Johnny Manziel will get much of the credit, and deservedly so since the Texas A&M defense allowed 38 points in the first half, but Johnny Football doesn't do what Johnny Football did unless his D tightened up in the second half.
Manziel threw his fourth touchdown of the night, a 44 yard strike to Derel Walker, with just under six minutes left in the game. It cut the lead to three and as long as the Aggies defense got a stop, it was all but certain Manziel would win the game himself. But Johnny's night was done and the defense continued. On Duke's next possession, Toney Hurd, Jr. picked off Anthony Boone and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown. It was A&M's first lead of the game and they would hold on to it for the remaining three and a half minutes, coming all the way back to beat Duke 52-48.
Duke had a few chances late to take the lead, but the Aggies defense shut them out. Deshazor Everett made a great play to swat away a deep touchdown strike with 1:25 left and then Nate Askew sealed the game with another interception of Boone.
Johnny Manziel will get the credit, because he is the quarterback, a Heisman winner and "Johnny Football," but for a unit that was 104th in the FBS in yards per play and 96th in points allowed, the A&M defense deserves some love, too. As Manziel and the offense racked up 28 second-half points, their teammates on defense added seven of their own while only allowing 10.