The highlight of the New Year’s Eve bowl schedule is the Chick-fil-A Bowl from the Georgia Dome I n Atlanta, GA featuring the 24th ranked Duke Blue Devils (10-3) and the 21st ranked Texas A&M Aggies (8-4) and 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. Manziel ranks 3rd among all FBS players in total offense with 368.2 yards per game, and may be playing in his final collegiate game. Duke lost to BCS #1 Florida St. in the ACC Championship Game 45-7, but the Blue Devils won 8 in a row to end the regular season including a 48-30 win in week 12 over then-23rd ranked Miami and a 13-10 win over then-14th ranked Virginia Tech. Texas A&M lost to the-5th ranked Missouri 28-21 to end the regular season, and the Aggies fell 34-10 at LSU the previous week to end the season on a 2 game losing streak.
The Blue Devils rank 68th nationally in total offense with 408.1 yards per game and 49th in scoring offense with 31.6 points per game. Quarterback Anthony Boone threw for 1,833 yards with 10 TDs and 11 INTs for the Blue Devils, Jela Duncan led the team in rushing with 562 yards (5.1 YPC) and 3 TDs. Wide receiver Jamison Crowder was a beast for the Blue Devils with 96 receptions for 1,197 yards and 7 TDs. Duke ranks 72nd nationally in total defense with 408.5 YPG allowed.
The Aggies rank 3rd nationally in total offense with 572.4 yards per game and 6th in scoring offense with 43.6 points per game. Manziel threw for 3,732 yards with 33 TDs and 13 INTs while running for 686 yards and 8 additional scores to lead the team in rushing as well. Mike Evans (65 receptions, 1,322 yards and 12 TDS) was Manziel’s top target and an All-American wide receiver, Derel Walker added 45 receptions for 705 yards and 4 TDs for A&M. The Aggie defense ranks 105th nationally in total defense with 460.3 YPG allowed and
Duke vs. Texas A&M Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Duke Blue Devils +11.5
@ Texas A&M Aggies -11.5
Over 75 (-110)
Under 75 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Duke vs Texas A&M Pick
The two teams are facing each other for the first time ever. Man for man, Texas A&M owns advantages across the board on both sides of the ball, and the Blue Devils showed against Florida St. that they have indeed been playing above their level of talent throughout the regular season. Duke does own two wins over top-25 teams, but Virginia Tech and Miami both proved by the end of the season to be very flawed teams. Texas A&M is a flawed team as well, as the Aggies have not stopped anyone on defense this season.
Duke should be able to put points on the board against the Aggies’ weak defense , especially against the run(108th nationally), but they will have a hard time slowing down one of the country’s most explosive offenses. Manziel and Evans, who could be playing his college game as well, will undoubtedly put on a show in their finale against a Duke defense that the current Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston lit up for 330 yards and 3 TDs. Johnny Football has had plenty of time off to rest an injured thumb that gave him problems toward the end of the season, and he should be up to the task of putting on a show in the controlled environment of the Georgia Dome. The Aggies are the call here with a fast track and the weather not a factor; these are two teams that should combine for plenty of points but A&M has played a much tougher schedule and should run through Duke very much the way Florida State did.