Cotton Bowl 2013: Texas A&M Will Beat Oklahoma in Epic Shootout
It's going to be a good old fashioned shootout when former Big 12 foes Texas A&M and Oklahoma take the field in the AT&T Cotton Bowl on Friday night.
Two of the most prolific offenses in the nation, led by two of the best quarterbacks in the country, will make defense an afterthought in what promises to be one of the most exciting bowl games of the season.
Led by Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, the Aggies score nearly 45 points per game and gain more than 550 yards per game. Not to be outdone, Landry Jones has led the Sooners offense to just under 41 points and nearly 507 yards of total offense per contest.
While Oklahoma has the better pass defense between the two teams, Manziel's ability to not only beat defenses through the air but on the ground as well will prove to be problematic for the Sooners.
It's worth noting that both of Oklahoma's losses this season came against teams that featured quarterbacks with similar dual-threat ability: Kansas State (Collin Klein) and Notre Dame (Everett Golson).
While the Sooners won eight of the last nine meetings between the schools before the Aggies left the Big 12 for the SEC, those games took place before either Manziel or head coach Kevin Sumlin was a part of the Aggies program.
This is a far different Texas A&M team than the one Oklahoma last faced.
Not only does Manziel have Oklahoma's documented struggles against dual-threat quarterbacks working in his favor, but recent Heisman Trophy winners have left a path of success in their wake, as pointed out by ESPN Stats and Info on Twitter:
Johnny Manziel plays 1st game since winning Heisman. Last 3 Heisman winners (Ingram, Cam, RG III) won their bowl gamees.pn/131smLO— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 4, 2013
If that wasn't enough pressure for the Aggies' redshirt freshman, consider this, also courtesy of the fine folks at ESPN Stats and Info:
Texas A&M plays tonight in Cotton Bowl. Lone Star State schools are 5-1 in bowls this season (TCU has lone loss) #dontmesswithTexas— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 4, 2013
Manziel has thrived in pressure situations all season long, none bigger than when he led his team into Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and beat the then undefeated, top-ranked Crimson Tide by a score of 29-24.
This game is going to see the lead change hands multiple times, and it very well might come down to a case of whichever team has the ball in its hands last wins.
Betting against Johnny Football is a foolish bet to make, as he's proven people wrong all season long.
He'll do it one more time against Jones and the Sooners on Friday night.
All stats courtesy of CFBStats.com.
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