Posted: 2:52 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014
By By Suzanne Halliburton
ARLINGTON _ After nearly six weeks, game day finally is here. So let’s dust off some questions, keys to tonight’s Cotton Bowl matchup against Oklahoma. And later tonight, from Cowboys Stadium, we’ll answer how the Aggies responded to them.
Will rust confound Manziel?
Last time Johnny Manziel was in action, he threw for 372 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 67 with two scores. But he’s been on a Heisman whirlwind since his last performance, Nov. 24. The recent trend suggests Heisman tour doesn’t equate to Heisman rust. The last three Heisman winners were victorious in their bowl games, with two winning national titles. Overall, Heisman winners are 25-27 in bowl games. A&M is 0-1.
Manziel also will have to deal with a new play caller. With Kliff Kingsbury taking the head coaching job at Texas Tech, running backs coach Clarence McKinney will call plays against Oklahoma.
How will Damontre Moore respond in his final game as an Aggie?
Moore’s decision to skip his senior season and declare for the NFL draft wasn’t a surprise. The timing of his announcement was, since it came a day after A&M reported to Dallas for Cotton Bowl practices. The Aggies will need a focused Moore to help rush Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones.
Moore has had 80 tackles this year to lead the team. Linebacker Jonathan Stewart is second at 72, so Moore’s tackle lead seems safe. He’s had three games with double-digit tackles, but had only six total in the last two games of the season.
Offensive tackles Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews will make their pro decisions after the game. Deadline to petition for early entry to the draft is Jan. 15.
Jones is a fifth-year senior and is third in FBS history in passing yardage. The Aggies haven’t dealt with this sort of wide-open passing attack since Louisiana Tech and quarterback Colby Cameron.
Cameron completed 44 of 58 passes for 450 yards. Receiver Quinton Patton caught 21.
Jones threw for at least 300 yards in five of his last six games.