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Alabama gets Oregon preview facing Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M

November 09, 2012|By Dan Loumena
  • Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel evades the tackle attempt of Mississippi State's Cameron Lawrence in the Aggies' 38-13 SEC victory last week.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel evades the tackle attempt of… (Stacy Revere / Getty Images )

Alabama is No. 1 across the board when it comes to college football rankings, and rightfully so. The Crimson Tide certainly appears to be the best team in the nation with a dream matchup against the speedy Oregon Ducks in the BCS national title game a strong possibility.

That makes Alabama's game on Saturday against dynamic quarterback Johnny Manziel -- a.k.a. Johnny Football -- and No. 15 Texas A&M very intriguing.

Coming off a hard-fought, come-from-behind 21-17 victory over Southeastern Conference rival Louisiana State last week, many think the Tide could be primed for an upset. The Aggies have been very competitive facing ranked SEC opponents, losing to LSU, 24-19, and to Florida, 20-17.

Alabama will be put to the test by Manziel, a 6-foot, 200-pound redshirt freshman who has passed for 2,527 yards and 16 touchdowns and rushed for 922 yards and 15 touchdowns.

"They are one of the leading offenses in the country, certainly in our conference," Alabama Coach Nick Saban said of Texas A&M. "Johnny Manziel is a terrific player who can do a lot of things and he creates a lot of plays, extends a lot of plays. He’s a great scrambler, a very effective passer there in the spread, no huddle and going fast. He does a really good job of executing it."

The Aggies' up-tempo play and spread formations come close to resembling what the Ducks can do.

"They’ve got a really good offensive concept," Saban said of the Aggies. "They do a really good job of executing it. They’ve got balance, run and pass.

"They make a ton of big plays and it’s going to be important that we can get our players lined up and playing what they have to defend, which are quarterback scrambling, a very good passing game and ability to run the ball. There are a lot of keys, a lot of disciplined eye control in this game.”

The same can be said of playing Oregon.

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