The Miami Hurricanes have accepted an invitation to the Cheez-It Bowl. Their plus one the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Okay, it is not that kind of invitation.
It will be an ACC versus BIG 12 matchup at Camping World Stadium (Orlando, Florida) at 5:30 pm ET on ESPN and the ESPN app.
The Cowboys and the Hurricanes reached the top 10 in the AP poll at one point this Covid-19 unpredictable season now the meet in the Cheez-it Bowl.
Let us begin previewing the Cowboys out the Big 12.
The Cowboys enter the bowl game averaging 29.5 points per game, which ranks 56th in the nation. Their 232.5 passing yards per game ranks 60th, while their running game averages 194.5 yards per game (ranks 36th).
The stats and rankings are fair; however, the Cowboys enter 7-3 overall.
The Cowboys started the season to a 4-0 start this season before losing to Texas. After that loss, they went 3-2 to end the regular season. The Cowboys beat two teams that finished the regular season ranked in Tulsa and Iowa State.
Chuba Hubbard, who was part of preseason Heisman talks, will skip the bowl game and prepare for the NFL Draft. His season didn’t pan out to what many expected—instead, an average season for his standards with 625 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns in 133 attempts. Junior halfback Dezmon Jackson got 93 carries. He had 526 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
Sophomore Spencer Sanders took a majority of the snaps under center this season. He threw for 1,702 yards this year. Sanders added 224 rushing yards in 88 attempts to the Cowboys’ offense this season. Spencer had a poor ratio of 10 passing touchdowns to eight interceptions. Tylan Wallace had 53 receptions with 877 receiving yards and six touchdowns catches, leading the team. Senior wideout Dillon Stoner had 37 catches for 530 yards. Receivers Braydon Johnson and Landon Wolf each had at least 20 catches and over 200 receiving yards.
Defensively, 22.4 points per game are what the Cowboys allowed coming in and are ranked 31st in the FBS. They allow 365.8 yards per game, ranking 39th. Senior linebackers Amen Ogbongemiga and Malcolm Rodriguez carried the team in tackles with 76 and 73. The two also forced a combined five fumbles and recovered a combined three fumbles. Oklahoma State is tied for 12th in the FBS in sacks per game with 3.20.
Cowboys will show their Big 12 talent off on both sides of the ball.
Now “The U,” who is aiming to make a comeback. A bowl game win is a start.
Hurricanes enter the game 8-2 overall; many predicting an 11-1 finish but the dismantling loss to North Carolina was a head-scratcher leading many to wonder have the Hurricanes recovered and are ready to play?
They will be considering that they have the most talented quarterback on the field in D’Eriq King. The Houston transfer started at quarterback for Miami this season. King passed for 2,573 yards this year. He threw 22 touchdown passes and five interceptions with 201 completions in 316 attempts. His go-to wideout is a senior receiver, Mike Harley. Harley had 49 catches with 730 yards as well as six touchdown catches. Both wide receivers Dee Wiggins and tight end Brevin Jordan both added 30 catches and combined for eight touchdown catches this season.
King also commanded the ground attack with the most rushing attempts for Miami. He had 122 carries for 520 yards and four rushing scores. Running back, Cam’Ron Harris had nearly as many carries at 120. Harris had 591 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns, leading the team in both categories. Freshman halfbacks Donald Chaney Jr. and Jaylan Knighton added 272 and 209 rushing yards, respectively.
Hurricanes started the season 3-0 before a loss to Clemson. The Hurricanes went on to win their next five games. Miami went 3-2 against teams who finished the regular season over .500. Hurricanes dealt with weeks of Covid-19 delays and question marks regarding who will play in games. They are healthy and well.
Hurricanes’ offense has been productive this season, as they rank 25th in the FBS with 34 points per game. Their passing offense averages 269.1 yards per game (ranks 30th), while the rushing offense averages 163.2 yards per game (ranks 67th).
The edge will go to the Hurricanes, who have to bounce back from the North Carolina loss. King will need to build off this game to prepare to face Alabama to start next season. Cowboys know how to get to the quarterback; coincidently, that’s how they will have to stop Miami. Both teams have scored 50 points in a game this season, so the Cowboys will not go down without a fight. Hurricanes win by a field goal.