Now that we know Oregon’s shot at a national championship will be settled on the field – not around some table – here’s one to think about: the battle of the quarterbacks that EVERYONE wants to see, with the BCS Championship on the line.
Aggie quarterback (and former Duck commit) Johnny Manziel proved himself and his team last season like no player or team has done before. As a freshman, Manziel won the Heisman Trophy and led his team to an upset over defending National Champion Alabama during A & M’s first year in the SEC. Now a sophomore, Manziel has a better idea of how his offense works, and with better receivers he is likely to throw for even more yards than last season (3,706).
Johnny’s passing rating wasn’t quite as good as Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, although not having the likes of Kenjon Barner and De’Anthony Thomas to hand off to, he did run for more yards. The Aggies are supposed to be stronger at running back this year, partly due to the addition of Tra Carson, formerly #3 on the Ducks’ depth chart.
However, with rebuilding needed on the D-line and only one returning linebacker, the Aggies’ defense looks a little shaky. The good news is they return three starters in their secondary. The bad news: they were third worst in the SEC for pass defense last year. Without a stellar defense, it will be tough for Texas A&M to hold down opponents, especially if their opponent ends up being Oregon. The Ducks’ offense is clearly its strong suit and if this matchup happens, the Aggies’ defense is in for a looooong day.
Prediction: Johnny stands on the sidelines in the fourth quarter wondering if he could have beaten out Marcus had he become a Duck. Oregon 52, A & M 41.