- Sam Khan Jr., ESPN Staff Writer
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Texas A&M 31, Florida 28
I truly believe this is a toss-up game, but I'll pick the Aggies since they're at home in the friendly confines of Kyle Field. Florida's defense is fast and athletic and will pose a challenge for Texas A&M's offense, but I think the Aggies will ride the wave of emotion that will be overflowing on Saturday. The coaches, players and fans have long awaited this day, the Aggies' first game as Southeastern Conference members. The players feel like they have something to prove and while there will be some kinks to work out, I think Texas A&M's new up-tempo, wide-open offense will be effective considering the offensive line and skill players they have returning. New starting quarterback Johnny Manziel, the redshirt freshman, won't be afraid of the moment.
Player to watch: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
Kevin Sumlin and Kliff Kingsbury's offense relies on the quarterback getting the ball to its playmakers and not necessarily doing everything. Manziel has plenty of weapons at his disposal, including senior receivers Ryan Swope and Uzoma Nwachukwu and running backs Christine Michael, Ben Malena and Trey Williams. The offensive line is the strength of the team and should do a solid job of protecting him. But the thing about Manziel, is when a play breaks down, he has the ability to make something special happen. When he gets out of the pocket, he's dangerous with his feet. Whether Manziel, who is making his collegiate debut, can handle the pressure and play an effective, efficient game, will go a long way in determining the outcome on Saturday.
15hSharon Katz, ESPN Stats & Information
2dEdward Aschoff and Greg Ostendorf