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Johnny Manziel Sits at Helm of Heisman Trophy Race After Saturday





Throughout Saturday’s 51-41 Texas A&M victory over Mississippi State, it often appeared that Johnny Manziel was teetering on the edge of danger, before he would suddenly snap back into superman form and make the improbable happen. Of course, this has been a staple of not only Manziel’s 2013 season, but the whole of his two-year reign as the King of college football. Furthermore, this knack to show up when things count the most has placed him at the forefront of the Heisman Trophy race for a second-consecutive season.

On the entirety of Saturday afternoon, Manziel completed 30-of-39 passes for 446 yards, five touchdowns, three interceptions and 47 more yards rushing the football. While on the surface of things, three turnovers will not look very good, but it certainly did not tell the true tale of the impact that Manziel had on Texas A&M.

Throughout the game — and subsequently the entire season — there has not been a single player in college football who has had as big of an impact on his team’s fortune as Manziel. On Saturday, this impact was exemplified by the quarterback picking up 493 of his team’s 537 total yards via the passing and running game.

For the larger scope of Texas A&M’s 10 games, Manziel has thrown for 3,313 yards, 31 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, a 73 completion percentage and 611 more yards and eight more touchdowns rushing the ball. To put this into perspective, 61.9 percent of the team’s touchdowns and 67.6 percent of their total offense this season has come via their quarterback either running or throwing the ball.

Upon looking at these numbers, it would be an understatement to say that Manziel has been a focal point of his team’s offense because without him, their would be no offense. This does not mean that teammates such as wide receiver Mike Evans are not talented, but it is simply an acknowledgement of the fact that the man known as Johnny Football is the most valuable player of any sporting team in the world.

Some will certainly attempt to point out the exploits of Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston as players who have had an equal impact to Manziel, but upon an examination of the real impact that each has on their offense, it is easy to see that this is simply not true. Furthermore. both of the two play on team’s that have great defenses — Oregon and Florida State each rank in the top 12 in the nation in points allowed — while Texas A&M has allowed the 80th-most points in the league.

While these statistical factors are certainly impressive — and in fact, mind blowing — they will not win Johnny Manziel the Heisman Trophy Award in 2013 by themselves. What will do this is that he accompanies his play with such a swagger and wow factor that you either love or hate the guy, and furthermore can’t change the channel if your life counted on it.

And come this December, your eyes will again be glued to the television as Johnny Football accepts the award as college football’s best player, even if you rip your hair out in anger during the process.

Tyler Leli is a Washington Capitals writer for Rant Sports.  Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook or join his network on Google.

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