The common theme among underdog bowl teams this season putting up numbers and pulling off major upsets against top-tier defenses is a dual-threat quarterback who can improvise and make plays both running and throwing.
If you look over the recent bowl upsets, namely Clemson and Louisville, both teams have quarterbacks who can put the screws to defenses on the ground and through the air, and they both thumped two of the top defenses in the country. Tajh Boyd torched LSU’s defense for 368 total yards and three touchdowns without committing a single turnover. In similar sense, Teddy Bridgewater carved up Florida’s defense for 266 yards and two touchdowns, while making a couple timely runs for first downs. Boyd and Bridgewater can both move around the pocket with their feet and make defenses respect their legs with timely runs.
Similarly, Taylor Martinez led Nebraska’s offense in a losing effort against Georgia that totaled 443 yards and 31 points, and the running ability of Northwestern’s Kain Colter gave Mississippi State all kinds of problems. While neither Georgia nor MSU was elite on defense in ‘12, both quarterbacks still made impacts because of their diverse athletic ability.
Five-week layoffs don’t bode well for high-octane offenses, or so you would think. But a dual-threat quarterback and his ability to improvise bodes well for an offense. Sometimes offenses do struggle after long layoffs, but a dynamic quarterback can kick start the offense in a major way.
And there is no better dual-threat quarterback in the country than Johnny Manziel, who just happens to have a Cotton Bowl bout tomorrow night against a legitimate Oklahoma defense.
Manziel averages 383.3 yards of total offense per game, and Oklahoma’s top 25 defense will have to play their best game of the season to keep the Aggies’ offense from putting up crooked offensive numbers.
Slippery Johnny will try and replicate the acts of Boyd and Bridgewater against Oklahoma. OU has lost their only two games to dual-threat quarterbacks Everett Golson and Collin Klein.
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