Dec. 9: Breaking Down the Matchup
Once again the Chick-fil-A Bowl came out of Selection Sunday with one of the most compelling and interesting matchups of the bowl season – a game highlighted by a number of “firsts” and a very big “last.”
When #24 Duke and #21 Texas A&M square off in the Georgia Dome on Dec. 31, it will be the first time either team has appeared in Atlanta’s bowl game. It will also be the first time the two programs have faced each other in a combined 220 seasons of football.
Duke enters the game following its first-ever 10-win season and its first ACC Coastal Division championship. The Aggies will be playing in their first bowl game outside the states of Texas or Louisiana since 2006 and their first inside the traditional footprint of the Southeastern Conference.
For the Chick-fil-A Bowl, this game will mark the last guaranteed ACC vs. SEC matchup before the Bowl enters the College Football Playoff next season. In the preceding 21 years, the ACC leads the rivalry series against the SEC 11 games to 10. This gives Duke a chance to put it away for the ACC or Texas A&M an opportunity to knot it up at 11 for the SEC.
We don’t know which way it will go, but here is what we do know.We know we’re going to have a sold-out, electric atmosphere inside the Georgia Dome.
We know we are going to have an incredible shootout-style battle between two potent offenses. We know it’s going to be seen by millions in an unopposed primetime slot New Year’s Eve on ESPN. We know we will see two of the nation’s top coaches try to out-scheme each other. And we know it’s going to be a lot of fun!
That said, let’s take a deeper look into the two teams as we try to break down this year’s Chick-fil-A Bowl. Here are the numbers:
| || |
|Record ||10-3 ||8-4 |
|Conference Record ||6-2 ||4-4 |
|Division Record ||4-2 ||3-3 |
|BCS Ranking ||24 ||21 |
|AP Ranking ||22 ||20 |
|Coaches Poll Ranking ||21 ||21 |
|Computers Poll Ranking ||25 ||21 |
|Harris Poll Ranking ||24 ||21 |
|AP/Coaches Top 25 Record ||2-1 ||0-4 |
|Strength of Schedule ||62 ||29 |
|Total Offense ||#68, 408.1 yds ||#4, 538.2 yds |
|Rushing Offense ||#60, 173.7 yds ||#44, 187.3 yds |
|Passing Offense ||#63, 234.4 yds ||#7, 350.9 yds |
|Pass Efficiency ||#56 ||#5 |
|Scoring Offense ||#49, 31.6 points ||#6, 43.6 points |
|3rd down Conversion % ||#85, .378 ||#10, .507 |
|First Downs Offense ||#50 ||#8 |
|Net Punting ||#41 ||#7 |
|Total Defense ||#71, 408.5 yds ||#105, 460.3 yds |
|Rushing Defense ||#74, 175.3 yds ||#108, 221.3 yds |
|Passing Defense ||#70, 233.2 yds allowed ||#79, 239 yds allowed |
|Scoring Defense ||#47, 24.7 points ||#88, 30.9 points |
|Turnover Margins ||#47, 0.2 ||T-#68, -0.1 |
|Individual Receiving ||Crowder: 1,197 total yds (92.08 ypg) ||Evans: 1,322 total yds (110.17 ypg) |
|Individual Passing ||Boone: 1,833 total yds (183.3 ypg) ||Manziel: 3,732 total yds (311 ypg) |
|Individual Rushing ||Duncan: 573 total yds (43.23 ypg) ||Manziel: 686 total yds (57.17 ypg) |
|Individual Offense ||Boone: 2,020 total yds ||Manziel: 4,418 total yds |
Now we need you to weigh in. Give us your arguments. Make your predictions. And tell us who will win this year’s Chick-fil-A Bowl in the first-ever game between the Duke Blue Devils and the Texas A&M Aggies.
And right after you do that, make sure you download the FREE Chick-fil-A Bowl App. It’s the best App in the Bowl business and is a must-have companion to your Chick-fil-A Bowl experience. Check out the details.
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