What to Expect from Johnny Manziel During Texas A&M vs. Arkansas

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistSeptember 28, 2013

Sep 21, 2013; College Station, TX, USA; Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) against the SMU Mustangs in the second half at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

To put into perspective how good Johnny Manziel's start to the 2013-14 season has been, if he were in an NFL fantasy football standard-scoring league, he would be averaging 33.1 points per game. 

Not too shabby, eh?

Now, he and his high-flying Texas A&M offense will travel to Razorback Stadium to take on Arkansas. So what can we expect from Johnny Football in this contest?

First, let's take a look at his numbers thus far in 2013:

Now, let's take a look at the per-game averages of quarterbacks against Arkansas:

It should be noted, however, that Rutgers' Gary Nova torched the Razorbacks through the air, throwing for 346 yards and three touchdowns in the Scarlet Knights' 28-24 win. If Nova can do that to Arkansas, what might Manziel have in store for them?

One of Arkansas strengths this year—a fearsome pass rush that has resulted in 14 sacks, fifth in the nation—could work against them when facing Manziel. The last thing Arkansas will want is Manziel breaking the pocket and running amok, meaning the Razorback defense may look to play contain with its rush and instead spy Manziel. 

In turn, that could give the Aggie quarterback time to look downfield and take shots with a variety of weapons to choose from, including Mike Evans (22 receptions for 575 yards and three touchdowns). 

The best weapon for Arkansas against Manziel might be its offense. If the nation's fifth-leading rusher, Alex Collins (481 yards, two touchdowns), can grind out tough yards and run the clock, Arkansas can play ball control and try to limit the touches for the Texas A&M offense. 

Of course, Manziel and company are always a threat to break off a big play, but winning the time of possession battle will be a key for the Razorbacks. 

Anyway you slice it, it's hard to see Arkansas limiting Manziel's production too much in this game. They have the advantage being at home, and if they run the ball successfully they should be able to keep the ball out of Johnny Football's hands for large chunks of the game. 

But even then, Manziel has been so good this year—and pretty darn efficient as well—that it's hard to imagine Arkansas slowing him down. Look for Manziel to accumulate 400 total yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns in this one, with Texas A&M winning, 38-21. 


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