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Alabama and Texas A&M: Stopping Johnny Football

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By now you have heard the legend of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.

Johnny Football, as they call him, is the old school-yard style quarterback who was ranked a three star, but plays like a five. He’ll burn you with the deep ball and take off running when your defense isn’t paying attention.  At just 6-foot-1, barley 200lbs he is a player many consider to be the most dangerous player in college football.

While the Texas A&M phenom has struck fear in many opposing defensive coordinators, University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban has been a master of putting those nightmares to rest.  Pundits will pop on your TV screen and tell you that Alabama has never seen a quarterback like this, that the Tide will finally be tested.

Stop me if you have heard this story before. I hope you said stop because we have heard this story before; just let me throw some names at you for:

Denard Robinson, Jordan Jefferson, and Cam Newton.

All considered dangerous, dual threat quarterbacks that were supposed to keep the Alabama defense on their toes, but instead, the Alabama defense kept those scrambling quarterbacks in check. In fact, the last quarterback to have success against Alabama was Tim Tebow in the 2009 SEC Championship game when he rushed for 63 yards on 10 carries.

Since then? Alabama has not allowed a quarterback to rush for more than 4 yards a carry (LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson is the lead man in the clubhouse here after rushing for 3.9 yards a carry against Alabama in 2010).

One of the biggest reasons for that success is because of backup quarterback Blake Sims. In limited duty this season the sophomore quarterback has shown off his athletic ability both as a passer and rusher, ranking fourth on the team in rushing.  However, Sims has not only tormented opposing defenses this season, he’s been tormenting his own for years-emulating the rushing and scrambling abilities of opposing athletic signal callers.

Stopping Johnny Football on Saturday will be tough for Alabama, but it’s nothing they haven’t done before.

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