BIRMINGHAM, Ala. --- Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel and Jake Matthews received Player of the Week honors from the Southeastern Conference on Monday for their strong performances in the Aggies’ record-setting 58-10 victory over Arkansas.
Manziel and Matthews were key to the Aggies’ offensive attack that posted the sixth 700 yard-plus effort in school history and broke the school record for passing yards. The Aggies gained 716 total yards against the Razorbacks, including 498 passing yards, as they scored the final 51 points of the game in A&M’s first-ever SEC victory.
Manziel, a redshirt freshman quarterback from Kerrville Tivy High School, was named SEC Offensive Player of the Week and Co-Freshman of the Week after he shredded the Arkansas defense for 557 total yards and 453 passing yards to break A&M records in both categories. Manziel’s 557 total yards also broke the old SEC record of 540 yards set originally by College Football Hall of Famer Archie Manning of Ole Miss vs. Alabama in 1969 and matched by LSU’s Rohan Davey vs. Alabama in 2001. It was Manziel’s first SEC Offensive Player of the Week honor and his second Freshman of the Week award.
Matthews, a junior from Elkins High School in Houston, was named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week after he helped clear the way for the largest scoring outburst in the 69-game history of the Texas A&M-Arkansas series. In addition to the 498 passing yards, the Aggies averaged 6.8 yards per carry on their way to 218 rushing yards. Matthews and his “Maroon Goons” offensive line teammates didn’t allow a sack as the Aggie quarterbacks completed over 70 percent of their 47 pass attempts. The Aggies had a 100-yard rusher (Manziel), a 400-yard passer (Manziel) and two 100-yard receivers (senior Ryan Swope and true freshman Thomas Johnson) for the second time in school history (Texas Tech in 2010). It was Matthews’ first weekly SEC honor.
The Aggies will be seeking their second SEC victory and first-ever road SEC victory when they take on Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss., at 6 p.m. (CT) on Saturday. The game will be nationally televised by ESPNU with Clay Matvick (play-by-play), Matt Stinchcomb (analyst) and Allison Williams (sideline) calling the action.
SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE FOOTBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK (Games of Sept. 29)
SEC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
6-1 • 200 • Fr. • Kerrville, Texas
• Manziel set an SEC and Texas A&M record with 557 total offensive yards in the Aggies’ 58-10 win against Arkansas.
• He accounted for a school record 453 passing yards on 29-of-38 passing with three TDs and no interceptions, and also rushed for 104 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown.
• Manziel’s total offense and passing yardage total is the most by a freshman in FBS this season.
• Manziel threw to 12 different Aggie receivers against the Razorbacks.
• Through the first four games (all starts) of his career this season, Manziel has attempted 124 passes without an interception.
SEC Co-DEFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
6-2 • 216 • Sr. • Augusta, Ga.
• Commings tallied five tackles (four solos) and had a pair of interceptions in the final six minutes of the game to help Georgia defeat Tennessee, 51-44. His first pick was near midfield at the six-minute mark and his second preserved the UGA win with seven seconds left in the game.
5-11 • 203 • Fr. • Loganville, Ga.
• Nkemdiche had 11 tackles, three for losses including a sack, two forced fumbles in Ole Miss’ 33-14 loss at Alabama. The Rebel defense limited the Crimson Tide to season lows in points and yards.
SEC Co-SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Return Specialist / Wide Receiver
5-11 • 185 • So. • Adamsville, Ala.
• Jones returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown in Alabama’s 33-14 win over Ole Miss. The TD is the eighth longst return in school history and gave the Tide a 13-7 2nd-quarter lead. For the game, Jones had 161 all-purpose yards, 142 on kickoff returns and 19 receiving yards on two catches.
Return Specialist / Tailback
5-9 • 185 • So. • DeSoto, Texas
• Murphy returned a punt 66 yards for a touchdown in Missouri’s 21-16 win at Central Florida. The TD put the Tigers ahead 14-10 midway through third quarter. For the game, he had three punt returns for 70 yards and a 33-yard kickoff return.
SEC OFFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK
6-5 • 305 • Jr. • Missouri City, Texas
• Matthews helped keep quarterback Johnny Manziel sack-free against Arkansas, allowing the freshman signal-caller to break SEC and school records in Texas A&M’s 58-10 win.
• Matthews was part of an offense that gained 716 total yards; 498 through the air and 218 on the ground.
• Only two of Texas A&M’s 79 offensive plays were for lost yardage for minus 3 yards.
• Matthews was not flagged and graded out the best of the Texas A&M offensive linemen against Arkansas.
SEC DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK
6-6 • 256 • So. • Rock Hill, S.C.
• Clowney was credited with four tackles, including 2.5 for losses with a sack, in South Carolina’s 38-17 win at Kentucky.
• Carolina limited Kentucky to just 70 yards in the second half after yielding 173 in the first half.
• Clowney’s sack came on a 3rd down play forcing the Wildcats to punt.
• Kentucky had seven second-half possessions with four ending in punts, two in interceptions and one when the clock ran out at the end of the game.
SEC FOOTBALL TRI-FRESHMEN OF THE WEEK
6-1 • 218 • Tarboro, N.C.
• Gurley rushed for 130 yards and 3 TDs including a 51-yard run in Georgia’s 51-44 win over Tennessee.
5-11 • 216 • Raleigh, N.C.
• Marshall rushed for 164 yards on 10 carries and 2 TDs and also caught a 15-yard pass in Georgia’s 51-44 win over Tennessee.
6-1 • 200 • Fr. • Kerrville, Texas
• See above for information on Manziel’s efforts vs. Arkansas.
OTHER OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCES FROM WEEK 5
CB AMARI COOPER (Alabama) -- Freshman led the Tide with eight catches for 84 yards and two touchdowns against Ole Miss.
CB DEE MILLINER (Alabama) -- Recorded four interceptions with an interception, four pass deflections and a half-sack against Ole Miss.
RB KNILE DAVIS (Arkansas) -- Rushed for team-high 65 yards on 18 carries and also caught a 64-yard touchdown pass against Texas A&M.
LB ALVIN DUPREE (Kentucky) -- Logged nine tackles, including 1.5 sacks (-10 yards), against South Carolina.
WR ODELL BECKHAM, JR. (LSU) -- Caught five passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns against Towson.
CB E.J. GAINES (Missouri) -- Had career-best 13 tackles against Central Florida. In fourth quarter, had two tackles for loss and a forced fumble.
DT SHELDON RICHARDSON (Missouri) -- Registered nine tackles, two for losses including a sack, and a QB pressure against Central Florida.
TB MARCUS LATTIMORE (South Carolina) -- Rushed for 120 yards on 23 carries and two touchdowns against Kentucky.
SPUR DeVONTE HOLLOMAN (South Carolina) -- Had six tackles (all solos) with two for losses, incluidng a sack, against Kentucky.
RB RAJION NEAL (Tennessee) -- Rushed for 107 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown while catching 5 passes for 53 yards and a touchdown against Georgia.
DB BYRON MOORE (Tennessee) -- Returned an interception for a touchdown and had six total tackles against Georgia.