It wasn’t supposed to be such a great debut season for Texas A&M in the SEC, but Johnny Manziel is simply that good. Oklahoma always expect to win the conference and reach at least a BCS Bowl, but had to settle for a quality Cotton Bowl this time.
Two teams that are very similar when it comes to the numbers, but on somewhat of different paths. Texas A&M had a franchise changing season with Johnny Manziel winning the Heisman on his freshman season, as first-year head coach Kevin Sumlin guided the Aggies to a 10-2 record on their first year in the SEC. Oklahoma are saying goodbye to Landy Jones on his final game in College Football, finishing a season with a perfect away record and two surprising (at the time) losses in Norman, where they never lose to ranked teams.
Manziel was the sensation of College Football this year, becoming the first Freshman to win the Heisman trophy, passing for 3419 yards and 24 touchdowns while running for 1181 yards and 19 touchdowns. New record for total yards in the SEC (4600) and becoming he first freshman, first SEC player and fifth player overall to throw for 3,000 yards and run for 1,000 in a season.
Landry Jones threw for 3989 yards during the regular season and will end his career as the Big 12 career leader in passing yards. With 16,368 yards so far, he’s third all-time in College Football.
Both teams ranked in the top 10 this season when it came to offense, averaging over 40 points per game and over 500 total yards per game. The question will be the defense, and which one comes through. Oklahoma struggled this season when it faced elite defenses from Notre Dame and Kansas State, picking up their two losses this season. Texas A&M had trouble in their first game against Florida, but by the time they met Alabama, Manziel was much more comfortable with his role as Aggies quarterback, and shined with 253 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 92 yards in a 29-24 win.
Prediction – Oklahoma did beat high powered offenses this season, but had trouble stopping the scoring against Oklahoma State and West Virginia. Johnny Manziel is a different kind of beast, while A&M’s defense is probably better than Oklahoma’s. A&M should win the game after losing eight of their last nine to Oklahoma.