Film study: Joseph Manjack IV makes winning plays

“There’s no ego. He makes a lot of winning plays. You know, the uneducated figure if you’re not scoring, you’re not doing a whole lot. Right? (He) impacts the game in ways that doesn’t show up on a stat sheet.”

That’s Kelvin Sampson talking about Reggie Chaney in October of last year. Kelvin loved Reggie because he valued winning over personal glory. That same descriptor can be used for Joseph Manjack IV, too. The receivers in the UH program love Manjack because all he does is make winning plays.

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The Attaboy. Manjack had four catches for 55 yards and a TD against WVU. But what he did outside of those catches makes him a great teammate and are his winning plays.

Take his touchdown catch. Manjack catches it at the 11-yard line on a 5-out route, spins out of a tackle, and immediately notices Sam Brown. Brown had taken the cornerback Beanie Bishop down to the five and was now pushing him into the end zone, allowing Manjack to score.

As soon as he crosses the goal line, Manjack points at Brown and goes to celebrate with him. It’s Manjack congratulating and giving an attaboy to Brown, not vice versa.’s UH Football coverage is presented by Stewart J. Guss Injury Lawyers – the official injury law firm of UH Athletics.

The Ballet Bear Hug.
Up three in the closing minutes, UH was desperately trying to run the clock. They needed to keep the possession alive. After two runs got them five yards and one WVU timeout burned, Holgorsen and staff took a gamble on 3rd and 5. The play featured three wideouts, with Sammy Brown staying home to keep CB Malachi Ruffin occupied. Stephon Johnson went deep on the other side, and Manjack came out of the slot closest to the UH sideline.

Donovan Smith threw a 30-yard lob pass into man coverage with the sole intention of drawing a flag. If Manjack caught it, great, but Manjack’s goal was to get himself wrapped up by the safety Marcis Floyd. Manjack slowed down for the lob and did a bit of acting – he flailed his arm but kept Floyd engaged.

It worked. 15 yards and a first down.

Manjack gives a little arm pump when he sees the flag while Floyd is beside himself. He knew he’d been played. The possession receiver kept it alive again: it was his sixth first down responsible for (4 catches and two PI calls). He worked both PI calls against Floyd.

Ballet bear hug by Joseph Manjack IV // Photo © 2023 by Mario Puente

Only The Tip. On the game’s final play, Manjack was lined up in his customary slot position. He goes towards the end zone as one of the two jumpers, the guys that are supposed to tip the ball up, giving the trailers a chance to catch it.

Manjack was the only Cougar to get near the goal line. Manjacked tipped it – perhaps at the one, perhaps at the goal line – with Dalton Carnes at the five, Sammy Brown at the four, and Stephon Johnson at the three. All three others had their feet on the ground, meaning Manjack was the only real jumper.

Manjack, with a defender on each hip, highpoints it, giving the three trailers a chance. Boogie Johnson is closest to the scrum, but several defenders have a chance as the ball begins its descent. Working for UH Athletics during the game, photographer Stephen Pinchback gets the da Vinci shot of Manjack on the ground, starting intently at it; four defenders an arm’s length away craving it; Dalton Carnes realizing he can’t reach it; and Stephon “Boogie” Johnson, fingertips outstretched destined for it.

Johnson makes the catch, scores the touchdown, walks it off, and the stadium goes to chaos. Against WVU, Johnson finally got his chance to shine and delivered. Manjack had his TD but impacted winning by making the plays that don’t appear in the stats. He worked hard for his teammates, praised them when they made winning plays and made the assist that won UH’s first-ever Big 12 game.

Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, is proud to be a corporate sponsor as the Official Personal Injury Law Firm for the University of Houston Athletics.

“As a University of Houston alum, I am honored that the University of Houston Athletics chose our firm to be their official and exclusive personal injury law firm,” says Stewart J. Guss, the firm’s founder.