David Paschall: Manziel is boggling the mind

David Paschall: Manziel is boggling the mind

October 18th, 2012 by David Paschall in Sports - Columns

Texas A&M Quarterback Johnny Manziel threw for 395 yards during an NCAA football game in Shreveport, La., Oct. 13, 2012.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

OTHER PICKS

Oregon 35, Arizona State 20

Clemson 31, Virginia Tech 28

Virginia 24, Wake Forest 22

N.C. State 19, Maryland 14

North Carolina 28, Duke 21

Florida State 27, Miami 13

Kansas St. 42, W. Virginia 35

Ohio State 33, Purdue 16

Notre Dame 30, BYU 19

Southern Cal 56, Colorado 7

Louisville 34, So. Florida 30

Oregon State 38, Utah 17

Oklahoma 40, Kansas 9

Rutgers 21, Temple 16

Cincinnati 27, Toledo 24

Michigan 26, Michigan St. 23

Boise State 52, UNLV 15

Texas A&M redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel isn't going to erase the one-year wonderment of former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, but his numbers have been better.

Manziel leads the SEC in total offense with 392.7 yards a game as the Aggies prepare to host LSU on Saturday, and his 112.7 rushing yards per contest tops the league as well. When Newton led the Tigers to the 2010 national championship, he averaged 309.1 yards of total offense and 105.2 rushing yards a game.

"He's a special kid in my view," said Arkansas coach John L. Smith, whose Razorbacks endured a 58-10 drubbing by the Aggies. "He has the unique ability to feel the pocket and the unique sense of when to step up and when to step out. He extends the play, and he can keep his eyes down the field and make big plays.

"If you pressure him and get him to move, that's not a good thing either, because in our situation we didn't have anybody who could catch him."

The only team to shut down Manziel has been Florida, and that was for a half. In rallying for a 20-17 victory Sept. 8, the Gators held Manziel to 32 passing yards and 19 rushing yards in the final 30 minutes.

"You can't let him have a lot of escape lanes," Florida coach Will Muschamp said. "You've got to make him sit in the pocket, because guys like him want to create some things with their legs."

Pasquali's Pix:

LSU at Texas A&M: Death Valley came alive last week, but will Tigers quarterback Zach Mettenberger ever play well on the road? Aggies 27, Tigers 24.

Auburn at Vanderbilt: With records of 5-7, 8-5, 14-0, 8-5 and 1-5, this will not go down as the most stable five-stretch run in Auburn history. Commodores 20, Tigers 16.

South Carolina at Florida: Steve Spurrier needs four more victories to become the winningest coach at both of these programs. Gators 17, Gamecocks 13.

Boston College at Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets must win four of their last six to extend their streak of 15 consecutive bowl trips. Yellow Jackets 32, Eagles 27.

MTSU at Mississippi State: Will these be the Blue Raiders who won at Georgia Tech or the ones who lost to visiting McNeese State? Bullies 33, Blue Raiders 22.

Samford at UTC: So this is what the Mocs would have looked like last year were it not for the botched fourth quarters. Mocs 27, Bulldogs 17.

Alabama at Tennessee: Not seeing many signs of the Volunteers embarking on another seven-game win streak in this series. Crimson Tide 38, Vols 16.

Georgia at Kentucky: The Wildcats led South Carolina by 10 points at halftime. If memory serves, the Bulldogs did not. Bulldogs 42, Wildcats 9.

Last week:

Winners.....................19

Bray tweets.................6

Pasquali is now 133-42 (76.0 percent) overall this season.