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December 27, 2012

Play No. 12: the Playstation TD

AggieYell.com is counting down 12 of the biggest plays of the 2012 football season. The list begins with Number 12, quarterback Johnny Manziel's highlight reel touchdown run against Arkansas.

The situation: Third and goal from the Arkansas 6 with 10:30 to go in the game. Texas A&M leads 44-10.

What happened: Looking to imitate his first quarter touchdown pass to Mike Evans in the left front corner of the south end zone, Manziel rolled to his right and began to move towards the line of scrimmage. He was met by Arkansas LB Tenarius Wright, who disengaged from tackle Jake Matthews and appeared to have a clean shot at the Aggie quarterback. Instead, Manziel spun around, headed back to the middle of the field, evaded a lunging tackle attempt from Wright in between the hashmarks, cut back to his right, ran parallel to the goal line for about 15 yards as he dodged two more defenders and scooted into the corner of the end zone for his sole rushing touchdown of the day. The run also put him over the century mark on the ground, as Manziel would end the 58-10 rout with 104 yards rushing.

What it meant: It was perhaps the most remarkable play in a season filled with them from Manziel, as he evaded Arkansas' best defensive player and two others as he scampered halfway around the field untouched before heading into the end zone. In a nationally televised game, it was one of the moments that helped Johnny Football capture the nation's imagination.

Oh, it was also the finishing note on a game in which Manziel broke A&M's school record for passing yards (453) and the SEC's record for total yards in a game with 557. It wasn't the final word in a humiliating dose of payback dished out by the Aggies to the Razorbacks, but it was the one most easily remembered -- and most difficult to duplicate in a video game.

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