- Cullman, Alabama

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November 22, 2013

SEC FOOTBALL: Manziel, No. 9 A&M face tough test at No. 18 LSU



NO COMPARISON: While the matchup features two of the top three quarterbacks in the SEC, LSU's Zach Mettenberger scoffs at the notion that he'd try to measure himself against Manziel. "Yeah, I'm going to compare myself to a guy who's 6-foot and runs a 4.3 (40-yard dash)," the 6-5 Mettenberger said sarcastically. "I mean, he does a lot of things I could never dream of doing and I think I can do some things he couldn't do." Mettenberger is the SEC's third-leading passer with 2,733 yards and 20 TDs. Manziel ranks first with 3,313 yards and 31 TDs. He also has rushed for 611 yards and eight TDs.

ROAD SWEET ROAD: The Aggies take a 10-game road winning streak into Saturday's game. It is the second-longest in school history and the longest since they won 11 in a row in 1939-40. The Aggies haven't lost on the road since a four-overtime, 53-50 defeat at Kansas State on Nov. 12, 2011. Sumlin hasn't lost on the road in 15 games, having won his last five road games as Houston's coach before taking over at A&M. "It's all about preparation," offensive lineman Cedric Ogbuehi said. "Knowing that where we go, it's going to be loud, so stay focused on the task at hand and win the day. It's more fun to quiet the crowd. That's the challenge."

BILETNIKOFF CANDIDATES: The Aggies and Tigers each field a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award, given to the top college receiver in the nation. For A&M, it's Mike Evans, who leads the league with 1,263 yards and 12 TDs. For LSU, it's Odell Beckham Jr., who has 1,051 yards and eight TDs.

WHAT A START: Texas A&M has made a habit of starting fast under Sumlin. The Aggies have scored at least nine points in the first quarter of nine straight games and have scored first in 22 of 23 games. They've also scored on their first offensive series in 18 of 23 games, with 17 touchdowns.

SHOOTOUT?: LSU ranks a respectable fourth in total defense, allowing 353.7 yards per game, while Texas A&M ranks last, yielding 454.4. But LSU's inexperienced defense has struggled against some of the SEC's most explosive offenses, giving up 525 yards to Mississippi and 494 to Georgia. So the potential for a high-scoring game exists.

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