Has there ever been a pro day that could rival the magnitude of the one put on yesterday at Texas A&M? Quarterback Johnny Manziel wowed everyone who attended his workout, which he used to showcase the brand new Johnny Manziel Pro Day Collection from Nike. Former President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush observed from a golf cart. LeBron James tweeted about his Burger King commercial and Nike buddy as well. As most who have been watching college football have come to know, if Manziel is on a field tossing footballs, the world will take notice.
But now, a day after all of the hype and mass coverage, can we try to come to grips and focus on what yesterday’s pro day workout really means? Was it enough to make Manziel a clear number one draft pick, or is he down the list among some other potential quarterback options in the 2014 NFL Draft, such as UCF’s Blake Bortles or Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater or Fresno State’s Derek Carr?
Paul Burmeister of the NFL Network was a guest on The Dan Patrick Show to talk about what NFL scouts look for when they attend a college quarterback’s Pro Day, and he had some positive things to say about what he saw out of Manziel on Thursday.
“I think he surprised a lot of us by not just being the most creative quarterback in this class, I think he’s the most gifted passer as well,” Burmeister said. “You can see accuracy on film, and accuracy that is much more meaningful on Saturday. That’s not what this was about. He was making every kind of throw… This isn’t because he completed a lot of passes against air, it’s because he showed off all kinds of natural passing ability.”
You can listen to the full interview and hear more of Burmeister’s thoughts about Manziel below.
If this is the last game Randy Edsall coaches at Maryland, at least he is making it count. Maryland may be down at the half, but the overmatched Terrapins are giving No. 1 Ohio State all it can handle it would seem. Ohio State holds a 21-14 lead on Maryland at the half, with big plays being the key.
Maryland struck first when Perry Hills connected to an open D.J. Moore down the middle of the field for a 52-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead. Ohio State would battle back, switching up the quarterbacks between Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett along the way. The Buckeyes ripped off three touchdowns, with Barrett and Ezekiel Elliott each running for one and Jones throwing for the third, to Braxton Miller. Up 21-7, all seemed to return to normal for the Buckeyes, but Maryland cut the lead to seven late in the first half.
Hills broke free for a 75-yard run from the Maryland 22-yard line all the way down to the Ohio State three, and he finsihed off the quick touchdown on the next play with a short touchdown run. So Maryland continues to linger, which appears to be a theme with Ohio State’s opponents this season.
Jones has completed 15 of 20 pass attempts for 195 yards and a touchdown for Ohio State. Barrett attempted just one pass, which was good for a 20-yard gain. Elliott has just 25 rushing yards on 11 attempts at the half.
Nobody could have seen this coming, even after throwing out the records. A week after being ambushed by TCU, Charlie Strong and his Texas Longhorns looked like a completely different team in the first quarter against No. 10 Oklahoma in the old Cotton Bowl. Texas holds a surprising 14-3 lead at the half.
Jerrod Heard completed a 24-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Johnson midway through the first quarter. The Longhorns made it 14-0 when a break went their way. Lorenzo Joe recovered a fumble in the end zone for a score to make it 14-0 after Oklahoma had fumbled away the ensuing kickoff after the first score.
Texas outgained Oklahoma in the first quarter, 133 yards to just 15, and at the half (169 yards to just 85). Oklahoma went three-and-out on each of its two drives, and the Sooners had to punt four times before being able to put a dent on the scoreboard with a short 21-yard field goal by Austin Seibert after a 12-play drive stalled at the Texas four-yard line. Meanwhile, Texas was building a double-digit lead.
Without a doubt, the first half of this game was the best half we have seen from Texas in a while. Can they keep it going and score what would be a significant upset to get our day started?