Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/9/13
There is no doubt about it, Johnny Manziel is the backbone of Texas A&M’s team. Struggling on the defensive front, fans worry that if Manziel goes down their season is over. What would happen if Johnny Football couldn’t step on the field? We have seen it happen before. Football programs crumble due to their star player being benched, or even injured. He hasn’t been hurt, but we have seen Manziel burned by the NCAA at the beginning of the season. When that happened, the offense struggled. The defense couldn’t make stops due to suspensions, and the offense had a hard time making plays while their star player sat on the sidelines. Could TAMU survive if that was to happen against a true SEC opponent? Manziel is a wildcard in my book. He is an outstanding player with a calculated unpredictability about him that stuns. If he isn’t launching the ball into heavily defended territory, he is narrowly dodging defenders while scrambling for yards. Can backup quarterbacks Matt Joeckel and Kenny Hill hang with Manziel? Mark J. Regilas /USpresswire Matt Joeckel hadn’t really seen much playing time since he became an Aggie. He was red shirted in 2010, and didn’t see any action his freshman season. In 2012 he played five games at quarterback, and made 5-of-11 passes for 42 yards. His longest pass last season was a 15 yard pass against Arkansas. However, this season he has had more time to gain experience. He’s completed 18-of-28 passes for 253 yards. Those numbers dwarf his last season completely. Seeing as we’ve only played five games this season, I believe he will only get better. True freshman Kenny Hill is young but shows potential. He has completed 6-of-11 passes for 83 yards this season. He may be young, but after gaining some experience and potentially learning some of Manziel’s insane plays he could do well. While Joeckel has some experience, nothing really matches the magic of Manziel. He is a play-maker that strikes fear in any opponent when he steps on the field. I believe while the defense has made some improvements, it needs to really make strides to keep Manziel protected.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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