Has Johnny Manziel played his final game at Kyle Field?
That was the question thousands of Aggie fans tried to answer for him during Texas A&M 's 51-41 win over Mississippi State Saturday, chanting (and chanting again, and chanting again) "One more year!" at the reigning Heisman winner. Manziel is draft eligible after this season, of course, and both his much-publicized summer brush with NCAA ineligibility and occasional frustration with college life suggest he'll think long and hard about leaving College Station for the NFL.
If he does, the Aggies' remaining schedule -- a bye week, followed by trips to LSU and Missouri -- means Saturday's game was his last one in College Station. So it's nice that his performance against the Bulldogs checked every conceivable box on the Johnny Football Experience checklist:
Ridiculous numbers: check. Manziel tied a career high with five touchdown passes and came up just shy of another 500-yard-game of total offense, throwing for 446 and rushing for 47 more (a number depressed by Bulldog sacks). It was his fourth 400-yard passing game of the season and his fourth consecutive game of three or more passing touchdowns.
Eye-popping highlights: check. Enjoy:
Sloppy interceptions: check. Ill-advised, improvisational throws into traffic have also been a Manziel trademark, and he didn't skimp on those vs. the Bulldogs, either, finishing with three interceptions. But it's the sort of bad the Aggies will happily take with the good.
Johnny bein' Johnny: check. Via GoodBullHunting.com, here's Manziel taking a knee (after Dan Mullen called a timeout following the Aggies' first kneel-down):
That's the sort of play that could force a certain kind of fan to foam at the mouth, and a certain other kind of fan to raise his glass in cheeky admiration -- in other words, a lot like just about everything Johnny Manziel does that's not leading the Aggies to another touchdown.
Aggie victory: check. And speaking of that, it's worth noting that the Aggies' porous defense again yielded 41 points, and that without Manziel's wizardry -- even with smaller doses of Manziel's wizardry -- A&M likely would have suffered an embarrassing upset loss. (Manziel has slipped in the Heisman race because of his team's two losses, but how much should those really be held against him when his team scored 42 -- against Alabama, no less -- and 41 points in those games, respectively?)
So, in short: Johnny Manziel gave the Kyle Field faithful exactly the sort of performance that made him Johnny Manziel in the first place. And now the only question is whether it was his final performance there. Take a look at Manziel's impromptu postgame meet-and-greet:
Whether that's a man satisfied with that being his final Kyle Field performance or not, there's no way to say for certain. But if it is, well, it's hard to blame him for that.