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Oklahoma football: Texas A&M shattered myth that SEC defenses swallow Big 12 offenses

COMMENTARY — Oklahoma and the rest of the conference can take pride that Texas A&M shattered the myth that Big 12 offenses can't produce against SEC defenses. Trouble is the Sooners now have to contend with that Aggie attack.
by Berry Tramel Published: January 2, 2013

“We've watched a lot of SEC football, and there's not a lot of people challenging people in the back end in that league and making ‘em defend the whole field,” Norvell said. “There's a lot of guys playing close to the vest and trying to win on defense. There's nothing wrong with that.

“But we've found a different way to get first downs and make touchdowns. It's something we believe in.”

A&M, too. With quarterback Johnny Manziel running a spread offense, the Aggies took the SEC by storm. Manziel won the Heisman Trophy.

“We have a lot of talented offenses in our league and a lot of good quarterback play,” Norvell said. “That allows the teams to play the style of offense that we play. I'm not saying the SEC doesn't have that type of quarterback, but it doesn't seem they're exploiting that position as much in their league as we are in ours.”

The Aggies certainly exploited their quarterback talent. Manziel, a redshirt freshman who didn't even win the A&M job until mid-August, set the SEC total offense record.

“I was proud to see them go do that, their style of offense compete against those defenses and do well,” said OU defensive tackle Jamarkus McFarland. “Here is our opportunity to show that our defenses can do well against offenses. We can show up, stand up, like some of those other teams haven't. This is our opportunity to showcase Big 12 defenses as well as Oklahoma's defense.”

Won't be anything easy about showcasing the OU defense. The Sooner D got an unlucky draw. A Cotton Bowl matchup against an SEC team that features a Big 12 offense. But that's the price to be paid for the validation brought by the Aggies.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at