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Why This Won’t Be a McCarron vs Manziel Duel

If this were just a duel between quarterbacks alone, there would be no doubt of the outcome

Why This Won’t Be a McCarron vs Manziel Duel

By Larry Burton

Alabama is going to win this game this Saturday. Alabama simply has a better team overall, more depth, more top players and better coaching. But one of the biggest reasons is that the game could come down to a McCarron vs Manziel duel. Not that McCarron will have to throw for more yards, or more touchdown passes than Manziel, though that would help. The duel will be who can keep their cool, do what they need to do, and help their team mates be in position to do their jobs better.

Manziel just can’t match that nor should he be expected to. Manziel isn’t a two time championship winner. Manziel hasn’t been in the big show at all in his career and he has lost the same number of games in just one year than AJ has in his career so far. Manziel’s biggest post season bowl wasn’t even a BCS bowl, it was the Cotton Bowl.

Against LSU last season, Manziel went only 51% in completion percentage and they lost. Last year he got hot against Alabama and went for a 71% completion ratio while McCarron went for about 62% and threw two of his three interceptions for the whole year in that one game.

That was very uncharacteristically low for McCarron and in this next game, he has nowhere to go but up. Can it be said that there will be nowhere for Manziel to go but down? That remains to be seen.

In the last game, Manziel threw for 253 yards, averaging 8.2 yards per completion. McCarron threw for 309 yards averaging 9.1 yards per completion. The difference last year was that Manziel also chipped in 92 yards rushing and McCarron had those two picks.

This year I can assure you that Manziel won’t run for 92 yards and McCarron won’t throw two picks.

While Manziel is still seeking the success and respect that McCarron wears around his finger like one of his many championship rings, he is still also not able to reign in his demons, on the field and off. McCarron has him beat there too. While Manziel does get respect as a player, very few people in any field respects him a person. Again, McCarron has him beat there too.

Alabama’s superior talent in so many places make this game one that won’t come down to just a duel of quarterbacks, but if for some reason it did, put your money on McCarron. Compared to Manziel, it’s a boy against a man.

Larry is an award winning writer whose work has appeared in almost every college football venue. Now he primarily writes for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. Follow Larry on Twitter at

Larry Burton is a member of the Football Writers of America Association (FWAA) and was the most read SEC and Alabama football writer during his time at Bleacher Report. He has been credentialed by all the major bowls and the University of Alabama. Larry provides some of the best insight in the business through his "Larry's Lowdown" segment with TDA.

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