|Eric Gay/Associated Press|
|Johnny Manziel made an immediate impact on the Texas A&M offense after entering the game.|
During his first action of the season, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel pretended to sign an autograph, giving not only Rice but the NCAA something to think about.
Johnny Football has just entered Terrell Owens territory when it comes to animation and choreography on a football field.
Rarified air, indeed.
Manziel was later flagged for a personal foul after jawing with two Rice defenders after another Aggies touchdown extended the A&M lead to 52-28. He didn't return, and Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin said the 15-yard penalty was the reason why.
Asked directly about Manziel's personal foul, Sumlin said: "That wasn't very smart. That's why he didn't go back in the game, either. You would hope at this point, we've learned something from that. We're still learning from that. That's why he wasn't going back into the game no matter what was happening."
But did the officials care what Manziel actually said? Or what he flagged for talking too much at all? Apparently, it was the latter, based on a tweet from Rice's Nick Elder, one of the defenders Manziel was talking to:
@espn I was the one who johnny was talking too. He said "what's up nick, nice hit." True storyâ Nick Elder (@NickElder1) August 31, 2013
Manziel finished the 52-31 win, playing one full quarter and part of another, with a 6-of-8 passing performance for 93 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 19 yards.
It was just the culmination of a wild day of discipline -- or lack thereof -- for Sumlin and his team.
Cornerback Deshazor Everett, suspended for the first half after a misdemeanor assault charge over the summer, managed to get ejected under a new safety rule, and under the same rule, suspended for the first half of next week's game against Sam Houston State.
Manziel was making his season debut after beating an NCAA investigation into whether he profited from his autograph. But a number of key Aggies, particularly on defense, didn't join him. Three defensive starters were among four two-game suspensions announced prior to kickoff, compounded by the prior suspensions of starting defensive lineman Kirby Ennis and starting defensive back Floyd Raven.
The suspended Manziel came off the bench after his first-half suspension to deliver 10 points in his first two offensive drives. Manziel's running skills led to a field goal on his first series. He took a sack on his second series, but recovered to throw a touchdown pass to star sophomore Mike Evans on a crossing route. That created the breathing room a piecemeal Aggies defense could not deliver in the first half.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.