The No. 5 Missouri Tigers welcome Johnny Manziel and the No. 21 Texas A&M Aggies to Faurot Field Saturday with one thing in mind: a berth in the SEC Championship Game.
Missouri sits at 10-1 and 6-1 in the SEC East. Winners of three straight, the Tigers simply need to win to make it to the championship game. If they lose, they'll watch from home as the Gamecocks take their place, as South Carolina is the only team to best Missouri thus far.
Manziel and Co. look to change that and potentially record a second straight 10-win season with a bowl victory. There's nothing on the line for the Aggies—a 34-10 loss to then-ranked No. 22 LSU last week dropped Texas A&M to 8-3 and third in the SEC West.
Here is everything fans need to know about the upcoming SEC brawl.
When: Saturday, Nov. 30 at 7:45 p.m. ET
Where: Faurot Field, Columbia, Mo.
Live Stream: ESPN3
Betting Lines (via Vegas Insider)
- Over/Under: 66.5
- Spread: Missouri (-4.5)
Aggies Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Tra Carson||RB||11/25/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Missouri||Questionable||neck|
|Kirby Ennis||DT||10/02/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||knee|
|Cody Johnson||LB||11/24/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Missouri||Questionable||ankle|
|Kenneth Marshall||CB||11/09/2013||is out indefinitely||Out||legal|
|Ricky Seals-Jones||WR||09/19/2013||is expected to miss the remainder of the season||Out||knee|
Tigers Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Corbin Berkstresser||QB||10/30/2013||is out indefinitely||Out||knee|
|Marvin Foster||DT||11/04/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||biceps|
|Ernest Payton||CB||09/01/2013||is expected to miss the remainder of the season||Out||knee|
Can Johnny Manziel Bounce Back?
As is the case with any game this year for Texas A&M, the team's fate will be decided by the play of Manziel.
The star quarterback struggled against LSU last week and arguably had the worst game of his collegiate career, as ESPN points out:
Today was the 1st game in his career that Johnny Manziel did not complete at least 50% of his passes (39% today)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 24, 2013
But that's not all. To go with his horrible percentage in the 16-of-41 effort, Manziel threw for just 224 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
If Manziel is going to turn things around, he'll have to do so against an opportunistic defense. Missouri leads the SEC in sacks (35) and interceptions (18). The unit leads the nation with 41 straight games in which it has forced a turnover.
Manziel needs to be at his best on the road to close the season with a win.
Which team wins?
Not helping Manziel's cause is a porous Aggies defense that ranks No. 89 in the country, allowing an average of 31.2 points per game. Last week, LSU had no issue rolling up over 500 yards of total offense, 324 of which came on the ground.
That will help decide this one. The Tigers rank in the top 20 in the nation with 238 yards per game on the ground. It also helps that former Heisman candidate quarterback James Franklin is back under center.
Before the injury that cost him four games this year, Franklin threw for 250 yards and two touchdowns or more in four of six games.
Franklin will have no issue moving the ball against the Aggies defense. Manziel may return to form, but at least one mistake will prevent his team from keeping pace. The Tigers advance to the championship game.
Final Score: Tigers 40, Aggies 35