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:
Duke Texas A&M
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)