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Sneak Peek: 2013 Chick-fil-A Bowl

Johnny Manziel AP

WHO: 8-4 Texas A&M (SEC) vs. 10-3 Duke (ACC)

WHAT: Chick-fil-A Bowl (46th year)

WHERE: Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia

WHEN: Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. ET

WHY: A game that marks the first-ever meeting between the two football programs is rife with myriad storylines throughout.

On the one hand, you have the Blue Devils, who are looking to put a bow on top of a rather remarkable season.  Duke has won 10 games in a season for the first time in the school’s history, winning its first-ever ACC division title in the process.  Another first?  The Blue Devils are playing in a bowl game in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the school began playing football in 1922.  During the six seasons under David Cutcliffe, the Blue Devils have won 31 games; in the 16 seasons prior to Cutcliffe’s arrival, Duke won just 35 games.

Another subplot to the actual game is Johnny Manziel.  The odds are very good that Johnny Football will be playing his final game in an Aggies uniform, and the 2012 Heisman winner will, as always, be looking to go out in his own imitable style at the expense of the Blue Devils.  The Chick-fil-A Bowl could also mark the final collegiate game of Manziel’s top target, wide receiver Mike Evans.

At least statistically, this game is shaping up to be a shootout.  Neither team possesses a defense that finished in the Top 40 in scoring.  The Blue Devils, in particular, should be able to take advantage of an Aggies defense that given up an average of 30.9 points per game, a total that’s 88th in the country and 13th in the SEC ahead of only woeful Kentucky.  It remains to be seen, though, if Duke can keep pace with an Aggies offense that’s fifth in the nation with 43.6 points per game.  In the ACC title game, Duke allowed 45 points to a Florida State team that came into the game averaging 53 a game.

PREDICTION: Texas A&M 48, Duke 44

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4 Responses to “Sneak Peek: 2013 Chick-fil-A Bowl”
  1. classyjacklambert says: Dec 31, 2013 3:38 PM

    I would love to see a close game here and I’m partial to the ACC when choosing between these conferences but I think the A&M offense is going to run away with this one. I’m thinking 49-28 A&M with Manziel trying to put on one last show with Mike Evans.

  2. 8to80texansblog says: Dec 31, 2013 3:57 PM

    On paper the Aggies are the better team. Duke doesn’t really do anything exceptionally well. That said, games aren’t played on paper and Duke didn’t win 10 games by accident.

    If it does go to a shootout, I think the Aggies are very comfortable in that type of game.

    If Manziel’s hand is all healed up, he should have a whale of last collegiate game though.

    Gig ‘em Aggies! Beat the Hell Outta Duke!

  3. irishdodger says: Dec 31, 2013 4:10 PM

    I think the Aggies will beat Duke by one million two-hundred ninety-four thousand points.

  4. corndogbm199 says: Dec 31, 2013 6:38 PM

    Duke wins no defense for A&M

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