NCAA Football Texas A&M Aggies

5 Things Johnny Manziel Must Do to Stay in Heisman Trophy Hunt

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Heisman Trophy Hunt: 5 Things Johnny Manziel Must Do

Johnny Football
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, or "Johnny Football," has gotten off to a tremendous start as he tries to repeat as the Heisman Trophy winner.

Manziel was terrific last season as he totaled both on the ground and through the air 3,846 yards, 47 touchdowns and only threw nine interceptions. He definitely deserved the Heisman last season, but this season he has tougher competition.

Three of Johnny Football’s biggest threats for the Heisman are Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd and Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

All three of them have gotten off to amazing starts this season. Mariota, Boyd and Bridgewater have combined for 30 touchdowns and only one interception.

Manziel has gotten off to a better start this season than he did last year because of his consistency.

Through three games last season, Johnny Football had posted very good numbers. He had totaled 12 touchdowns and zero interceptions.

However, against Florida, who went on to finish last season ranked 19th in the AP Top 25 Poll, Manziel totaled 233 yards and only one touchdown. This season, through two and a half games, he has been consistently very good.

Johnny Football has 12 touchdowns and three interceptions. Against top-ranked Alabama on Saturday, he gained 562 yards, scored five touchdowns passes and threw two interceptions.

There is an immense amount of pressure for Manziel to excel this season after a scrutinized offseason.

Johnny Football has to be the favorite right now heading into the fourth week of college football. He needs to do these five things to stay there.

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No. 5: Limit Turnovers

Johnny Football
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Manziel has already thrown three interceptions this season after throwing nine all of last season.

Manziel threw two interceptions against top-ranked Alabama on Saturday, who consistently have great defenses year after year.

The problem for Manziel is that the defenses are gameplanning to stop him. This means that defenses are having linebackers key in on stopping him if he decides to run with the ball instead of trying to stop running back Ben Malena.

Teams will slowly begin disguising their defenses to see if they can bait Manziel to throwing passes to "open" receivers. He needs to be careful that he makes the right decisions when he decides to drop back and pass to remain in the Heisman hunt.

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No. 4: Continue to Have Video Game-Like Performances

Johnny Football
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Manziel is coming off a great performance against top-ranked Alabama. He had more than 500 total yards, threw five touchdown passes and only had two interceptions.

Manziel already has 11 touchdowns and more than 1,000 total yards in two and a half games. He is performing so well right now that many fans cannot fathom putting up those numbers unless a person is playing as the Aggies in a video game.

The Heisman voters are always impressed when a player posts great numbers on a weekly basis. If Manziel can continue to put up video game-like performances, then he will remain in the Heisman hunt.

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No. 3: Finish Inside the Top 10 of AP Poll

Johnny Football
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Manziel has led the Aggies to a 2-1 start this season. The Aggies were ranked 10th in the latest AP Top 25 Poll.

Of the last 16 Heisman Trophy winners, 13 of them were on teams that finished inside the top 10 of the final AP rankings.

The Aggies will play two more teams that have a top-25 ranking, sixth-ranked LSU and 21st-ranked Ole Miss.

Those two games will determine if the Aggies will finish inside the top 10. If Manziel wants to remain in the Heisman hunt, then he needs to lead his team to a top-10 finish.

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No. 2: Stay Healthy

Johnny Football
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Manziel has played in every Aggies game of his collegiate career. Manziel’s playing style makes him an injury risk, though.

Whenever a receiver is not open on a pass play, Manziel typically takes off and runs with the ball. Sometimes he steps out of bounds and sometimes he tries to run over the potential tackler.

Manziel needs to be careful of how he scrambles because a defender could potentially hurt him. Many quarterbacks have sustained injuries doing similar plays to him.

If he wants to remain in the Heisman hunt, then he needs to make smart decisions when he is scrambling to avoid injuries.

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No. 1: Avoid Off-Field Incidents

Johnny Football
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Manziel was constantly in the news this offseason for the wrong reasons. The reasons include allegedly profiting off autographs and being escorted out of a fraternity party, among other things. Manziel needs to make smarter decisions off the field to avoid a potential suspension.

Teams have given players suspensions for things like drug use and curfew violations.

Aggies' head coach Kevin Sumlin should enforce tight measures against Manziel to make sure he is not violating any team or NCAA rules.

If Manziel can avoid any off-the-field incidents, then he should remain in the Heisman hunt.

Noah Weintraub is a Contributing Writer for Follow him on Twitter @NoahWeintraub, join his Facebook group, or add him to your network on Google.