STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI/MSU Athletics) –Texas A&M came in known for their high-powered offensive attack and showed it Saturday at Davis Wade Stadium, as the Aggies defeated the Mississippi State Bulldogs 38-13.
The Aggies jumped out to a quick lead, scoring touchdowns on their first three drives of the contest, two in the first quarter off of runs by Ben Malena and Christine Michael.
A&M freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel added a 37-yard touchdown run in the second to add to the Aggie lead and, by the end, of the first half, A&M held a surprising 24-0 lead against the Bulldogs.
Michael punched in another score, with a 1-yard TD run to start off the third quarter.
The Bulldogs then answered back on an impressive drive that was capped off by a 14-yard touchdown strike from junior quarterback Tyler Russell to senior receiver Chad Bumphis. With that touchdown reception, Bumphis extended his school record of career TD receptions to 18. Russell’s 16th touchdown pass also tied the single-season school record, set by Derrick Taite in 1995.
State’s defense, known for forcing turnovers throughout the 2012 season came up big by forcing a Manziel fumble at the goal line on A&M’s next drive. The Maroon and White then marched down the field impressively, but were unsuccessful in capping the drive as a Russell pass sailed into the hands of an Aggie defender.
The Bulldogs added another score in the fourth quarter when Russell punched one in from four yards out, but were unable to convert the two-point conversion.
A&M answered back with an impressive drive of their own, scoring on a 7-yard run from Manziel for a the final tally of 38-13.
State gained 310 total yards on the day, with 212 through the air and 98 on the ground. The seemingly unstoppable Aggies, however, gained a total of 693 yards, with 361 coming on the ground and 332 passing.
Leading the Bulldogs in passing was Russell, who threw 30 passes, completing 19 for 212 yards, a touchdown and an interception. On the rushing attack, LaDarius Perkins gained 42 yards on 13 carries. Bumphis caught four passes for 60 yards and a score, while senior Arceto Clark led the Bulldogs with five catches for 64 yards.
Manziel led the way for the Aggies, throwing 30-for-36 for 311 yards. On the ground, the freshman amassed 129 yards on the ground and two scores.
Three Bulldogs were double digits in tackles, led by Bernardrick McKinney’s 14. Cameron Lawrence had 13, a sack, and a forced fumble.
The Bulldogs travel to Baton Rouge next Saturday, Nov. 10, to face the top 10-ranked LSU Tigers. Official game time will be announced on Sunday, Nov. 4.