COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M's offense was practically unstoppable, with and without Johnny Manziel. That Aggies defense needed all the help it could get against Rice.
Johnny Football packed three touchdown passes into less than a half of work for the seveth-ranked Aggies, who beat Rice 52-31 on Saturday.
Manziel was held out of the first half because of what the school said was an "inadvertent" violation of NCAA rules involving signing autographs. The sophomore had been investigated for allegedly accepting money for autographs from memorabilia brokers, a violation of NCAA rules that could have led to a much longer suspension.
He came in on Texas A&M's first offensive play of the second half. His first play was a 12-yard run, and the Aggies capped his first drive with a 44-yard field goal. His first touchdown came on a 23-yard pass to Mike Evans on A&M's second drive of the half.
Shortly before that, he got into it with a Rice defender, appearing to mimic signing an autograph while getting up from a tackle. He ended his day by getting yanked following an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for pointing at the scoreboard after a TD pass in the fourth quarter.
No. 1 Alabama 35,Virginia Tech 10
At Atlanta, Christion Jones became the first Alabama player since at least the 1940s to have two returns for touchdowns, Vinnie Sunseri brought back an interception for another TD, and the Crimson Tide overcame a sluggish offensive performance to beat Virginia Tech.
No. 2 Ohio State 40, Buffalo 20
At Columbus, Ohio, Braxton Miller threw two touchdown passes before fighting leg cramps and Jordan Hall ran for two more scores to lead Ohio State to a victory over Buffalo in the season opener for both teams.
No. 8 Clemson 38,No. 5 Georgia 35
At Clemson, S.C., Tajh Boyd threw for three touchdowns and rushed for two others, Clemson's defense sacked Aaron Murray four times and the Tigers stung Georgia.
Boyd had scoring passes of 77 yards to Sammy Watkins, 24 yards to Zac Brooks and 9 yards to Stanton Seckinger. Boyd also added TD runs of 4 and 2 yards to win the lone matchup of top 10 teams in college football's opening weekend.
No. 10 Florida 24, Toledo 6
At Gainesville, Fla., Mack Brown had a career day, Jeff Driskel was efficient and Florida opened the season with a victory over Toledo.
Brown ran 25 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Driskel completed 17 of 22 passes for 153 yards and a score.