Manziel’s on-field antics should be concerning… for Bama

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Much has been made over Johnny Manziel’s behavior on Saturday. Big surprise! Not enough is being made over his actual play on the field.

Johnny Manziel is by nature one of the most competitive players in college football. It has fueled him to historic success. For him to take the field Saturday after the off-season that he just had and not show passion, energy, even arrogance would be an immense concern to the Aggie faithful, because it would mean that Manziel was beaten down by the media over the last eight months. Instead, we know Manziel is back. Heisman Manziel. Defense-shredding Manziel. And this should be very concerning for Alabama in two weeks.

In the months that preceded kickoff, we all talked about how Saban had an unfair advantage of having a bye week the week before they rolled into College Station. That was before Alabama showed massive holes in their game on both sides of the ball against Virginia Tech.

Instead, it is Texas A&M that has the supreme advantage of having another tune-up prior to Alabama coming into town.

I’m not sure he needs it considering how in tune Manziel was with his playmakers on offense from the get-go on Saturday, but yet another game to work on timing with his offense is sure to help them on September 14th. Meanwhile, Alabama’s defense will have to go two weeks without getting game speed experience. That’s not a good formula for taking on the fast-paced Aggie offense. Jumping up on the Tide early like the Aggies did in 2012 all of a sudden isn’t out of the question.

Many critics say that they would rather have the mild-mannered AJ McCarron as their quarterback than the uncontrollable, yet talented Manziel, and I would say they’re crazy. This isn’t the NFL. This is college football, and right now, the playmaking quarterback is more important and more impactful than ever.

Related: Is Johnny Manziel college football’s villain?

Look at this past weekend. Who are the stars of the game this year? Tajh Boyd, Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, Braxton Miller, Marcus Mariota. Playmaking quarterbacks are now paired with elite offensive minds that are harnessing the raw talent and shattering offensive records.

It doesn’t matter if McCarron spent more time watching film than Manziel this offseason. What matters is Manziel’s instincts and his abilities that are on full display once he steps on the field. What matters is that Manziel has some outstanding weapons around him. What matters is that Kevin Sumlin is pretty damn good at putting this all together.

Nick Saban’s teams typically get better over the course of the season. His teams improve more than most do as a result of coaching and tweaking with each week during the fall. The Aggies welcome the Crimson Tide at just the right time. Alabama has plenty to fix on their team, and I’m not confident they’re going to be ready against Johnny Manziel.

Manziel is going to put up points against the Alabama defense. Can Alabama’s offense match the production against a Kyle Field fueled defense? We saw how crazy home crowds can fuel an average defense last Saturday night at Clemson.

A week ago, this game was going to be a Crimson Tide blow out. I assure you that we have a ball game now.

COMMENTS

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  • Kevin great point, let’s add the #12 quarterback in the nation total yards, from the #3 team in the nation total offense James Franklin / Missouri. And Wallace / Ole Miss plus Carta-Sam / Vanderbilt looked pretty good as well. All this parrot talk about McCarron, and Murray is tunnel vision.

    • Murray has already lead his team to a loss, McCarron to one of the lower scoring games of the past 15 games. Driskel still not scoring, Shaw and Shaw Shadow were not better than last year. On the other hand there are some quarterbacks in the SEC that are looking better in the brief 2013 eye test so far. Let’s see what happens this weekend, ie will Franklin do more against Toledo than Driskel.

  • I don’t like national championships either. I’ll take manzeil.

  • Alabama has massive holes on both sides of the ball? I enjoy bringing what little insight I have to this sight, but that was a little overboard. Sure, the offense has work to be done, and with that I agree. Is it fixable in a two week spam? It very well could be. But you mentioned that both sides of the ball had massive holes based off of the VT, meaning the defense looked weak as well. And with that, I have to disagree. VT had one big run that resulted in a TD. Outside of that one okay, the Hokies had 59 yards in the air, and 76 yards on the ground. Now with the rest of your article, I don’t really feel the need to argue. My opinion on the outcome will probably differ greatly from your own, and I think we can manage to deal with that. But to imply that the defense displayed massive holes based on one TD run is just too much.

    • Cap you’re a smart guy…you should have figured out by now that these guys go overboard with every Manziel article…I’m pretty sure they’re thinking of changing the name of the site to JFFDS.

      • Oh, JP. What are your thoughts on Richt?

      • kind of true Dawg! – unless they regard Manziels antics, SDS tends to go out of their way to exclude A&M articles – no feel good stories, no WOW, did you see what the backup QB did, no how can Bama beat A&M/how can A&M beat Bama – we are the new kid on the block and need to earn a mention on here unless its a Manziel bad being mentioned – Gig Em!~

  • 24 points against Rice. That’s not bad, but I’m not impressed. It’s Rice, not to mention the fact their defense gave them 31 points. Bama played ugly against Tech and still beat them by 25. What did Saban talk about after A-Day? The O-line. What was the problem Saturday? The O-line. Also, Bud Foster has never been a slouch on defense, and I frankly think this piece is just downright laughably dismissive of the lunch pail defense.

    Saban’s got two weeks to prep for A&M, and if he can tune up the line it’ll definitely help out the run and give McCarron more time to make better throws, and considering how poorly A&M’s defense was doing I still give Bama the edge.

    • What you forget is that at the beginning of the game A&M had 8 players suspended. 6 of them were STARTING linemen. What you saw was 8 A&M freshmen and 1 red shirt freshman getting experience. ALL 8 starting players will be back for the Alabama game. I think that will solidify the line for A&M. Heat could play a factor because down in Texas it’s still 100 degrees and their will be cramping! If Bama has an edge, it is a very very small one. I think it is going to be a nail biting close game – A&M was written off last year as an easy win by Bama and many other colleges. No matter what the ESPiN wants to report, those boys got something to prove this year and are willing to fight for it.

      • and Stacy you’re forgetting that those suspended players won’t be seeing a game speed offense UNTIL they see Alabama; you make a good point, that defense was awful with half it’s starters but I’d be hard pressed to say the Aggies have an edge. Let’s face it. yeah the defense was handicapped, but the offense (w/o Manziel) wasn’t didn’t have much impact against Rice, RICE!

        • I’m kind of confused… A&M scored 28 points on Rice with their back up QB in his first ever start. Double that production in the second half and you have 56 points… 4 points more than the final score amount. So if the offense scored more points wo Manziel then how did the offense (w/o Manziel) not have much impact against RICE!
          Also, Rice is a top 2 team in Conference USA… this is their best team in over 2 decades. They could get 10 wins this year with a bowl win. At one point, A&M fielded a defense that not a single player on the field had ever played in a collegiate game before and Rice’s entire offensive line consists 5th year seniors. 18 year old boys against 23 year old men. A&M will be fine.

    • Mr. Mattox is defending friggin’ Rice ?? I like where this is goin’…..lmao….T-minus 10 days, my friend.

    • I just want to stick some humor in here from last year. When the Kansas City Sports radio jockeys got their weekly letdown from the Kansas jay hawks vs. Rice last year. The comment from one was “Great, now Kansas is getting beat by a food product”. No wonder Kansas won’t take the Missouri challenge. In defense of Rice however, they executed well.

  • Alabama’s one game against a quality opponent in VaTech is much more useful than the two garbage games A&M has. The difference between facing VaTech’s defensive front versus A&M’s front is not big, but the difference between Sam Houston State and Alabama is very big so that’s a big jump for A&M to make in one week.
    I would also be very worried about how much points A&M gave up to Rice, but apparently Alabama giving up 10 points to VaTech represents a ‘massive hole’.
    I’m sick of articles like this trying to paint a picture that doesn’t exist. Saban and Alabama have earned respect but look how quickly it gets thrown aside when a flashy quarterback comes along.

    • I think the actual truth is that Alambama and A&M’s defense told us nothing about the match up between the two. A&M’s suspensions made it impossible to get a read on the defense and Bama playing in their first game should tell us nothing as well. Heck, we don’t even know how good Va Tech is either… or Rice. The A&M and Bama game will be interesting to watch. Bama is king until they are dethrowned… Aggies know this and respect their opponent. I’ll be there to watch.

      • Yeah, I think it’s a tough game to call and anything could happen, but I do think you can learn more about playing a team like VaTech as opposed to a couple of nobodies. We learned Alabama’s defense is still very stingy and forced a fifth-year senior QB (who is supposed to be drafted in the NFL) to have possibly his worst game ever. Also, I doubt Alabama’s second unit defense would allow 31 to Rice.

    • Before the season started, Alabama fans did not consider VaTech to be a “quality opponent”.. it was only after the game turned out to be closer than expected. Rice and Sam Houston are not “garbage” teams. Rice has a good chance of winning the AAC (for what that’s worth), and Sam Houston is ranked #4 in the FCS, and has played for the championship the last two years. They are not comparable to Alabama, but they are better than many people think.

      • Va Tech would hand either one of them (Rice or Sam Houston) their proverbial buttz………….BTW (BREAKING NEWS- Cameron Robinson #1 OT just announced he’s gonna be a Tider, too !!!.. and The Dynasty continues…………..

      • Are you joking?! FCS?! Really?! I’m glad you conducted a poll to see whether or not Bama fans thought VaTech was a quality opponent. Relative to A&M’s first two games, they are high quality. Also, since when is 35-10 a close game? How badly does Bama have to throttle opponents for it to be considered a good game?

  • This Ag has total respect for Alabama; the team, the program, and the history, but does not fear them or hold them in reverent awe. We’ve been playing football in Texas since the 1800s and have seen the pendulum swing a time or two; so please stop with this crap notion that Saban’s 10 months of preparation is any more valid than Sumlin’s. You can’t drag your your NC trophys out on the field with you; its our 11 against your 11 between the lines. There will be NO intimidation factor working for the Tide on Kyle Field.

    The Ag’s offense will score points; our offense is better than your defense.

    It will all come down to the Tide’s offense; if they try to sleep walk through this game like they did last Saturday, they’ll never catch us.

    If Ag’s defense plays with same lack of passion, this could be a 52-50 game…with the Ag’s winning of course.

    • Uh, yes, Saban’s unbelievable success does mean that we can safely give him more credit for being prepared than Sumlin. If you think Alabama’s three championships in four years makes for no intimidation then you’re just lying to yourself or extremely naive.
      It’s also a big jump to claim A&M’s offense is better than Bama’s defense. You think it’s possible to put up anywhere near 50 on Bama? Have you been watching college football for the past 4 years?

  • I hope Manziel gets pummeled by Alabama so he realizes his arrogance gets him nowhere.

  • I don’t have any issues with showboating and talking smack…think it part of the game….The true sign of issues to come was his his blatant DISS of Sumlin as he walked off the field. Thi Dude thinks he’s bigger than his Coaches, School, and now the NCAA.

    • But it’s their fault too…they have created this monster and now they have to deal with it…Sumlin let him get away with too much and now the NCAA is closing a case early with a laughable suspension instead of being thorough? They’ve took what his parents started and just made it worse. He seems destined to be a 30 for 30 episode one day but go ahead…please overhype this weekend’s performance too while other QBs are playing against real opponents.

    • DAWG! please read Sumlins own remarks! he aint gonna lie to you Dawg – you dont need to worry about Manziel until he starts taking apart your defense in Atlanta – that is, if you are gonna be good enough this year to be there – Gig Em!~

  • It’s one thing to taunt Rice. It’s a much different game when you taunt some of the nasty players in the SEC. Manziel better REALLY think hard about how he acts during those games or else he might end up signing autographs while holding the pen in his mouth.

    • I remember a former Alabama QB that talked every bit as much smack as JFF; but he delivered between the lines…Joe Willy.

      Would you guys please quit your self-righteous whining about JFFs personality and how intimately familiar you are with his insides; all based upon hype-generated crap reporting? Its getting creepy. If you hate him, keep it to your little girly selves please.

      Talk about his football; thats what really ticks you off isn’t it?

      • chastising Rice is what “ticks” me off…… class act right there. I just gave my tickets to College Station to some guy that left me a voicemail……..anyone know some guy named Karma ?

        • you sure it wasnt a bitch named kharma? cause thats who Bama is gonna find when they visit College Station on the 14th – Gig Em!~

        • your comments are duly noted….. as the follow-ups will be Sept. 15th…….. Go ahead- talk him up while you can !!!

      • The problem is, Willy, you can’t talk about JFF’s football playing without bringing in his personality. Why? Because HE is the one who intertwines his off-the-field antics with his play on the field. HE is the one who taunted a Rice player about not signing an autograph. HE is the one who rubbed his fingers together as if he was holding money. You see a pattern here? If JFF played for Texas, you’d think he was a douche too.

  • Did I miss something? Since when did A&M become the almighty powerhouse of the SEC?? They have a defense that gave up over 500 yards to RICE!!! And for the sake of us all, do not try and defend Rice and Sam Houston State. They are Rice and Sam Houston State. Nobody cares what they’re ranked in their divisions and conferences. Mainly because one is smaller than a high school, and one plays in a conference that has the intensity of a flag football game. In case nobody has informed A&M, defense wins championships. You should be able to look in the past and see that. Florida stopped Oklahoma’s powerhouse of an offense. Auburn held Oregon to 19 points. Bame shut down Texas, and only allowed LSU to cross the 50 once. That’s because of DEFENSE. Which is something that A&M doesn’t have. Yes, JFF is a very talented qb and leads a pretty elite offense. But until A&M develops a defense, the only time they’ll see atlanta is if they go on a field trip to the aquarium. And whoever thinks A&M’s offense is better than Bama’s defense has lost it. The day Bama gives up 50 points in one game, will be a day that Saban and Kirby are no longer there. 10 more days until manziel mania comes to a halt

    • Stop living in the past with your Defensive yip-yap. TAMU is MUCH better than we were last November on offense; MUCH. Your defense is maybe the same, maybe.
      Not saying we will score 50 pts, but we don’t need to against the offense I saw in Blacksburg last week. Our Offense will shred your defense. Any bets on how many faked injuries your defense will have in the 2nd half?
      The only way the Tide wins is if our defense, with its starters, is as bad as it was last Saturday.

      • Stop living in the past? Your close win in Tuscaloosa is all you TAMU fans talk about. Hell, it’s the only reason you’re even talking. Gag ‘em! (or whatever you guys like to say before you do your little spinning YMCA dance)

      • For one, you can clearly see the Gator logo beside my name. So “your” defense isn’t directed at me. Secondly, what offense did you see in Blacksburg last week considering the game was played in Atlanta? Your stupidity and ignorance just goes to show why nobody takes anything seriously you SEC newbies say. RTOTA just for next weekend

  • I Have to base my opinion on stats.With this being said I have to go with Alabama mainly because of Saban winning 6-1 in revenge games since with Alabama.He won 8-1 revenge games while with LSU.No smack from me just stats seem to win the most for me when betting keeping in mind the point spreads.My due respects to all others comments.

  • My prediction is that Manzeil leaves the game early due to injury. This is going to be a grudge match for the Alabama defense and that isn’t good news for A&M……

    • It bugs the hell out of me to here a ignorant A&M fan say that they beat us easily last year when everyone knows they jumped the gate early against a emotionally and physically drained Bama team coming off a very tuff win, and when we finally woke up we dominated them on both sides of the ball and do to, and I hate to say it, a few bad play calls on the 2 yard line gave the game away

  • Don’t understand the swipe at Georgia’s defense at the end of the article. The crowd noise did not help our ill prepared offense and inept play calling, but basically two missed tackles for big gains were the big mistakes for a defense with mostly TRUE FRESHMEN on the field. UGA beat themselves. Soon as the boy wonder gets hit in the mouth you will be able to hear a pin drop at Kyle field. My pick is Bama.