VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Saban doesn't want DBs eyeballing Manziel

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - All eyes might be on Johnny Manziel in Saturday's Alabama-Texas A&M game - except for the Crimson Tide's defensive backs.

Advertisement
Top-ranked Alabama coach Nick Saban doesn't want his DBs turning back to check out No. 6 Texas A&M's electric quarterback when he's moving around in the backfield.

Too many things can happen, and most of them bad.

``I told our players, `There's a lot of NFL games on Sundays. You want to watch the quarterback, go watch those games. But if you start watching this guy in our game, you're going to get busted,''' Saban said. ``It happened in our game last year. We've got people covered pretty well, you look back at the quarterback and their receivers do a good job of extending the play and getting away from it. He finds them and makes big plays.''

Manziel was able to succeed like few have against Alabama's defense last season with improvisation and big plays in a 29-24 victory.

A defense that has been the nation's stingiest two years running is bracing for another crack at Johnny Football & Co. with 60 minutes of sometimes painful experience to draw on.

That's helpful since Tide safety HaHa Clinton-Dix calls him ``one of a kind.'' Johnny Scout Team isn't quite the same.

``He had a great game,'' Clinton-Dix said. ``He came out and did his job and I have to give it to him, he's a great quarterback. We just have to lock in on him this time and stay locked in.''

Saban, who works daily with the secondary, understands Manziel will make plays, praises his passing ability and instincts and calls him ``a fierce competitor.'' He also said he's never seen him rattled in a game.

Saban stressed discipline as a key to defending Manziel and said Tide defenders have to faithfully abide by ``scramble rules'' and stay focused as receivers change their routes based on where he heads in breaking away from pressure. Saban said Aggies receivers have a knack for that and Manziel is instinctive on when to run or throw.

``You're not going to make him be a pocket passer, because if someone's not open, he doesn't throw them the ball,'' the coach said. ``He's going to extend the play to run or to make a play throwing the ball. I think throwing the ball first for him is what he does. He will run and he can run, he's an effective runner. He's really fast.''

Then there's the temptation for a defensive back to lose sight of his man and peek at Manziel. Manziel was sacked four times in last season's game but still ran for 92 yards. Clinton-Dix said you have to resist the notion that ``Oh, maybe I can go get him.''

``That's what coach Saban talks about: Never take your eyes off your man,'' Clinton-Dix said. ``The minute you do, he'll pop out of the ground and you know Johnny Football will throw the ball 40, 50 yards and complete a pass. It's very important that we stay on our keys and our assignments.''

The most notable time it happened last season was when Manziel rolled right, bobbled the ball, then reversed course to avoid several Alabama defenders and hit Ryan Swope in the end zone.

Tide safety Vinnie Sunseri, whose responsibility was the middle of the field on that play, admits he ``paid attention to my eyes and not my brain.'' Sunseri's takeaway: ``Don't take your eye off your man or coach Saban going to kill you.''

Saban said there's no stopping Manziel from making plays. You just try not to let it happen because of defensive mistakes.

``That's where the discipline part comes in,'' he said.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
Wisconsin slugs out win over Michigan
Miami scores last 30, tops Virginia
Mississippi State survives at Arkansas
Unbeaten UCF rolls Temple 45-19
Sooners notch 41-3 road win over KU
'Bama blasts Mercer in Iron Bowl prep
Memphis defeats SMU to claim AAC West
Notre Dame rebounds to edge Navy
Kansas State upsets Oklahoma State
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAAFB College Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NCAA FB Hot Streaks
6-0, 12-2 Run, 17-4 L9 Sat, 71% TY
5-1 Streak, 6-0 Totals, 17-7 G-Plays
5-1 L6, 9-3 L2 Weeks, 7-3 G-Plays
8-2 Sat., 7-2 G-Plays, 10-4 Run
8-3 L2 Sat., 11-3 Run, 8-2 G-Plays
6-1 G-Play Streak, 12-6 Totals
46-24 L9 Saturdays, +1,355 TY
4-0 Last Week, 3-1 L4 G-Plays
3-0 L3 G-Plays, 6-3 Sat, 10-4 Run
7-3 L2 Saturdays, 60%, +1,411 TY
18-7 Run, 23-8 L7 Saturdays
14-7 Last 21 Over/Unders
4-0 Friday, 26-11 L37 Guarantees
12-5 L17 G-Plays, +1,272 TY
8-3 G-Plays, 21-10 Run, +1,240 TY
3-1 Record Last Saturday
5-1 L6 Guaranteed Plays
22-11 Last 33 CFB Totals
11-4 L15 Guaranteed Plays
10-5 Last 15 NCAA Picks
29-17 Last 9 CFB Saturdays
5-2, +305 Last 7 Guarantees
5-2 Record Last Saturday
14-8 L3 Saturdays, +785 TY
NCAA FB College Football Expert Picks - Buffalo Bulls at Ball State Cardinals
2017 CFB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Scott Pritchard + 2299
Brian Edwards + 1411
Vince Akins + 1355
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jimmy Boyd + 565
Michael Black + 400
Greg Smith + 390
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Scott Pritchard 71 %
Brian Edwards 60 %
Andy Iskoe 60 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 1385
Scott Pritchard + 1194
Bruce Marshall + 678
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Scott Pritchard + 1054
Pat Hawkins + 460
Kyle Hunter + 442
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Marc Lawrence + 881
Mark Franco + 680
Gary Bart + 623
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership