The No. 15 Aggies, playing their initial year in the Southeastern Conference, handed the defending national champion Crimson Tide their first defeat of the season yesterday at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Manziel, who completed 24 of 31 passes for 253 yards, directed Texas A&M to a 20-0 first quarter with a 10-yard scoring pass to Ryan Swope. Christine Michael scored on two one- yard runs for the Aggies (8-2, 5-2 SEC).
“We played with a chip on our shoulder,” Swope told reporters. “We were just trying to make a statement that we could compete with anybody in this league.”
Alabama (9-1, 6-1 SEC) fought back in the second and third quarters with two-yard scoring runs by T.J. Yeldon and Eddie Lacy and a 28-yard field goal by Jeremy Shelley to trail by 20- 17.
Taylor Bertolet kicked a 29-yard field goal and Manziel connected on a 24-yard pass to Malcome Kennedy to widen the Aggies’ lead to 29-17 midway through the fourth quarter.
A.J. McCarron hit Amari Cooper on a 54-yard pass to bring the Crimson Tide to within 29-24. His comeback was halted on the Texas A&M goal line when Deshazor Everett intercepted his fourth-down pass with one minute, 36 seconds left in the game.
McCarron completed 21 of 34 passes for 309 yards and recorded two interceptions.
“Two of the three national championship teams that I coached lost a game,” Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban told reporters. “This team still has an opportunity to win the West and go to the SEC championship game and win a championship. There’s still a lot for this team to play for.”
Elsewhere among the Top 10 Bowl Championship Series teams, it was No. 2 Kansas State 23, Texas Christian 10; No. 4 Notre Dame 21, Boston College 6; No. 5 Georgia 38, Auburn 0; No. 6 Florida 27, Louisiana-Lafayette 20; No. 7 Louisiana State 37, No. 21 Mississippi State 17; No. 8 South Carolina 38, Arkansas 20; and Syracuse 45, No. 9 Louisville 26.
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