Texas A&M destroyed South Carolina 52-28 on Thursday night, shocking the ninth-ranked team in the country on the road in the first game of the post-Johnny Manziel era.
The blowout introduced the nation to sophomore quarterback Kenny Hill, who played so well he was anointed “Kenny Football” by the man himself.
In his first college start, Hill did things Johnny Manziel never did.
Hill threw for 511 yards and three touchdowns on 44-for-60 passing against South Carolina. Manziel threw for 400 yards five times in his A&M career, but never eclipsed 500 yards. Hill’s 44 completions are 12 more than Manziel ever completed in a single game. Hill also did it against a South Carolina defence that was expected to be among the best in the country.
Hill isn’t the creator that Manziel is. He’s not going to scramble for eight seconds or run for 150 yards. But on Thursday he looked like a polished, accurate passer who’s in complete command of Kevin Sumlin’s offence.
His third touchdown throw was a thing of beauty:
He elicited a headgear toss out of Steve Spurrier before halftime, a rare feat:
“When I was getting recruited that’s what coach Sumlin and [offensive coordinator Jake Spavital] and them told me. I could be the guy who comes in after Johnny. That’s what I’ve been working for my whole life. I don’t even know what to say I’m so excited,” he said after the game.
He was very excited:
As recently at three weeks ago, it was unclear if Hill would even start for Texas A&M. Kyle Allen, a true freshman who was the 2nd-ranked quarterback prospect of the 2014 recruiting class, nearly won the quarterback battle.
During Thursday’s broadcast, SEC Network commentator Jesse Palmer said he believed Allen would have started over Hill if Texas A&M hadn’t been playing a top-10 team on the road — a environment deemed too intense for a true freshman.
It’s fair to say Hill’s job is safe now.
Texas A&M’s next four opponents are Lamar, Rice, SMU, and Arkansas. If Hill dropped 511 yards on South Carolina, what’s he going to do to those teams?
He’s already the sixth-favourite to win the Heisman:
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