AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Texas A&M has flourished in a new offense, and quarterback Johnny Manziel has become an instant sensation.
The Auburn Tigers switched quarterbacks and offensive gears, too, with disastrous results.
The 22nd-ranked Aggies (5-2, 2-2 Southeastern Conference) land their high-flying offense in Auburn Saturday night against the Tigers, who haven't managed to take off even after eight weeks languishing on the runway.
The quarterback play pretty much sums up how things have gone for both teams. Manziel is only a redshirt freshman but already has a cool nickname, Johnny Football, and close to Cam Newton-like stats for the SEC's top offense.
"He's a young guy that really is very mature beyond his years," Auburn coach Gene Chizik said. "If you just watch his film, he's got really an uncanny ability to just get a feel for the game and the pass rush. He sees things and he's got just great vision for the field, and he extends plays. I've counted sometimes when he's stood back there for 10 seconds before he ever made a move. That's a long time for a quarterback.
"They help him a good bit with getting him in the right plays, which takes a lot off of a young quarterback. All those things combined, I think that's why you're seeing this offense being pretty high octane."
Auburn (1-6, 0-5) has turned to Clint Moseley at quarterback the past two games after Kiehl Frazier struggled with mistakes and sluggish decision-making for the league's worst offense. The results haven't changed much, and the Tigers are off to their worst start in six decades two years after Newton ran and passed them to a national title with a no-huddle offense.