Sooners hope for better luck against another Heisman finalist
BY ERIC BAILEY World Sports Writer
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
12/04/12 at 5:20 AM
Related Story: Manziel, Te'o could make Heisman history Saturday
Oklahoma will hope for a different outcome when it meets a third and final Heisman Trophy finalist in the Cotton Bowl.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel - more commonly known as "Johnny Football" in college football circles - was announced on Monday as one of three finalists for the sport's top award.
OU's two losses in 2012 came against Notre Dame and Kansas State, schools that, respectively, will send linebacker Manti Te'o and quarterback Collin Klein to New York City for Heisman Trophy festivities this weekend.
The Sooners will face Texas A&M in the sold-out Cotton Bowl on Jan. 4. Kickoff for the Friday night game is 7 p.m.
Manziel, a redshirt freshman, began hauling in awards on Monday. He was named the Southeastern Conference's offensive player and freshman of the year. Now he's scheduling a trip for Saturday's Heisman announcement.
"I'm overwhelmed by this tremendous honor of representing Texas A&M, the 12th Man and all my teammates in New York," said Manziel, looking to become the second A&M player to win the award (John David Crow, 1957) and first freshman in history.
"This is a dream come true for me, and I know it's a credit to all my coaches and teammates. I definitely wouldn't be a Heisman finalist without my teammates and coaches."
Manziel passed for 3,149 yards and rushed for 1,181 in 2012, becoming just the fifth NCAA FBS player and first freshman to accomplish the feat in the same season. He broke 2010 Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton's SEC record of total offense in a season with 4,600 yards and still has one game to play.
Oklahoma fans also will see a familiar face on the opposing sideline.
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin - an OU assistant under Bob Stoops between 2003-07 - has made an impact in his first season in College Station.
Sumlin, named SEC coach of the year on Monday, has guided the Aggies to a 10-2 record and did it while competing in the program's debut season in arguably the nation's toughest conference. A&M had only captured 25 victories total in four previous seasons under Mike Sherman. Sumlin has nearly sliced that number in half.
Sumlin had success with the quarterback position at his previous head coaching job, working with Case Keenum during his four years at Houston. Keenum is the NCAA's all-time leader in total passing yards, touchdowns and completions.
Following the graduation of first-round pick Ryan Tannehill, Sumlin was charged with finding a new quarterback. Enter Manziel.
Bowl games haven't been a good friend of the Aggies over the past 25 years.
Texas A&M has lost 13 of 17 bowl games since 1988. The Aggies have lost in six consecutive appearances at the Cotton Bowl.
Oklahoma (10-2) vs. Texas A&M (10-2)
7 p.m. Jan. 4
At Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Radio: KMOD fm97.5, KTBZ am1430
Original Print Headline: OU to face decorated freshman in Manziel
Eric Bailey 918-581-8391
Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel was named a finalist for the Heisman Trophy on Monday. DAVE EINSEL / AP