Going into last week's Alabama-Texas A&M showdown, all the talk was about Johnny Manziel. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner wowed fans and pundits, but it was Aggies wide receiver Mike Evans who really broke out with a huge performance. Apparently, Evans' monster game was no accident.
CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman spent time with A&M coaches and players as they prepared for the Crimson Tide, and he posted his all-access look into the Aggies on Wednesday evening. While watching film, Manziel, quarterbacks coach Jake Spavital and wide receivers coach David Beaty drew up a plan to take advantage of the matchup problems Evans could cause Alabama.
"I like stuff over the middle this week," [Manziel] tells Spavital.
"When you tempo, they'll play zone because they're unsure," Spavital says.
"I want this right here every time," Manziel says pauses the video where A&M's 6-5, 225-pound go-to receiver Mike Evans is matched up one-on-one with Alabama cornerback John Fulton attempting to jam the hulking wideout at the line.
"Mike gets really angry with (dudes) in his face," Beaty says.
The Tide won't like Mike Evans when he's angry.
"If we can get this 100 times, I'll take it all 100," says Manziel.
On the video showing the Tide's defense, Manziel matter-of-factly points out the Alabama linebacker he'll look off to the three-receiver side of the formation, "We do this, and it'll be like stealing."
As it turns out, Manziel got exactly what he wanted. Evans caught seven passes for a school-record 279 yards and one touchdown. A&M fell just short of toppling the Tide for a second consecutive year, but Evans' big game was one of the primary reasons the Aggies were able to score 42 points and rack up 628 yards. In the history of Alabama football, no other opponent had ever compiled that many yards in a single game. Nick Saban's defense just didn't have an answer for the big receiver.
After the game, Dan Kadar of Mocking the Draft came away awfully impressed with Evans.
At 6-foot-5, Evans is a matchup problem and knows how to use that size to his advantage on the high, lofting passing Manziel likes to throw. Just a redshirt sophomore, Evans has the ability to go pro after this season.