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Buzz: Rice coach leery over Manziel

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Tully Corcoran

Tully Corcoran spent seven years covering the Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas Jayhawks for The Topeka Capital-Journal. His work has been honored multiple times by The Kansas Press Association. He most recently wrote for FOX Sports Houston and FOX Sports Southwest. Follow him on Twitter.

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Rice football coach David Bailiff is just like everyone else, in that he started suffering from Johnny Football Fatigue late this summer.

“You can’t help but follow some of it,” he said at a Friday press conference, “(but) it was almost overexposure to where you wanted to listen to classical music on the way home because you knew you weren’t gonna get any reports.”

That’s coming from a guy whose opportunity to win a football game this weekend is deeply affected by Manziel, who will sit out the first half of Texas A&M’s season-opening game Saturday against Rice on suspension for breaking an NCAA amateurism rule.

Hot diggity dog, right?

“We can’t make this about Johnny Manziel,” Bailiff said.

Oh.

Bailiff, who was neighbors with Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin when Sumlin was coaching at the University of Houston, acknowledged what a booger Manziel is to prepare for. There isn’t even a consensus among coaches as to the best way to defend him.

“We talked to every school they played last year,” Bailiff said. “Some people said, ‘We should have blitzed more,’ other people would say, ‘Whatever you do, don’t blitz him.’ ”

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Texas A&M is, of course, a heavy favorite over the Owls, but Manziel spending the first half on the bench gives Rice a hook on which to hang its hopes.

The two quarterbacks behind Manziel on the depth chart are junior Matt Joeckel, who has 11 career pass attempts, and freshman Kenny Hill. So, you know, you get an inexperienced quarterback out there — he’s got a little of that don’t-screw-this-up pressure on him — and maybe you turn him over a time or two before the Heisman Trophy winner pulls off the dunce cap and straps on his helmet.

Because once that dunce cap comes off, look out.

“He’s the best in the world,” Bailiffe said. “It didn’t matter who they played, if he wanted to break contain, he broke contain. He can extend the play better than anybody I’ve seen in the history of college football.”

Now, here comes your links entering the holiday weekend . . .

Towson cheerleader squad suspended for hazing.

• On the bright side, the Towson football team stunned Connecticut.

• New York Giants RB Andre Brown breaks his left leg . . . again.

• Red Sox broadcaster will skip the rest of the season after his son was arrested for murder.

• Former Syracuse and Bronco great Floyd Little isn't thrilled with the concussion settlement.

Grand jury indicts friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect.

• Brady Hoke wouldn't pull and Urban Meyer.

• Michigan announces players that will wear legendary numbers this season.

• The concussion settlement includes about 136 Colts.

• Son to coach after father's suicide.

• Bob Stoops makes his Twitter account public.

• And here's a look at what will get you ejected for targeting a player.

• Churchill Downs is looking at adding 50 jobs that pay an average of 100K.

• Florida State loses a redshirt freshman for the season.

Texas has to train its ball boys to keep up.
 

Tagged: Syracuse, Florida, Rice, Texas A&M, Texas, Mack Brown, Johnny Manziel

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