COllege football roundup: Manziel is back with 3 TDs
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | September 01,2013
Texas A&M star quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) made another big splash after spending the first game of Saturday’s game on the sidelines.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel served his suspension for No. 7 Texas A&M in the first half on Saturday against Rice.
In the second half he hit the ground running — and apparently running his mouth, too — as he threw three touchdown passes and scrambled for 19 yards and the Aggies wrapped up a lopsided 52-31 win over the Owls.
He was suspended until halftime for what the school said was an “inadvertent” violation of NCAA rules involving signing autographs.
His first touchdown of the season came on a 23-yard pass to Mike Evans on A&M’s next drive. Manziel scrambled for eight yards on third-and-7 on the play before the score and appeared to mimic a signing motion while talking to a Rice defender after getting up from the tackle.
He drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after a touchdown throw in the fourth quarter when he was jawing with the defense again and then pointed at the scoreboard. He was replaced by Matt Joeckel on A&M’s last drive.
Joeckel started at quarterback for A&M and threw for 190 yards and a touchdown to help the Aggies lead 28-21 at halftime. Manziel came in on Texas A&M’s first offensive play of the second half and the Aggies capped his first drive with a 44-yard field goal.
Manziel was being investigated for allegedly accepting money for autographs from memorabilia brokers, a violation of NCAA rules that could have led to a much longer suspension.
Notre Dame 28, Temple 6
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Tommy Rees threw a pair of 32-yard touchdown passes to DaVaris Daniels, a 66-yard scoring pass to Troy Niklas and Notre Dame had three quick scoring drives en route to a 28-6 victory over Temple on Saturday.
The 14th-ranked Irish jumped to a 14-0 lead on a pair of three-play drives on its opening two possessions and appeared headed for a blowout. But when the Notre Dame offense stalled, Temple squandered a pair of scoring chances, with Jim Cooper Jr. missing a pair of field goals. An unsettled feeling settled in at Notre Dame Stadium when Kenny Harper scored on a 1-yard run to cut the lead to 14-6. The Irish regained control, however, with Niklas’ TD with 43 seconds left in the half.
The victory by the Irish (1-0) was the 200th career win for coach Brian Kelly. The Owls (0-1) fell to 2-76 all-time against ranked opponents.
Florida 24, Toledo 6
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Mack Brown had a career day, Jeff Driskel was efficient and No. 10 Florida opened the season with a 24-6 victory over Toledo on Saturday.
Brown ran 25 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Driskel completed 17 of 22 passes for 153 yards and a score. And Florida’s defense, which ranked fifth in the country in 2012, looked every bit as good as last year’s version despite losing eight starters and its coordinator.
The Gators controlled both lines of scrimmage, opening holes for Brown and keeping steady pressure on Toledo’s experienced spread offense. It was exactly the style of play Florida has become known for under third-year coach Will Muschamp. No flashiness. Few highlight-reel plays. But a win in the end.
It was Florida’s 24th consecutive season-opening victory, the second-longest active streak in the country. Only Nebraska (27) has a longer current run.
Ohio State 40, Buffalo 20
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Braxton Miller threw two touchdown passes before fighting leg cramps and Jordan Hall ran for two more scores to lead No. 2 Ohio State to a 40-20 victory over Buffalo on Saturday in the season opener for both teams.
The Buckeyes, striving for a crisper start from coach Urban Meyer’s debut in 2012, led 23-0 after the first quarter before the Bulls made things interesting. Joe Licata threw two TD passes and linebacker Kahlil Mack returned a Miller interception 45 yards to make it 30-20 in the third quarter.
Miller was sidelined a second time with cramps and sub Kenny Guiton promptly tossed a 21-yard TD pass to Chris Fields.
Hall had a career-high 159 yards rushing, scoring on runs of 37 and 49 yards.
Wisconsin 45, UMass 0
MADISON, Wis. — New coach, same ol’ Badgers.
Melvin Gordon ran for 144 yards and a 70-yard touchdown, James White added 143 and a 51-yard score, and No. 23 Wisconsin’s revamped defense throttled Massachusetts in a 45-0 victory Saturday over Massachusetts in coach Gary Andersen’s debut.
Newly minted starting quarterback Joel Stave overcame a slow start to connect with receiver with Jared Abbrederis for two long touchdowns in the second half.
It was 31-0 with 10:31 to go in the third quarter by the time White sauntered through the line untouched and into the end zone for a 51-yard score.
The only tradition left to put this Badgers opener in the books was for the Camp Randall Stadium public address system to blare House of Pain’s “Jump Around” to get the fans in the stands hopping for the fourth quarter. Many in the student section scattered soon afterward with the game well in hand.
UMass was simply overmatched against the Big Ten’s three-time defending champion. The Minutemen are only in their second year as a major college program, and they had to play Saturday with two of their top offensive players in running back Jordan Broadnax and tight end Rob Blanchflower out with injuries.
Stacey Bedell finished with 70 yards on 19 carries for UMass.