The week that was in the always unpredictable life of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel:
- A day after Halloween, the first order of business is, of course, to delve into Johnny Football's Halloween encore. Last year, Manziel in a Scooby-Doo costume, and the women who surrounded it, spread across the internet like wildfire. This year, college football blog outkickthecoverage.com claimed to have gotten Manziel to agree to wearing a costume chosen by its readers. The three finalists were Johnny Hancock, a Sharpie pen, and a $100 bill. But site owner Clay Travis tweeted this Wednesday:
Naturally, one can only wonder if Manziel was really down with the contest to begin with. If proof of Manziel's participation was provided at some point, we missed it. At any rate, all that's left now is for some fresh photos of Scooby Football at a party last night to surface. So far, nothing.
But our eyes are peeled.
Speaking of Halloween, some serious carving care went into this Jack-o-Lantern Thursday, depicting Manziel's "money" gesture from the Rice game:
- On the field, Manziel showed yet another facet to his evolving game in a 56-24 win over Vanderbilt last week. First, he clearly played through some pain, even though his final stats were only painful for the Vanderbilt defense. Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin said Manziel's throwing shoulder, injured the week before in a loss to Auburn, was sore the morning of the Vandy game.
"Him throwing for the first time Friday and being sore Saturday, and the 11:20 kickoff didn't help that," Sumlin said. "You wake up at 7 in the morning and the quarterback says his shoulder hurts, that's not a good thing."
Turns out, it wasn't good for the Commodores, either. The carnage, in video form:
All Manziel did was complete his first 10 passes on the way to a 25-for-35 performance with four touchdown passes and 305 yards. And perhaps even more impressively, he showed an understanding that his shoulder didn't need any more collisions than necessary in rushing for a season-low 11 yards on a season-low four carries. It was no accident. It was just prudent.
- Cameras love catching Manziel when he's not paying attention. So when he is paying attention, cameras can expect to catch something themselves. After the Vanderbilt game, Manziel stuck his tongue out for America as coach Kevin Sumlin was interviewed on the field.
Remember, he's just a two-year-old 20-year-old kid.
- Not that comments from Sumlin might affect Manziel's second Heisman Trophy run anyway, but the coach's advocacy of receiver Mike Evans for the Heisman Trophy would, naturally, serve to take votes away from Manziel. Regardless of his dazzling stats, the likelihood that Evans could become the first receiver to win the honor since Desmond Howard 22 years ago is slim to none. But that doesn't mean Evans won't make his way onto a few ballots.
Groupies, and whatnot
You've got to give it to Alabama assistant coach Lance Thompson for, if nothing else, raw honesty.
The Crimson Tide's linebackers coach described himself as a "Manziel groupie" during a speaking engagement Monday night, which is about as much deference as a college player could possibly receive from an opposing coach. That kind of respect is derived directly from the manner in which Manziel has shredded the Alabama defense over the past two years. In two games against the Tide, Manziel has completed 52 of 70 passes, for seven touchdowns.
A party? For me?
Of course, Manziel could have picked three of his stodgiest professors at TAMU and still would have set the internet ablaze. A better question might have been which three people would Manziel be least likely to invite. His "nightmare party", as it were. Our nominees:
- NCAA President Mark Emmert.
- Alabama coach Nick Saban.
- Anyone shooting pics with a cell phone.
Manziel by the numbers
Johnny Football's 386.4 yards per game in total offense this season matches, down to the very yard, the total offense for Notre Dame's entire team this season. And, for good measure, 52 of 123 FBS teams have less than that.
Random Johnny Manziel Tweet of the Week