NCAAF: Mariota or Manziel who is your choice?
Two of the top 10 NCAA football teams in the nation have quarterbacks that have been called phenomenal, exceptional, the best, along with other accolades. Those two quarterbacks are Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M and Marcus Mariota from Oregon.
If you speak to any coach who has faced Manziel, they will tell you he must be contained because he can do everything. What is exceptional about Manziel is he never played a down of college football until this season’s second week. He is a defense’s worst nightmare. If you give him room to run he will rip apart the defense with speed and incredible agility. If he gets time to throw, he will hit pinpoint accurate passes that will be death to the defenders.
Manziel might not be the flashest, the smoothest or the prettiest to sit in the pocket, but he proved himself to his coaches, football fans and his fellow players last weekend when he took on the nation’s no. 1 team and won.
Manziel is averaging nearly 380 yards a game in total offense. He has 2,780 yards through the air and 1,014 rushing the ball. He has 33 total touchdowns with just six interceptions.
Mariota is no slouch either. The Oregon QB has amassed over 2,174 yards passing and 516 rushing. He has thrown 28 touchdowns thus far with only five interceptions, a career stat for many college quarterbacks. He has also rushed for three touchdowns.
Many football experts say that Mariota is the more complete player at quarterback. By that, they mean he sits in the pocket better and waits for his offensive plays to develop. He tends to hang in the pocket longer and wait for at least two and at times three reads, and then if nothing is there he will run or dump off a pass to someone in the flat.
Manziel on the other hand, tends to make one read and if it is not there he is off to the races. That in itself is not bad, considering that, 15 of his 33 touchdowns are from rushing and not passing.
In addition, Manziel has played three games this season where he did not throw a single touchdown pass and in one game, he did not throw a touchdown or rush for one. Mariota on the other hand has thrown for a touchdown or run for one in every game this season.
Critics of Mariota will tell you he has not faced the tough defenses that Manziel has and that is a legitimate point. Manziel has played three defenses that are currently in the top 10 in points allowed, but he is only 1-2 in those three games.
In the next couple of weeks, Mariota will face Stanford’s defense, which is no. 12 in the nation, and Oregon State’s which is no. 23. Mariota thus far this season is 3-0 against opponents in the Top 25. In those three games, he threw for 10 TDs and had just two picks while completing over 67% of his passes. He has also not played in the second half on six occasions since his team was so far ahead. That conservatively could add up to another 1,000 yards passing, 250 rushing and 10 touchdowns.
The bottom line is that any team and any coach would be happy with either player. If the two teams were to meet in a game one day, with these two quarterbacks, the scoreboards better have three digits on them and not just two.