NCAA Prediction Bowl Game Preview/Pick- #24 Duke vs. #21 Texas A&M

blue devils

#24 Duke Blue Devils (10-3) vs. #21 Texas A&M Aggies (8-4) 12/31- 8:00PM EST




Line: TA&M -11.5

Over/Under- 75.0


In what is expected to be his final collegiate game, last year’s Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel will lead his #21 Aggies against this year’s surprise team, the #24 Duke Blue Devils in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.


The Blue Devils (10-3) will have yet another daunting task of trying to stop a great quarterback. In their ACC title game against No. 1 Florida State, they had this year’s Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston to contend with and lost the battle and game 45-7.


Now it’s Manziel who will provide another test.


When we found out our matchup, we were all pumped about it because it’s awesome to play against a guy that exciting and an offense that good,” Duke linebacker Kelby Brown said. “It’s a chance to make a statement for ourselves, and it’s just fun. It’s the nature of a competitor.”


Having already faced Winston, the Blue Devils can’t really take anything from that game to use against Manziel because they have different styles and run different offenses.


Duke linebacker David Helton, who led the ACC with 122 tackles says Winston and Manziel are “two different quarterbacks.”


Winston “is definitely a scrambler as well, but he’s not as much as a scrambler as Manziel is,” he added. “Manziel is built on scrambling. … He likes to sit back there and kind of make magic happen, whereas Winston is more a bigger guy and he likes to sit in the pocket a little more than Manziel does. Different mindsets for both of them.”


Manziel is expected to enter the NFL draft in April, but the redshirt freshman hasn’t reveled his plans.


I’m not going to reflect on that until it is his last day,” Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin said. “All I can tell you is what he has done for the university up to this point (is) well-documented. His numbers speak for themselves. He is without a doubt the most exciting player in America.”


Manziel was the first freshman to take home the Heisman last year, but this season came in fifth in the voting. He has been mostly unavailable for the media this year to avoid any distractions to his team.


Most thought Texas A&M (8-4) will contend for a national title, but went 0-4 against ranked opponents and are coming off back-to-back losses to LSU and Missouri.


If we can win this game, it’ll be the first time in the history of this program we’ve won three bowl games in a row,” Sumlin said.


Duke has had great year, setting a school record for wins, beat two Top 25 opponents, won their first Coastal Division title in the ACC and actually shut out Florida State for the first quarter before the Seminoles ran away with it.


Once you play against the best and you play against somebody else, you can look at it and say, ‘OK, we played against the best, so what (else) is there out there?” freshman cornerback DeVon Edwards said. “If we do good against them, we should do good against anybody.”


The Blue Devils are led by Anthony Boone, who lost his first career game as a starter in the ACC title game, and says trying to outplay Manziel “doesn’t win football games.


Guys like that are going to put up numbers. To try to go out there and compete with them is where I’ll try to do too much and mistakes will happen,” Boone said.


Boone had three turnovers against the Seminoles and a repeat performance will not bode well for their chances against the Aggies who can put points up behind Manziel, as the oddsmakers have made them a big (minus -11.5) point favorite on Tuesday night, but get the latest lines on the game up until kickoff right here at Wonder Punter.


The Blue Devils will be without their rushing leader Jela Duncan (562 yards), who was suspended for an undisclosed violation of its academic policy.


Texas A&M suspended standout freshman linebacker Darian Claiborne who is tied for the team lead with 89 tackles. He was arrested Sunday on two drug possession charges.


Duke will have a chip on their shoulder to prove to the critics they can play with the big boys, but Texas A&M has too many weapons to stay with and I predict the Aggies capturing their third straight bowl game and Manziel going out a winner.


Prediction/Pick: Texas A&M

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter


Auburn tops Mizzou in shootout, wins SEC title

Tre Mason Shines In Auburn Earn

ATLANTA – Tre Mason hit a pose – a Heisman Trophy pose.

There's something the Auburn Tigers running back wants even more compared to an individual award.

Mason rushed for 304 back yards and four touchdowns, leading Number 3 Auburn to a wild 59-42 victory over No . 5 Missouri in a Southeastern Conference title major Saturday that looked more like a game.

Auburn (12-1) is likely headed to the VIZIO BCS National Championship after Number 2 Ohio State lost in order to Michigan State 34-24 in the Large Ten championship game. The Tigers are likely headed to Pasadena to face top-ranked Florida State, which routed Fight it out 45-7 in the Atlantic Coast Tournament game.

"We won the SEC championship, inch receiver Sammie Coates said. "What else do you want us to do? inch

Added Builder: "We feel like we beat the very best teams… We feel like we are worthy of to be in the game. "

The Auburn players going off to watch the games that will decide their fate, the Ocean Coast Conference championship in Charlotte now, N. C., and the Big 10 title contest in Indianapolis. When Auburn misses out on the big sport, it will head to the Sugar Dish as the SEC champion.

Missouri (11-2) should be within the mix for a New Year's Day time bowl, with the Capital One, Natural cotton and Outback games among the probable destinations.

"We're playing our best football right now, inch said Auburn coach Gus Malzahn, making his pitch for a visit to Pasadena. "I don't know if every other team can say that. "

Auburn is certainly actively playing its best offensively. The Tigers set an SEC championship report with 677 yards, including 545 on the ground.

Builder had scoring runs of seven, 3 and 1 yards prior to bursting up the middle on a 13-yard TD that clinched the success with 4: 22 remaining. He or she carried the ball a staggering fouthy-six times, an easy choice as the game's MVP. He celebrated by smashing out the familiar Heisman pose, their longshot candidacy getting a huge improve.

"You're taking a look at one of the top running backs within college football, " Malzahn mentioned. "He was a warrior today. Incredible. "

Inside a game where neither team performed a lick of defense, Auburn finally stopped Missouri on fourth-and-1 deep in its own territory, creating Mason's final score. Chris Davis broke up the pass, not quite since thrilling as his 109-yard come back of a missed field goal in order to beat Alabama, but another massive play for the nation's biggest transformation team.

Auburn, which was 3-9 a year ago and did not win a game in the SEC, stated the title in its first season under Malzahn. The Tigers did not even need a dramatic finish to obtain, holding Missouri scoreless in the last quarter while Mason notched 2 more TDs to break open a game title that was close most of the way.

Missouri had its very own impressive bounce-back after struggling the first year in the SEC. Yet coach Gary Pinkel's team had been denied a quick championship in its brand new league after leaving the Big twelve, unable to slow – must much less stop – Auburn's dynamic criminal offense.

"There's a genuine frustration that comes over a person on defense when they're arriving after you over and over and over again, inch Pinkel said. "We had problems stopping it, obviously, and could not get it fixed. "

James Franklin passed with regard to 303 yards and three touchdowns, while Dorial Green-Beckham hauled within six passes for 144 back yards and a couple of scores. Missouri collected 534 yards – the groups combined for 1, 211 back yards in a conference supposedly known for protection – but it wasn't nearly sufficient against Auburn's hurry-up spread.

Coming into the game, Missouri was one of the top teams within the nation against the run and rated second in the SEC behind The state of alabama. The most yards they had given up on the earth was 184 the previous week within a victory over 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel and Tx A&M.

Builder had more yards than that will in the first half, putting up 195 by the time he trotted to the locker room and just 6 yards from the SEC championship game record. He or she broke the mark set simply by LSU's Justin Vincent in the year 2003 on the second play of the 2nd half – and kept directly on going from there.

"I've never had holes that will big to run through, " Builder said, crediting the guys in the ditches. "No one expected 300 back yards. I didn't expect it. inch

Quarterback Computer chip Marshall shook off two earlier fumbles, one of which Missouri came back for a touchdown.went for 101 yards and a landing and passed for 132 back yards and another score.

The lead changed fingers seven times. Missouri's last gasp was Franklin's 5-yard touchdown operate, followed by a two-point conversion, that will closed the gap to 45-42 heading to the final period. But Auburn dominated the final 15 minutes behind the particular play of Mason.

Late in the game, when Auburn had finally wrapped it up, Builder got a hug on the sideline through Auburn's greatest back, Bo Knutson.

"He's among the better players ever to wear a good Auburn helmet, " Malzahn stated, referring to Mason, not Bo.

"Thanks, coach, inch Mason said.

Information from The Associated Push was used in this report.

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