Texas A&M Football
No. 24/23 (AP/HC) Florida at Texas A&M
Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012 * Kyle Field, College Station, Texas
· Today’s game marked Texas A&M’s first-ever game in the Southeastern Conference, Kevin Sumlin’s debut as A&M head coach and the playing debut of the Aggies’ newly-designed adidas uniforms.
· The Aggies racked up 8.0 QB sacks for a loss of 48 yards. Texas A&M led the NCAA in sacks with 51 in 2011, and had eight sacks twice during the season (vs. SMU and Northwestern)
· Today’s game marked the first time A&M has played a conference opponent in a season-opener since 1967 (20-17 loss to SMU).
· It was a strong statistical game for punter Ryan Epperson, who averaged 49.8 yards on six punts, with a long of 61 yards and two boots downed inside the 20.
· Middle linebacker Jonathan Stewart was the game’s top tackler with a career-high 17 tackles, including 11 solo hits. His previous best was 13 vs. Missouri in 2011.
· In his first start at defensive end, junior Damontre Moore had a game-high and career-high three quarterback sacks and 10 tackles. The last time an Aggie had three sacks in a game was last year’s season-opener with Tony Jerod-Eddie had three sacks against SMU.
FIRST STARTS --- Making their first starts at A&M were Mike Evans (Fr-RS) at WR, Johnny Manziel (Fr-RS) at QB, Julien Obioha (Fr-HS), Kirby Ennis (Jr-2L) at DT, DeShazor Everett (So-1L) at CB, De’Vante Harris (Fr-HS) at CB. Manziel is the first Aggie freshman QB to start a season-opener since 1944. He had a strong debut with 23-of-30 passing (76.7 percent) for 173 yards and a team-high 60 rushing yards on 17 carries.
Catches: Mike Evans, Thomas Johnson, Trey Williams, Gaston Lamascus
Passes: Johnny Manziel and senior WR Kenric McNeal
Field Goals/PAT: Taylor Bertolet
Deep snaps: Jake Matthews
FRESHMAN IMPACT --- A bevy of true and redshirt freshmen made significant contributions in the Aggies’ 2012 season opener. Seeing their first action in the Maroon & White were: QB Johnny Manziel, RB/KOR Trey Williams, WR Thomas Johnson; DE Julien Obioha, CB De’Vante Harris, WR Mike Evans, PK Taylor Bertolet, LB Jordan Richmond, WR Sabian Holmes, LB Cody Johnson and OL Joseph Cheek.
The Aggies were led by freshmen in passing (173 yards by Manziel), rushing (60 yards by Manziel), receptions and receiving yards (7-60 by Evans), kickoff return yards (58 by Williams) and all-purpose yardage (104 by Williams)
GAME CAPTAINS, 12TH MAN --- Game captains were seniors Patrick Lewis, Ryan Swope and Sean Porter and junior Ben Malena. … 12th Man was linebacker Justin Bass, a sophomore from Plano, Texas and younger brother of 2011 Aggie senior Ben Bass.
TODAY’S CROWD --- The attendance was 87,114, which marks the largest season-opening crowd in school history. It is the No. 9 largest crowd in school history. It was A&M’s ninth straight sellout dating back to the Nebraska game dating back to the 2010 Nebraska game.