Texas A&M survived a half without Johnny Manziel, defeating the Rice Owls, 52-31, in its opening weekend showdown, and will take on the visiting Sam Houston State Bearkats in College Station Saturday for its second game of the season. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET on pay-per-view channels and WatchESPN.
Manziel was benched in the opener after receiving a taunting penalty, but still managed to throw three touchdown passes on just eight attempts. The Aggies held just a seven-point lead after his first-half suspension, but outscored the Owls by two touchdowns in the second half to take the game easily.
Sam Houston State is a perennial power in the FCS, which saw eight teams pick off FBS schools in the opening weekend (including one ranked squad). The Bearkats played their opening game against Houston Baptist, a program that will join the Southland Conference in 2014. It was Houston Baptist's first-ever collegiate football game, and it was a long one -- Sam Houston State won 74-0.
Rankings and records: Texas A&M is ranked seventh in both the AP Poll and the Coaches Poll. Both teams are 1-0 on the season. The Aggies have won all eleven meetings between the two schools.
Vegas: Texas A&M opened as a 45-point favorite. The over/under is 68 points.
Weather: High of 95, mostly sunny, with a 10% chance of rain.
Three names to know
Johnny Manziel. All eyes will be on Johnny Football after his first half suspension and subsequent benching in the Aggies' opener. He's currently averaging more than one touchdown per every three passes, so we'll just have to wait and see what he can do with a full game against an FCS opponent.
Darian Claiborne. Not considered one of the jewels of Texas A&M's impressive 2013 recruiting class, the true freshman inside linebacker turned heads Saturday with a team-high 11 tackles against Rice.
Brian Bell. The Bearkats' quarterback is a dual-threat, and the senior has 57 total touchdowns over his past two years. Sam Houston State had a top-10 offense in the FCS last season, and Bell is a large reason why.
Two things at stake
Texas A&M has never lost to Sam Houston State, and doing so here would likely see it tumble out of the rankings.
Sam Houston State has defeated three FBS opponents in its history.
How to witness
Radio: A&M's radio affiliates can be found here.
Online streaming: Some folks in Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arkansas can watch on 12thMan.Tv (the list of counties and parishes are available if you scroll down here). Everyone else (excluding people in Texas) can view the game on WatchESPN.
For a Texas A&M perspective, including previews, analysis and more, check out Good Bull Hunting.