AUBURN, Ala. (AP) – Texas A&M’s dominant 63-21 win over Auburn on Saturday night was close to perfect: No turnovers, a measly three penalties, only one punt and plenty of highlights from Johnny Manziel.
Manziel ran for three touchdowns and passed for two more — all in a little more than a half — and the Aggies beat the struggling Tigers.
The Aggies moved up six spots to No. 16 in The Associated Press Top 25 on Sunday. They are proving that in their first season in the Southeastern Conference they can make an impact in the Western Division race in November.
On eight possessions led by Manziel, Texas A&M scored seven touchdowns. The only non-scoring drive run by the freshman nicknamed “Johnny Football” ended with a missed 48-yard field goal by Taylor Bertolet on the final play of the first half.
Manziel was in the game for only one series in the third quarter before watching the remainder of the rout from the sideline. He completed 16 of 23 passes for 260 yards and two touchdowns and had nine carries for 90 yards and three scores.
Auburn which has lost five straight, is off to its worst start since going 1-7 in 1952.
The lopsided win was the perfect warm-up for more difficult games to come. Manziel and the starters built a big lead and then sat out most of the second half.
Texas A&M (6-2, 3-2 SEC) plays at No. 17 Mississippi State this week, followed by a game at No. 1 Alabama on Nov. 10.