Johnny Manziel returned on Saturday night after serving the first half of Texas A&M’s victory over Rice on the sideline. Manziel was suspended for half of the season opener after the NCAA found him guilty of accepting money to sign various pieces of sports memorabilia.
After returning to play, Manziel was hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Manziel threw three touchdowns and helped No. 7 Texas A&M defeat Rice 52-31. However, he also spent most of the game taunting Rice players.
In the fourth quarter, Manziel threw a touchdown pass and then started yelling at two Rice defenders while pointing at the scoreboard. Immediately following that verbal sparring match Manziel drew the penalty flag.
Johnny’s half game suspension was called an “inadvertent” NCAA violation, but there was nothing inadvertent about his cocky attitude against Rice.
Following his unsportsmanlike conduct charge, he was immediately replaced by Matt Joeckel.
After the season opener concluded Kevin Sumlin told ESPN:
“That wasn’t very smart and that’s why he didn’t go back in the game. I hoped that at this point he’d have learned something.”
Sumlin also said he had no plans on taking Johnny Manziel out of the game until the QB drew the unsportsmanlike penalty.
Manziel showboated throughout his entire two quarters of play. As he did last season, he liked to rub his fingers together to signal the sign for “money” following big plays. He also mimed signing autographs to players and appeared to smack talk on a regular basis.
Continuing to talk about his star player Sumlin commented:
“We talk about a lot of different things, not specifically about what’s going to happen during a game. And we had another young man who was thrown out of the game who is a freshman [Daeshon Hall]. And I didn’t see what happened there, but the officials told me what happened. And we’ve got to grow as a team and mature as a team. Individual acts like that hurt your football team. We talk about that in general, all the time. I don’t talk to individual players all the time about those things before the game because you can’t forsee everything. But what you can do is have a plan for it.”
Manziel regardless of his penalty helped A&M with 6 of 8 passes for 94 yards. Manziel also ran for 19.
Texas A&M didn’t have the best start of the season as Daeshon Hall was also ejected for fighting with junior quarterback Deshazor Everett.
Later in the game, Deshazor Everett, who was suspended for the first half after an offseason arrest, was ejected late in the game for targeting.