Rice Owls head coach David Bailiff spoke with ESPN on Thursday about how his team is preparing to handle the Texas A&M Aggies in light of the controversy surrounding star quarterback Johnny Manziel. In his statement, Bailiff said that A&M is more than just one player and that Manziel’s
slap on the wrist suspension isn’t what the team is focusing on with Saturday’s game only a few days away.
Johnny Manziel didn’t win that Heisman by himself. A&M is loaded. We’re not even talking about that. We’ll be talking about their offensive line, all over 300 pounds, and they move like tight ends. We all watched the Manziel story on ‘SportsCenter,’ but I’ll tell you one thing, we’re not going to let it be the focal point.
We’ll prepare for Johnny, we’ll prepare for [freshman quarterback Kenny] Hill, we’ll prepare for [junior quarterback Matt] Joeckel. Whichever quarterback they put out there, we’ve got to beat A&M, not just one guy (ESPN).
The Aggies are heavy favorites against the Owls — who went 7-6 last year and won the Armed Forces Bowl — and an upset seems unlikely given a couple Rice defensive players are out due to either injury or suspension, including star cornerback Phillip Gaines. But hey, at least a loss to Texas A&M doesn’t disqualify Rice from the benefits of Johnny Savings.