Texas A&M trying to make most of bowl game

Give Texas A&M credit for saying all the right things about their bowl matchup.

The Aggies (8-4) will play Duke (10-3) in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on New Year’s Eve in Atlanta.

While it’s not the bowl the Aggies hoped to be playing in when a season with national title hopes began, it’s still a big deal to A&M.

“They (the Blue Devils) will present a great challenge and we will have to prepare and execute,” A&M senior defensive back Tony Hurd Jr. said. “I’m looking forward to going to battle with these guys who are like brothers to me. As seniors, we have to set the tempo in practice and prepare to the best of our abilities. It is a blessing to have a chance to play one more game in an Aggie uniform.”

Bowl officials said one of the biggest reasons they selected A&M over Georgia was because of the exciting offense the Aggies play.

The game could also serve as the college finale for sophomore quarterback Johnny Manziel. Manziel could opt to forgo the final two years of eligibility for the NFL. Head coach Kevin Sumlin said nothing has been decided yet.

“Right now we’re looking and evaluating his future,” Sumlin said.

Sumlin may be the only Aggie with any experience in what was once the Peach Bowl. The Aggies have never played in the game or against Duke. But Sumlin did play in the 1984 Peach Bowl for Purdue.

“It was a great moment for me,” Sumlin said. “We had a pretty good team and we had a great experience there (in Atlanta). I can’t wait to get there.”

While it might not be the dream bowl for the Aggies, there certainly will be benefits of playing in Atlanta. The game is the only one being played in prime time on New Year’s Eve, which should help the Aggies spread their brand. It should also serve as a good recruiting tool for the Aggies in the Atlanta area.