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The Numbers Game - Johnny Manziel

The Numbers Game takes a look at Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel

Johnny Football has been a force to be reckoned with this year. As a quarterback, he leads the SEC in rushing. He is third is passing. He broke the league's single game total yardage mark earlier this year vs. Arkansas, then he broke his own record against Louisiana Tech. As only a freshman, he is putting Texas A&M's offense on his back and that has worked pretty well - they are scoring over 45 points per game.

Here is how Manziel has performed in each game this year...

Game Rushing Yards Passing Yards W or L
Florida 60 173 L
SMU 124 294 W
S.C. St. 78 174 W
ARK 104 453 W
MISS 129 191 W
LA Tech 181 395 W
LSU 27 276 L
Auburn 90 260 W

Those are some big time numbers. But notice how his rushing numbers were down in the two loses. In those two games, A&M had 134 rushing yards as a team in each. In every other game they had at least 218. Key for the Bulldogs' defense: stop the run, contain Manziel.

LSU ranks 3rd in the nation in total defense and Florida 6th, so there's a good reason why Manziel struggled more in those games. Here are the defenses he faced in the wins...

Team Rank
SMU 65
ARK 88
LA Tech 122


Against the five FBS teams A&M has beaten, Manziel has averaged 125.6 rushing and 318.6 passing. The average rank of those defenses was 84th.

Against the two teams A&M has lost to, Manziel has averaged 43.5 rushing and 224.5 passing. The average rank of those defenses was 4.5.

Mississippi State's defense is ranked 28th. So they are closer to Florida and LSU than the other teams, and the game is at MSU.

But while Manziel did struggle against those elite defenses, the Aggies barely lost those games. So can MSU's offense make up the difference? They are ranked 67th. LSU's offense is 74th and Florida's is 102nd.

Looks like a good matchup.