Posted December 28, 2013

Chick-fil-A Bowl breakdown: Duke Blue Devils vs. Texas A&M Aggies

Chick-fil-A Bowl, Duke Blue Devils, Texas A&M Aggies
Johnny Manziel

Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel accounted for 4,418 yards of total offense this season. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Duke (10-3) vs. Texas A&M (8-4)
Dec. 31, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Reason to watch: All signs point to this being Johnny Manziel’s final game with the Aggies. There has likely never been a college player as captivating as Manziel — both on and off the field — during such a short career. The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner finished fifth in voting this December after closing his redshirt sophomore campaign with forgettable performances against LSU and Missouri, respectively. But Manziel remains an improvisational nightmare for opposing defenses. He finished with 4,418 yards of total offense and 41 touchdowns this season. Texas A&M is a particularly unfortunate draw for Duke. After having their eight-game winning streak snapped against Jameis Winston and Florida State in the ACC title game, the Blue Devils must close the season against another Heisman-winning quarterback.

Keep an eye on: Duke wide receiver Jamison Crowder. Manziel and Texas A&M’s offense are as potent as any unit in the country, but the Aggies’ defense seemingly can’t stop anybody. It allows 460.3 yards per game, 105th in the FBS. That should have Crowder, who amassed a school-record 96 catches and 1,187 receiving yards in 2013, licking his chops. A&M gives up 7.34 yards per passing attempt and has allowed 28 passing touchdowns this season. Even if Manziel has a vintage outing, the Aggies might not have much wiggle room if their defense can’t handle Crowder on the edge.

Did you know: The Blue Devils have outscored their opponents by 76 points in the fourth quarter this season. Under head coach David Cutcliffe, Duke is 26-2 when leading after three quarters.

Final analysis: The job Cutcliffe has done in Durham has been nothing short of remarkable. Duke captured a program-record 10 wins this season and clinched the ACC Atlantic Division. Still, it’s hard to envision the Blue Devils’ defense — which surrendered 569 yards to Florida State on Dec. 7 — handling Manziel and A&M’s attack. Quarterback Anthony Boone, Crowder and Duke’s offense must find their groove to remain within striking distance. But expect Manziel to return to Heisman form what will likely be his farewell performance.

The pick: Texas A&M 41, Duke 27

BOWL SCHEDULE: Matchups, dates and coverage for every 2013-14 pairing

12 comments
AnaClumpsy
AnaClumpsy

the Duke Blue Devils vs Texas A&M Aggies  showdown will be the last for johnny football aka mr. football! 


copy paste link ====> http://bit.ly/1k5Bp9E

airmjbsanders
airmjbsanders

I'm amazed to see Kiper & McShay project this kid to be a high or mid R1 pick!  Have we learned nothin from the Tebow fiasco?  Bein a dominant college player does NOT mean a guy will be a good pro.  

Manziel is basically a shorter, slower & less accurate version of RG3!  The GM & HC who pick this kid in R1 will immediately be on the clock for next Black Monday...

Sportsfan18
Sportsfan18

I'd say Johnny's comment about not being able to wait to get out of College Station was pretty telling.


He's able to get out now and I for one think he's coming out.

friendly--neighborhood--scrawler
friendly--neighborhood--scrawler

I want everyone to pay attention at how the media and people talk about J. Manziel.. 

he has basically the samre skills sets as RG3 before losing a leg.. but RG3 is a better passer than Jonny and has a way stronger arm.. Jonny is less of a pocket passer than RG3  however if you think RG3 was all hype , wait until johnny "average" football gets to the NFL... At least RG3 proved his ability from game 1 , winning rookie of the year and making the PRO BOWL.. You will never hear the term character issues , can't read defense and other buzz words use with for "OTHER" QB's when it comes to johnny average... all you will hear is he has magic... sounds like the same crap they were feeding you when they spoke about Tebow.. 

With Manziel lack of arm strength and size he will need to be more like drew brees type QB very accurate because NFL defenders wont let him lolly pop the ball into tight coverages ask Tebow..

Johnny average seem to struggle against good to great college defenses, Alabama was an exception.. wonder how it will be... when teams game plan for Johnny week in and week out... Funny those who do not know football only see and hear about Johnny average .. not knowing he is not even in the class of a Bridgewater or Carr ... people actually still think Tebow is still a great QB... lol marketing is a dangerous thing or it may be a blessing ... at least it exposes the stupid walking amongst us...

Aggie81
Aggie81

I'm not claiming any insight into him coming out or not; however, the facts are his draft stock has fallen late this season.  He still has 2 years of eligibility left, and he can graduate next January 2015 after the 2014 season.  There are several quality quarterbacks that have already declared for the 2014 draft that will be taken ahead of him.


The number one reason he will come back is Kyle Field will have completed Phase I of it's renovation and will open with a New playing field and larger intimidating crowd capacity.



slickwilly
slickwilly

He's going to be a bust in the NFL. No team should use higher than a 3rd round pick on him.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@friendly--neighborhood--scrawlerFunny post.   RG3 and JM are the same but they are different?  Except when he is like Tim Tebow?   JM struggled against good defenses except when he didn't?   FYI, lots of QBs struggle against good defenses - that is why those defenses are considered good.  When teams game plan for JM week in and week out?  You don't think that college teams do any game planning?   Not in the class of Bridgewater or Carr?   Given that they played completely different schedules, how can you justify that claim?   You wrote four paragraphs contradicting yourself, pretending to have some inside info, and writing stuff that you cannot back up with anything more than an opinion.

Lohikaarme
Lohikaarme

"I'm not claiming any insight into him coming out or not; ..."

I didn't know he was in the closet.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@slickwillyHow do you know this stuff?   Oh, and if he is going to be a bust, why would a team waste a third round pick?

tannybogus
tannybogus

@sdkstl:Duh! Of course.I thought something new had occurred. Couldn't figure out what Duke or aTm had done.