To say I’m excited about the Cotton Bowl tonight is an understatement. I even sported my new Johnny Manziel jersey at work to several meetings this morning. What’s my prediction for tonight?
Texas A&M will beat Oklahoma in a shootout, 41-34. Here are three keys to the game:
- Heisman jinx or jolt? You hear a lot about the Heisman jinx–that the Heisman winner plays poorly in his bowl game. But the last 3 Heisman winners have won their bowl game. Look for Johnny Manziel to continue this streak by shredding a porous defense that’s given up more than 500 yards of offense in 2 out of its last 3 games.
- Turnover battle – High scoring matchups often hinge on who wins the turnover battle. When both teams’ defenses have trouble stopping the other squad, sometimes the game depends on which team stops themselves. Over his career, Landry Jones has been interception-prone, especially when under pressure. If the Aggies can’t stop the Sooners defensively, they’ll benefit if the Sooners derail themselves with turnovers.
- Running game – While everyone has keyed on the passing duel between a Heisman winner and a Big 12 record setter, the running game could be a decisive factor in the contest. Opposing teams have gashed OU’s run defense, to the tune of 900+ yards in the last three games. If the Ags can find success toting the football while keeping the Sooners one dimensional, then they will cruise to victory.
If the Aggies pull off the victory, they’ll finish with 11 wins and a top 10 ranking for the first time in over a decade. It would poise them for a possible national championship run behind returning Heisman quarterback Johnny Manziel next season.
It’s cotton-picking time!