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

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Chick-fil-A Bowl: Expect a Big Show from Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel vs. Duke
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport
Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel

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.

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

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 NFL.com'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:

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

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

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.

How many total yards will Johnny Manziel have vs. Duke?

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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.

 

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