The 2013 Cotton Bowl is being regarded one of the most anticipated match ups of the college football post-season, and not unexpectedly so, as former Big 12-turned-SEC Conference representative No. 10 Texas A&M, led by quarterback Johnny Manziel, the first-ever freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, faces off against runner up to Kansas State in this year’s Big 12 race, the No. 12 Oklahoma Sooners, in a Jan. 4 showdown at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Building on the strength of ticket sales to Aggies home games throughout the latter part of the season – and, in particular, after Texas A&M downed then-No. 1 Alabama on the road in Tuscaloosa on Nov. 10 – the average cost Cotton Bowl tickets ranks second to only the BCS National Championship at $504 a ticket ($185 on the low end) and is currently receiving the highest asking price since 2011’s pairing of Texas A&M and LSU. 2012’s Cotton Bowl saw an average price of admission of $289 dollars, 43% less than this year’s game.
Surprisingly, ticket prices to the 2013 Cotton Bowl have fallen some 14 percent over the last two weeks, but should rebound quickly following the Christmas holiday, especially with Arlington a reachable drive (184 miles) for Texas A&M faithful residing in College Station.
Offense should be at a premium in next month’s Cotton Bowl, with Texas A&M averaging 552 yards a game (third-best in the country), while Oklahoma heads into January having carved up opposing defense to the tune of 507 yards a contest (10th nationally).
Both teams have also averaged more than 40 points in each game they’ve played this season, with the Aggies holding a slight advantage over the Sooners, 44.8 to 40.3.
At the center of Texas A&M’s attack will be Manziel, who, along with winning the 2012 Heisman Trophy, also broke 2010 Heisman winner Cam Newton’s SEC record of 4,600 all-purpose yards in a single season. The freshman dual threat under center finished with 3,419 passing yards and 24 touchdowns and totaled an additional 1,181 yards and 19 scores on the ground – the first freshman, first SEC player and fifth player in college football history to throw for 3,000 yards and run for 1,000 in the same year.
Matching up with Manziel on the Sooners sideline is senior passer Landry Jones, who ended the 2012 regular season completing 65.5 percent of his passes for 3,989 yards and 29 touchdowns, set a school record with 554 yards passing in a 50-49 win at West Virginia on Nov. 17, and looks to leave Norman, Oklahoma having thrown for a combined 16,368 yards – third most in NCAA history – and 122 scores in 51 games played.
The Sooners, currently 27-17-1 in bowl games and making their first appearance in the Cotton Bowl since 2001, will be trying to match a school record with a fourth-straight bowl win.
The Aggies, meanwhile, will be playing in their 13th Cotton Bowl, and look to improve upon a post-season win-loss record of 14-19.
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