Kenny Hill showed that Texas A&M might not have too difficult a quarterback transition from Johnny Manziel, setting a single-game record in his debut as the Aggies starter.
Hill led the team to a 52-28 victory over No. 9 South Carolina in Thursday night’s opener, and in the process beat Manziel’s single-game passing record with 511 yards. Hill played with poise as he picked apart the Gamecocks defense, ending their 18-game home winning streak.
Kenny Hill ended the game completing 44 of 60 passes with three touchdowns.
Hill, who was not as used to the spotlight as his predecessor “Johnny Football,” said afterward he was a bit anxious talking to the media.
“I just wanted to get the first press conference over with,” said Hill, who hadn’t spoken with reporters before. “I get nervous up here.”
Kenny Hill earned quite a bit of praise from the Aggies former quarterback for his record-setting performance.
KENNY FOOTBALL!!! #GigEm
— Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) August 29, 2014
But Hill said he’s not too keen on adopting Manziel’s old nickname: “I don’t really like ‘Kenny Football.'”
Though he may have bested Manziel’s career passing career passing record and the Aggies team mark, Kenny Hill is quit a different quarterback, CBS Sports writer Jon Solomon notes:
In the old Texas A&M offense, Manziel was a master improviser. He saw space few other quarterbacks could see and created magical plays with his feet. So it was interesting to see the “new” Texas A&M offense, which looks like some of Sumlin’s old offenses. Lots of tempo, quick throws to receivers on the run, and good protection upfront. When Hill did use his feet, he kept his poise and his eyes downfield for throws. Neither style is wrong, just different. Texas A&M offensive coordinator Jake Spavital continues to nicely tutor quarterbacks, having also coached Geno Smith, Case Keenum and Manziel.
Kenny Hill and the Texas A&M Aggies are now sure to climb the rankings after beating No. 9 South Carolina, and have a chance to climb even further with a matchup against Lamar coming next.