Opponent film review: Texas A&M 

January, 2, 2013
Oklahoma will face one of its biggest tests of the season when the Sooners battle Texas A&M in the AT&T Cotton Bowl at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas on Friday night. The Aggies feature Johnny Manziel, the Heisman Trophy winner, along with Damontre Moore, one of the top prospects for the 2013 NFL draft, and one of the nation's top offensive lines. Beating the Aggies won't be easy but it's not impossible, particularly with Sooners quarterback Landry Jones and their explosive passing offense. SoonerNation reviewed Texas A&M's biggest win of the year, a 29-24 win over BCS title contender Alabama. Here are three things to keep an eye on during the Cotton Bowl.
Slowing down Johnny Football

[+] EnlargeJohnny Manziel
Thomas Campbell/US PresswireCan the Sooners contain Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel?
Manziel presents all kinds of different problems for a defense. As a terrific runner and passer, he’s a “pick your poison”-type of threat. The Aggies don’t hesitate to spread the defense with four receivers then run the Heisman Trophy winner right up the middle. He’s a slashing, quick runner with good vision. It will be difficult to spy him and expect one defender to corral him every time.

When he drops back to pass presents even more problems. While he can keep you honest with his arm, OU coach Bob Stoops was on the money when he said “Sometimes the worst thing you can do is cover everybody,” when talking of Manziel. The Aggie quarterback is, by far, the most dangerous when a play breaks down or all his receivers are covered. Yet, a spy system would be tough to expect a defender to win consistently. Hence, the dilemma.

OU’s best bet could be trying to force Manziel to beat them with the pass. Put Demontre Hurst and Aaron Colvin on islands in man coverage then design a defense with the remaining defenders. Don’t be surprised if the Sooners lean toward coverage, reading their keys and don’t blitz a lot.

Dealing with Damontre

The Sooners offensive line against Moore and the Aggie front four could be the key to the game. Texas A&M tends to count on its front four to create havoc. That's good news for the Sooners who should like their matchups with Jones and the Sooners four receiver package against the Aggies secondary.

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