Cheez-It Bowl: Oklahoma State vs Miami

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The Cheez-It Bowl with Oklahoma State vs Miami looks to be one of the better matchups of the bowl season. The 21st ranked Cowboys will travel to Orlando to face off against the 18th ranked Hurricanes. Outside of the New Year’s Six games, this game will be the only matchup featuring two ranked opponents. Both teams come in looking to end the season on a high note winning another marquee matchup.

Viewing Information

Date: Tuesday, December 29, 2018

TV: ESPN and Watch ESPN App

Time: 5:30 pm EST

Location: Camping World Stadium – Orlando, Florida

Dual Threat Showdown

The Cheez-It Bowl will have two of the more prominent dual-threat quarterbacks in this game. Senior D’Eriq King for Miami is a threat to score from anywhere on the field and actually leads the team in carries. For Oklahoma State sophomore Spencer Sanders is third on the team in carries but is more than capable of extending plays. Both teams will use the quarterbacks in ways that will stretch defensive responsibility.

Defensive game planning will have to be detailed as big plays can come down the field after losing containment. King has thrown for 22 touchdowns in ten games this season and added another four on the ground. While Sanders’s passing touchdowns are much lower, he does have the most explosive wideout in this game in Tylan Wallace. The senior receiver ranks first overall in the Big12 averaging 97 yards per game, just two years ago he led the Big12 in receiving yards.

Picking Up The Slack

It has become very popular in recent years especially during bowl games for the best players to opt-out of bowl games. This is also the case for the Cheez-It Bowl, with some of the more decorated players have declared for the NFL Draft. For the Hurricanes, they will be highly dependent on their young defensive end group after losing two players. Both Quincy Roche and Jaelan Phillips declared for the NFL Draft and opted out of the bowl game. Losing two defensive ends that were featured on All-ACC teams is hard enough and Oklahoma State is a tough opponent.

For the Cowboys, they will also have to replace some key players on both sides of the ball. Beginning with star running back Chuba Hubbard, who opted out prior to the last game of the season. The hits continued on the offensive side of the ball with left tackle Teven Jenkins declaring for the draft. In addition to those two, tight end Jelani Woods entered the transfer portal. Defensively starting cornerback Rodarius Williams has also declared for the NFL Draft.

Final Word

With the losses of key players, both teams will have to navigate around in the bowl game and hope their depth is sufficient. Motivation will also play a big factor in who is victorious as the Cheez-It bowl is not as attractive as a New Year’s Six bowl game. Tackling and special teams will also be a key factor with both teams coming off of a layoff. It will be interesting to see which defense upstages the other as Miami and Oklahoma State have some of the better defenses within their respective conferences.