Aggies dominate Miners
College Station, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Johnny Manziel tossed four touchdown passes and rushed for two more to lead 12th-ranked Texas A&M to a 57-7 rout of UTEP on Saturday.
Manziel was an efficient 16-for-24 passing for 273 yards while also rushing for a team-high 67 yards on seven carries.
Travis Labhart caught four passes for 83 yards and two touchdowns, while Malcome Kennedy and Mike Evans added one touchdown reception apiece for the Aggies (7-2, 3-2 SEC), who have won two straight since falling to then-No. 24 Auburn on Oct. 19.
"We're playing a lot of guys, and I think any time you're doing that, starting to get some confidence, playing a lot of people, we've been able to rotate a lot of guys the last couple games, and get some energy," Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin said of his defense, which forced four turnovers.
Tra Carson, who had one rushing touchdown, was carted off the field after sustaining an apparent head/neck injury in the early in the fourth quarter. Carson had movement in his extremities before he was taken away.
Blaire Sullivan was 9-for-17 passing for 71 yards and three interceptions for the Miners (1-7, 0-4 C-USA), losers in six straight.
"Second quarter the turnovers really killed us," UTEP coach Sean Kugler said. "Really put our defense in a tough spot."
Floyd Raven Sr. blocked UTEP's punt 3 1/2 minutes into the game and ball rolled out of the end zone for a safety, but the Miners' defense held strong and forced an Aggies punt before going 73 yards in nine plays to take a 7-2 lead.
Sullivan got the chains moving with a 23-yard rush before connecting with Malcolm Trail for a 29-yard gain to put the ball on the Texas A&M 4. After Sullivan was stopped on first down, Aaron Jones ran it in off the right tackle.
The Aggies responded with a brief four-play scoring march as Manziel hooked up with Labhart along the right sideline for a 44-yard touchdown to put the Aggies up 9-7.
Carson's 1-yard TD plunge with just over nine minutes to go in the first half made it 15-7. Manziel set up the score after floating a 23-yard pass to Kennedy near the right pylon. Kennedy hauled in the perfect pass and was able to get one foot down before stumbling out of bounds.
The Aggies scored just over 30 seconds later to make it 22-7. Sullivan's pass was picked off by De'Vante Harris, and two plays later Manziel found Kennedy in the front left corner of the end zone for the score.
Jordan Leslie fumbled on the ensuing possession and it was scooped up by Noel Ellis, leading to yet another Aggies' scoring drive.
On 4th-and-1 from the 10 later in the drive, Manziel ran it in for the score to push the lead to 29-7. Coming out of a timeout, Manziel quickly snapped the ball and rushed around the left edge before juking a UTEP defender and lunging for the end zone.
Howard Matthews picked off Sullivan on the next UTEP possession and the Aggies needed just two plays to score as Manziel connected with Labhart for a 17-yard TD completion to send Texas A&M into the break with a commanding 36-7 lead.
Manziel broke off a 49-yard rushing score just two minutes into the second half to put the Aggies on top, 43-7.
Manziel's 26-yard TD toss to Evans made it 50-7 and Trey Williams ran it in from 14 yards out with 2:05 remaining to account for the final difference.
The Aggies racked up 564 total yards while limiting the Miners to just 198 yards ... Saturday marked the third meeting between the schools (1984, 2000). Texas A&M has won all three contests ... Evans has 12 touchdowns this season ... The Aggies will host Mississippi State in their home finale on Nov. 9, before closing out the season with a pair of road contests with nationally- ranked LSU and Missouri ... UTEP will visit North Texas next week.
11/03 01:52:17 ET