. webbiam says: Jan 1, 2014 2:14 AM

    Is FSU that good or is A&M that bad?

  13. normtide says: Jan 1, 2014 2:45 AM

    Here is the key point. Duke was the #2/3 ACC team playing the the #5/6 SEC team. Many of the bowl games line up like that.

  14. metitometin says: Jan 1, 2014 5:34 AM

    Duke was the better team tonight. They got jobbed. 2 blatant pass interference penalties were not called on the final drive. Looks to me like the refs were in the pockets of Johnny Football.

  15. wabbitslayer says: Jan 1, 2014 5:37 AM

    The real story is more along the lines of “Duke QB chokes at the last minute with two INTs” but there’s no glamour or media-hype in that for the supposed-greatest-football-player-of-all-time, is there?

  16. Frozen Nard says: Jan 1, 2014 6:32 AM

    He will never get the attention in the NFL that he is getting right now from ESPN, SEC, TAMU, etc. Not even close. If he’s as narcissistic as he looks to me, he just might stay. I mean, they are still going to praise whatever decision he makes. So, he’s got the out.

  17. bahia2 says: Jan 1, 2014 6:39 AM

    Plese go to the NFL. Then all you Johnny Football fans will see he’s just a good college player.

  18. teambringitstrong says: Jan 1, 2014 7:49 AM

    I’m rooting for Manziel, but I can’t see him succeeding at the next level right now. He’s got too much Matt Leinart in him. Like Matt, Johnny is a bit immature, likes to constantly party, gamble, and live life in the fast lane. That lifestyle works fine in college but it wrecks careers in the NFL.

    I think he’s turning pro, and I think whoever takes him is taking a huge risk.
    ————————————————————
    Smarks….SMH. Both like to party, gamble and live life in the fast lane but Manziel also outs in the work off the field.
    ————————————————————-
    Plese go to the NFL. Then all you Johnny Football fans will see he’s just a good college player.
    ———————————————————-
    In addition to being just a good grade school student (plese), you weren’t even a good college player.

  19. tapasia says: Jan 1, 2014 8:09 AM

    vincentbojackson –
    off the field you may be right – he comes across as immature and selfish. Maybe a lot like Joe Willie Namath?

    on the field, he has a lot of Fran Tarkington (with a better arm) and Steve Young in him.

    Can’t believe I’m defending Manziel as a Sooner fan.

  20. thefiesty1 says: Jan 1, 2014 8:26 AM

    Congrats to the AGGIES and Johnny Pigskin!

  21. suprmous says: Jan 1, 2014 8:29 AM

    tapasia, totally unfair to put Joe Namath in the same sentence with L’il Johnny. Joe was a lot smarter and wiser when he was L’il Johnny’s age plus he didn’t depend on his parent’s $$ to bail him outa trouble when he screwed up and his arm was a hellva lot better. L’il Johnny by far’s more arrogant, more immature, a lot more not ready for the Pros. Any defensive player, specially those that have faced him before are eager to make mince meat out of him once again. And those who’ve never faced him are ready to make him dead meat. So tell me how it is he’s ready for the Pros.

  22. tapasia says: Jan 1, 2014 8:39 AM

    suprmous -
    good points about JW Namath.

    I’m not sure very many qb’s are truly ready for the NFL right out of college. Despite what I think of him personally, he is a winner, he has escapability, he has a good arm, he has a high football IQ.

    I think he is one of those guys that if on your team you love him and if not on your team you hate him.

    He may very well turn out to be Ryan Leaf.

  23. ozarkannie74 says: Jan 1, 2014 9:35 AM

    All you Manziel believers – listen up – Manziel didn’t win that game – the defense did. All he did was scream at the rest of this teammates and was off the field for the majority of the game. Duke did a fantastic job of holding their own, and dont take that away from that team for the little bit that Manzield did.

    Main reason he wanted to win (had to wan) was because the NFL scouts were at the game. You haven’g seen him get that stirred up over the other games they’ve lost this year? This isn’t their first loss, you know?

    I hope he goes to the NFL and gets some discipline, morals and integrity – but that would take a team like the Patriots and I’m quite sure they don’t want me.

    My best wishes to all the Manziel cult – if he wasn’t your QB, would you still like him as a person?

  24. tuckfexas says: Jan 1, 2014 9:43 AM

    Johnny Douchebag will be unemployed & begging ESPN for a job just like Teblow.

  25. ozarkannie74 says: Jan 1, 2014 9:48 AM

    Sorry for all the misspelled words, I didn’t double check it – just makes me so mad that a City would give the worship to one under appreciating man on such a great them – haven’t ever heard any praise for Evans, who is one of the players that makes him look so great, along with many others.

  26. fsu01 says: Jan 1, 2014 10:03 AM

    Gained a level of respect for Johnny Manziel last night that I lost during the offseason. Class act, helping up opponents,etc. I hope the rest of the nation now sees that the Duke team that FSU beat to get into the national championship was not the push-over that many laughed at after the game.

  27. duklover says: Jan 1, 2014 10:39 AM

    Johnny Football, Fran Tarkington with an arm!

  28. pike573 says: Jan 1, 2014 10:52 AM

    Thinking TAMU may not be very good next year. Know they have a good recruiting class but they are losing a lot on O and don’t have much on D.

  29. 8to80texansblog says: Jan 1, 2014 11:38 AM

    I just wanna say What A Game!!!

    Duke played outstanding. The Aggie D was just terrible in the first half. It looked like we were going to get boatraced.

    But good ole Johnny Football!

    Maybe one of the best bowl performers of this generation… In 2 bowl games he has just under 1000 total yards and 9 TDs….

  30. dkhhuey says: Jan 1, 2014 11:39 AM

    We came up with a drinking game last night – for every time an announcer said Johnnie Manziel or Johnnie Football, you had to take a drink… we had to quit after the pre-game show because we ran out of beer! We stopped counting after halftime – the final count from the opening of the game to the 3rd quarter – 163 times… uff.

  31. 8to80texansblog says: Jan 1, 2014 11:44 AM

    ozarkannie74 says:
    Jan 1, 2014 9:35 AM

    All you Manziel believers – listen up – Manziel didn’t win that game – the defense did.
    ——————————–

    That might be the dumbest comment I’ve seen in a long time….

    The defense may have scored the GW TD but they also gave up 48 pts…. Duke never punted….

    Johnny Football had 1 incompletion in the 2nd half…. He went 30-38 with no picks and scored FIVE TDs! All the while, his defense is giving up 3rd down after 3rd down. If there was ever an instance of 1 player putting a team on his back and carrying them, this was it.

  32. sillec28 says: Jan 1, 2014 12:06 PM

    The team that was the ACC Coastal Division champion loses to TA&M, a team that was 4th in the SEC West with a 4-4 record. And people wonder why the ACC is such a joke except for FSU.

  33. ozarkannie74 says: Jan 1, 2014 12:26 PM

    Two blatant pass interceptions were not called for Duke, a touchdown called back because they couldn’t see the position of the football (after the official standing right at the goal ruled it a touchdown), they called back a 1st down because it “looked” like his elbow was down, even though the ball was clearly on the lst down yard line, and had already been called a lst down by the line official.

    Duke may have lost, but not by much, and they lead the game for 3 quarters – they played harder, longer and didn’t have the officials on their side.

    I hope Johnny what’s his name does go into the pro’s and we’ll see how the Aggies do next year – and how he does with the big boys and no officials on his side.

  34. goodfieldnohit says: Jan 1, 2014 12:49 PM

    Bunch of haters on this thread.

    Say it with me.

    “Johnny Manziel is the best player in college football.”

    Not only did he play lights out last night, he got into Mike Evans face and told him to cut the crap and play ball. Team leader.

  35. totallysirius says: Jan 1, 2014 1:21 PM

    He played a great COLLEGE level game but any NFL defense would eat him alive.

    Remember Tim Tebow, Brady Quinn, Colt McCoy, Akili Smith, Doug Fluty?

  36. totallysirius says: Jan 1, 2014 1:27 PM

    dkhhuey says: Jan 1, 2014 11:39 AM

    We came up with a drinking game last night – for every time an announcer said Johnnie Manziel or Johnnie Football, you had to take a drink… we had to quit after the pre-game show because we ran out of beer! We stopped counting after halftime – the final count from the opening of the game to the 3rd quarter – 163 times… uff.

    ——————————————————

    That doesn’t come close to Brett Pusburger and Kirk Herbstraitor at the OSU-Michigan games 2011/2012.

    They said Denard Robinson’s name at least 1000 times during each game.

  37. mellimac says: Jan 1, 2014 1:28 PM

    Johnny Football didn’t disappoint, unlike the defense. Most frustrating part of the game, was watching the defense get carved like a Xmas turkey. Albeit, they came up with two plays near the end of the game. Boone and the Devils deserves props for a great game.

    Watching Johnny, is like watching a kid play a pick-up game…so full of enthusiasm. It was a pleasure to watch. If I was to compare him to a NFL qb, I’d have to say Brees. Unless he gets injured, he will do well in the NFL.

    The silly discussion about his maturity is nonsense…he is still a kid. Watching him help up opposing teammates, straightening out his own receiver, and when he got run out of bounds shows his true character…

  38. 8to80texansblog says: Jan 1, 2014 1:38 PM

    @ozarkannie

    What about the converted 4th down by Duke where he was obviously down….

    Or the ridiculous late hit call on Evans….

    There are always bad calls both ways… The officials didn’t cost Duke this game…

    Hate on JFF all you want. He was outstanding tonight and has been one of the most exciting college football players of a generation.

    Will he be successful in the pros… who knows, most Heisman winners aren’t. But I am going to always look back very fondly on the Johnny Football years at A&M!

  39. subzero05 says: Jan 1, 2014 3:03 PM

    I’m surprised he isn’t being dismissed as some kind of Michael Vick prospect with off the field diva issues

    However, I think he’ll do well in the NFL. I’m rooting for him

  40. klownboy says: Jan 1, 2014 3:03 PM

    As an ACC fan (NCSU grad), I was bummed to see Duke lose this game to A&M. Would have not only put Duke football on the map but it would have looked better for the ACC (from a perception standpoint of beating Johnny Football).

    Nevertheless, Duke football is looking bright with most of those kids on offense (including both QBs) coming back next season.

  41. realfootballfan says: Jan 1, 2014 7:31 PM

    Although I’m skeptical of him in the pros because of his size and arm strength, loved watching this guy in college football.

  42. realfootballfan says: Jan 1, 2014 7:33 PM

    Also, common opponents mean nothing. This is coming from an FSU fan. It will have no bearing on what happens next Monday, but rather it reflects this particular matchup. That being said, I like our chances against Auburn next week.

  43. normtide says: Jan 1, 2014 8:23 PM

    You use common opponents when comparing two teams that don’t pay each other. Even then it’s shaky because every game has it’s own life. FSU and auburn will settle it on the field.

  44. 8to80texansblog says: Jan 2, 2014 10:53 AM

    @goodfieldnohit

    “Johnny Manziel is the best player in college football.”

    ____________________________–

    I watched the game again and I really do believe that. He is the best player in CFB right now…

    I also felt like the rest of the country finally got to see what Aggies have seen all year. They guy may be immature off the field, but he is a straight up leader ON it.

  45. 8to80texansblog says: Jan 2, 2014 10:55 AM

    Here’s a question too… Do you think Winston can put up 500+ yds of total offense and 5 TDs against Auburn?

  46. ozarkannie74 says: Jan 2, 2014 11:35 AM

    No, I don’t!! They may win, but Auburn is a scrappy little team and they never give up. It will be a great game – and actually as all games – could go either way, but leans towards FSU. :(

  47. 8to80texansblog says: Jan 10, 2014 5:52 PM

    I know this is very late but I just rewatched the game and I loved the “The Devils went down to Georgia!” sign that a Duke fan was holding.

    Apparently they don’t remember how that song goes, because I’m pretty sure Johnny won that fight too.

    #JohnnySaidImTheBestTheresEverBeen

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