When the No. 21 Texas A&M Aggies (8-4, 4-4 SEC) square off against the No. 24 Duke Blue Devils (10-3, 6-2 ACC) in the 2013 Chick-fil-A Bowl on Tuesday, the battle for supremacy will be fierce.
Texas A&M has lost two straight games heading into this bowl matchup and is looking to find redemption. Losing to SEC juggernauts like LSU and Missouri is nothing to be ashamed about, but the Aggies have not found enough consistency on defense to be a viable championship contender.
Duke was destroyed by the Florida State Seminoles in the ACC Championship Game, and the program will be looking to bounce back against a struggling Texas A&M program. The ensuing battle should be one for college football fans to thoroughly enjoy.
Here are all the details for Tuesday’s bowl game, betting information, injury updates and a full prediction.
When: Tuesday, Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. ET
Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Ga.
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Betting Lines (via Vegas Insider)
Spread: Texas A&M (-11.5)
Duke Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Full Duke Injury Report|
|Michael Mann||DE||Questionable||Upper Body|
|Eric Adams||RB||Questionable||Upper Body|
|Britton Grier||LB||Out||Upper body|
|Source: USA Today|
Texas A&M Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Full Texas A&M Injury Report|
|Source: USA Today|
How Will Johnny Manziel React?
Sophomore quarterback Johnny Manziel may enter the NFL draft this offseason, and his announcement is expected before the matchup with Duke, according to head coach Kevin Sumlin on ESPN Radio.
If Tuesday really is Manziel’s last college football game, how he performs will be under intense scrutiny.
He is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation and leads Texas A&M in passing and rushing. While he was unable to repeat his performance as a Heisman Trophy winner, his 3,732 yards and 33 touchdowns through the air and 686 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground in 2013 are still incredible.
The Blue Devils have been stingy on defense, allowing only 24.7 points per game, but the program proved against the Seminoles that the defensive unit is susceptible to the play of dual-threat quarterbacks.
If Johnny Football is leaving for the NFL, he’s going out with a bang.
As much as Duke deserves credit for a defense that has masked the offensive deficiencies of a rebuilding program, the Aggies offense led by Manziel is one of the most dangerous in the country.
Texas A&M averages 350.9 yards passing per game and has shown consistency through the air. Johnny Football has become known for his scrambling, but his pass-first mentality is at the root of the Aggies’ success on offense.
The program also amasses a respectable average of 187.3 rushing yards per game, but with more defenses focusing on Manziel’s mobility by assigning a defender to spy him, that game plan will open up the Blue Devils to concede big plays in the secondary.
Add in Duke’s inability to find consistent success in running or passing the ball, and the Aggies will rack up enough points to secure a monumental victory for the program and for Manziel’s confidence if he decides to enter the NFL draft.
Final Score: Texas A&M 44, Duke 24
*All stats via CFBStats.com.