OU opponent watch: Taking a quick look at Texas A&M’s season
OU faces Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl on January 4. Here’s a quick look at the Aggies:
Conference - SEC
Record – 10-2 overall, 6-2 in the SEC
Best win – 29-24 at Alabama
Most would consider this college football’s best win from the 2012 season. Johnny Manziel and the Aggies strutted into Tuscaloosa and slayed the sport’s Goliath (or so many believe) in their house. It was a masterful performance, particularly from Manziel, who likely clinched the Heisman (as a redshirt freshman) with this stunning result.
Worst loss – 20-17 to Florida
Similar to the Sooners, there’s not a bad one in this category. The Aggies have two home losses, both to top-10 teams (sound familiar OU fans?), by a combined eight points. They lost to Florida in the opener and LSU in midseason. That means, of the four combined Cotton Bowl losses, none came outside the BCS’ top-8 (#1 Notre Dame, #3 Florida, #6 K-State and #8 LSU).
The Aggies’ first season in the SEC was better than any they’ve had the past decade in Big 12 country. Which is crazy, all things considered. But the A&M program is clearly on the rise, with first year coach Kevin Sumlin bringing an explosive offensive attack and Manziel in the fold for at least another year (likely more). With a win in the Cotton Bowl, A&M would have its first 11-win season since 1998.
Best (non-Johnny Football) player – WR Mike Evans
Often overshadowed by Manziel’s theatrics (like everyone else in College Station), Mike Evans has put together a spectacular freshman season of his own. Among first-year wideouts across the country, he’s third in receptions (75) and second in receiving yards (1,022). For perspective, Kenny Stills leads OU with 75 receptions for 892 yards.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has 1,181 rushing yards and 19 rushing touchdowns this season. That’s 276 more yards and eight more touchdowns than Damien Williams, OU’s starting running back who leads the team in both categories.
Texas A&M is currently a 4.5-point favorite over OU. That’s about what was expected, especially considering the SEC’s reputation among the general public. All nine teams from the conference are favored in their bowl games.
The song matches the scramble. Johnny Football meet Johnny B. Goode.
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