When No. 14 Texas A&M and Vanderbilt play for the first time they’ll have something in common: Both have banged-up quarterbacks.
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Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel has an injured shoulder and was listed as questionable for Saturday’s game before being confirmed as the starter.
Vanderbilt’s Austyn Carta-Samuels hurt his leg last week and won’t start. The Commodores announced Thursday that Patton Robinette would start. Robinette is a freshman who has seen limited time. He was 9 of 15 for 107 yards passing with an interception and ran for a touchdown after Carta-Samuels was injured last Saturday.
”I think the fact that he played last week and the experience, he’s probably preparing a little different this week depending on how this situation plays out,” coach James Franklin said. ”He shouldn’t, but we all know that’s human nature. I think that’ll give the opportunity to play better the next time he plays.”
Manziel was injured in last week’s loss to Auburn when his right shoulder was drilled into the ground at the end of a run. He missed a series before returning to finish the game.
”We hope he goes,” A&M offensive coordinator Clarence McKinney said. ”But if he doesn’t we can’t cancel the game.”
If Manziel can’t play, the Aggies will likely start Matt Joeckel. He has appeared in three games this season, starting A&M’s opener against Rice when Manziel was suspended for the first half. Joeckel has thrown for 265 yards and a touchdown this season. They could also use freshman Kenny Hill.
”We feel confident in both of those guys,” McKinney said ”It’s a different team when Johnny’s out there. It’s a different team when those guys are out there. Matt knows the offense. He’s been in the system for two years. We feel like he can operate it. Kenny is very talented. We feel like if he’s out there he can make plays for us as well.”