All it took was one start for new Texas A&M quarterback Kenny Hill to start breaking Johnny Manziel’s records.
With Hill at the helm yesterday, coach Kevin Sumlin’s vaunted offensive attack was unstoppable en route to a 52-28 win over the favored South Carolina Gamecocks.
Gone were the days of Johnny Manziel improvising and scrambling his way to big yards and big points. Instead, Hill ran the version of Sumlin’s offense that we hadn’t seen since the coach’s days at the University of Houston: a high-tempo attack featuring lots of quick throws, rollouts, and throws on the run.
That’s not to say Hill was better on the field than Manziel. He was just very different. College football fans will remember that Sumlin said in 2012 he would have to alter his offense drastically to accommodate Manziel’s unique skill set. With Hill under center, we’re getting a glimpse of Sumlin’s offense as he intends it to be – and it’s a thing of beauty. This is how Case Keenum became Division 1 football’s all-time leader in passing yards.
None of this should be interpreted as a slight to Manziel. How can you knock a guy who wins a Heisman while dominating the defensive juggernaut that is the SEC? Manziel is a college football legend, and for good reason.
More than anything, what A&M proved yesterday is that as long as Sumlin is in town, they’ll be an elite program. Before yesterday, people doubted that A&M could thrive in the SEC in the absence of Johnny Manziel. We were wrong. Sumlin, not the Browns rookie quarterback, is the engine that makes the A&M machine tick.