Cotton Bowl postgame: Breaking it down

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Sooners ended their season with a 41-13 Cotton Bowl defeat at the hands of Texas A&M, and now Sooners Illustrated digs deeper into it.

Game ball goes to: Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. The 6-foot-1 signal caller was everything the Sooners expected and then some, accounting for four touchdowns, two each on the ground and in the air. He rushed for a Cotton Bowl quarterback record 229 yards and threw for another 287.

Play of the game: On the Aggies' first possession, Manziel sprinted loose and tightroped the sideline to score a 23-yard touchdown on third-and-9. That jumpstarted an A&M offensive performance that became ridiculous by night's end.

Surprise of the game: OU just didn't show up. Teams don't do this to the Sooners very often, but A&M dominated in every facet of the game from the onset, even boiling down to energy.

The biggest thing we learned: Manziel clearly deserved the Heisman. If anyone—and I was one of those people—questioned his deservingness of winning the award, all that talk should be laid to rest.

The biggest concern: The Sooners have serious issues defensively. They could potentially lose all of their secondary, most likely three players and most of their starting defensive line from a group that quite frankly wasn't very good in 2012. Could it even be worse next year?

Streak snapped: 5 straight Sooner victories coming into the contest.

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