Chick-fil-A Bowl: Expect a Big Show from Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel vs. Duke

Barrett SalleeSEC Football Lead WriterDecember 30, 2013

Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel
Texas A&M QB Johnny ManzielDerick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

If New Year's Eve is Johnny Manziel's swan song in college football, he's going to need to go out with a bang.

The Aggies will take on Duke in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Tuesday night in Atlanta, with the possibility of Manziel—a redshirt sophomore—declaring for the NFL draft shortly after the game.

Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel
Texas A&M QB Johnny ManzielPaul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the uncertainty about his future, Manziel hasn't had much time to think about the decision to jump to the NFL.

"Nowhere even close, just where I was back in New York, back in Orlando," he said, according to quotes released by the Chick-fil-A Bowl. "I haven't had any more time with the Bowl practice we had at College Station. Didn't get a chance to really do much."

Don't tell's Gil Brandt that, because he reported on Monday that the Chick-fil-A Bowl will be the last college game for Manziel and Aggie wide receiver Mike Evans:

No surprise but Manziel and Evans will be playing final college games tomorrow, multiple sources tell me. #TAMUvsDUKE

— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) December 30, 2013

Let's be real, Manziel is as good as gone—and he has been for quite some time.

Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel
Texas A&M QB Johnny ManzielDenny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

As was the case during the season, he's going to have to do "Johnny Football things" to go out a winner.

Texas A&M's defense is a major liability, and it became an even bigger one during bowl prep when linebacker and co-leading tackler Darian Claiborne was suspended following an arrest on two drug possession charges, according to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN).

Not good news considering the Aggies posted the SEC's worst defense at 460.3 yards per game—33.1 yards per game more than 13th-place Kentucky.

Manziel puts up video game numbers because he has to, and he'll have to against the Blue Devils.

Duke head coach David Cutcliffe has long been considered an offensive genius and has led the program to previously unattainable heights. A 10-win program for the first time in history, Duke averaged 408.1 yards per game and features a balanced, up-tempo offense that puts stress on opposing defenses.

The combination of this likely being Manziel's last game with Texas A&M and the Aggies' inability to slow anyone down will create quite a show on New Year's Eve under the big top at the Georgia Dome.

The Blue Devils are giving up 233.2 yards per game through the air and an ACC-worst 47 pass plays of 20 or more yards. That sounds like a recipe for success for Manziel and Evans as they close the curtain on their respective careers.

It will be point-a-minute football in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, and Manziel will be leading the charge. He's made a habit of playing big in big games, and that shouldn't change on what's likely the final stage of his college career.