The mood at a private New Year's Eve party in Wichita Falls, Tex. was subdued as the revelers could see on two television sets that the Texas Aggies were behind and running out of time against surprising Duke in the Chick -fil-A Bowl. The Blue Devils were already ahead and driving for the touchdown which might wrap up the victory.
Superstar quarterback Johnny Manziel, still only a sophomore, had already performed his heroics by throwing for four touchdowns and almost 400 yards, in what many people believe will be his last game at the college level. The first freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy in 2012, his stats were improved in the 2013 season. But despite Johnny Football's efforts it appeared all was for not.
The Aggies defense had been maligned all year and it seemed almost inevitable the Blue Devil offense would march in for a touchdown which would clinch the victory for Duke. Suddenly the solemnity at the party turned from gloom to pandemonium as A@M defensive back Toney Hurd stepped in front of a Duke receiver, intercepted a pass and sprinted 55 yards into the end zone for the touchdown which propelled the Aggies into the lead.
But there was still time for Duke to march the length of the field and score the winning touchdown after receiving the ensuing kickoff. The jubilation at the party morphed into tension as the people welcoming in the New Year worried once again about the ability of the Aggie defense to stop the Blue Devils one more time.
Miraculously, or so it would seem, a second Aggie defender plucked a second interception out of the air which stopped Duke's last chance of winning the game.
Manziel refused to disclose following the game whether or not he would turn pro next year or come back for his junior season with the Aggies. One pro draft guru Tod McShay had the electrifying quarterback ranked as one of the first five picks in the NFL draft which will be held this spring. If he is one of the top five picks, he would become an instant millionaire on draft day were he to leave college.
Making the question more uncertain though, is the fact Manziel comes from a financially successful family and money may not be his most serious concern. No one would be shocked if he decided to return for his junior year.
He completed 30 of 38 passes in this game and ran for 73 yards in to compile a total of 455 all-purpose yardage. Manziel also led the Aggies to a 9-4 record this year. The final score was 52-48, although the main question people were asking was what would Johnny Football do next?
Manziel is expected to be a decision in the next few days. ESPN analyst Steve Young said Manziel had incredible football instincts that would help him at the next level.
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