Oklahoma State 37, Miami 34. The 10 ten things you need to know about the Oklahoma State win over Miami in the Cheez-It Bowl.
Oklahoma State 37, Miami 34: Cheez-It Bowl
10. Miami made way too many mistakes to pull off the big comeback. There were way too many dropped passes – and they all seemed to come on big chances deep – two turnovers, no takeaways, and too many problems on third downs converting just four of 14 tries. The Canes got close, but couldn’t get that one big break to take over.
9. The knee injury suffered by Miami QB D’Eriq King took the air completely out of the game. It turned into a fun game, and the Hurricanes did a great job of fighting back, but to lose the star of the program – who already announced that he’s coming back next year – was a gut-punch. He completed 10-of-13 passes for 113 yards and a score, and ran for 18 yards, before getting knocked out.
8. Give a ton of credit to Miami for the mental toughness to fight back. After the embarrassing 62-26 loss to North Carolina, the last thing the Canes needed was to fall behind 21-0. Check that – the last thing they needed was to lose King to an injury. The defense stepped up its play, N’Kosi Perry stepped in and was fine – he completed 19-of-34 passes for 228 yards and two scores – but the team dug too deep a hole.
7. Spencer Sanders showed up strong. The Oklahoma State quarterback was sharp from the word go, was able to make the third down plays happen, and he was red hot with good decision after good decision to get the team up big. There might have been a lull, and it might have taken more of a fight than it needed to be, but he ended up completing 27-of-40 for 305 yards and four scores, and he led the team with 45 rushing yards. This is the type of performance to make him one of the Big 12’s bigger stars going into 2021.
6. Well hello, Brennan Presley. The Oklahoma State freshman receiver caught one pass for seven yards against Oklahoma, and he ran for a touchdown against Kansas State. That was it for his regular season, and then … boom. Six catches, 118 yards, three touchdowns. Miami spent so much time worrying about Tylan Wallace – who caught six passes for 73 yards – and the lightning-quick Presley went off.
And then Presley became really vital after Wallace didn’t play after halftime. It was supposedly the plan from the start that he was just going to play for a half, but that was … weird.
Oklahoma State goes up 21-0 over Miami in the first 😅 pic.twitter.com/HP7UTd6wch
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) December 29, 2020
5. It’s hard to get a whole lot of love and respect as a college tight end in the state of Florida when Kyle Pitts is lighting it up for the Gators, but Brevin Jordan is a big-time talent who showed why he’s suck a next-level weapon. He caught 30 passes for 480 yards and five scores in the regular season, and he helped make the O go after it sputtered early and finished with seven catches for 80 yards and two scores.
4. It was amazing how the body language changed on a snap. Miami didn’t show up for the first 15 minutes, nothing went right, and then came the King injury. It was it the defense needed a bit to get warmed up, and it was also like Oklahoma State punched itself out.
Everything worked so well early, and then there was a shot to go up 28 and put it well out of reach. The drive stalled, the Cowboys went for a field goal, there was a penalty that pushed it back, and Brady Pohl missed. The game changed on that.
3. It was a rough game for the officials. They missed a two-point conversion for Miami that would’ve made it tied at 21 – Brevin Jordan looked like he got in, but he was called short of the goal line. The officials also missed what appeared to be what should’ve been a pass interference call on an early throw to Jordan, there were too many other penalties called – 16 in all for 154 yards – and the officials were way too noticeable.
2. This was a good moment for Miami head coach Manny Diaz. He was getting roasted on social media after the awful start, and he was already getting hammered on after the 14-0 Independence Bowl loss to Louisiana Tech last year, but give him and the coaching staff credit. Everything went wrong, and yet his team had a shot at the win in the final minutes. It was a loss – the tenth bowl loss in the last 11 tries for the program – but this is the type of game to build off of.
1. It wasn’t easy, but Oklahoma State closed out with the win. It wasn’t the year many thought it could be – the Cowboys were supposed to be good enough at least play for the Big 12 Championship, if not win it – but going 8-3 with a bowl win over Miami is a good season, especially this year. This makes it four bowl wins in the last five for Gundy and a 10-5 record with 15 straight bowl appearances.