Oklahoma State and Miami both spent time inside the top 10 during the 2020 season, with the Cowboys getting as high as No. 6 as the Hurricanes getting as high as No. 7.
Both teams faltered a bit down the stretch, with the Cowboys going 2-2 to end the season, and Miami got destroyed by North Carolina (62-26) at home in its final matchup of the season.
The two squads enter the Cheez-It Bowl looking to head into the offseason with some positive momentum. Irish Breakdown makes its predictions for the game.
BRYAN DRISKELL, PUBLISHER
Prediction: Miami 27, Oklahoma State 20
This game is going to go one of two ways, Miami is going to bounce back from its dismantling at the hands of the Tar Heels and play this game with some fire, which will result in a win ... or the still shook Hurricanes get trounced by Oklahoma State as well.
Oklahoma State finished the season with a beat down of Baylor, but whenever the Cowboys played a team with a defensive pulse they struggled. I think Miami's defense is a little bit fired up after getting embarrassed by North Carolina, and they are going to fly around the ball and keep the Chuba Hubbard-less Cowboys in check.
On the other side of the ball, the Hurricanes have been wildly erratic on offense, and the key to slowing them down is keeping quarterback D'Eriq King in check. He will need some help from his teammates in this game, and I think he'll get it. King will make plays with his legs and hit a couple of downfield shots for the Hurricanes, who are 2.5-point underdogs.
BRIAN SMITH, IB CONTRIBUTOR
Prediction: Oklahoma State 38, Miami 31
There's no telling where the heads of the Miami players will be in this game. After being destroyed, at home no less, by North Carolina, perhaps the Hurricanes will rebound; perhaps not.
Based on recent history, I'll go with the latter. Despite the talent of Miami, and quarterback D'Eriq King in particular, Oklahoma State will be more motivated in this game.
How well will LD Brown run the ball? He's the next man up for the Cowboys, and there's no question that Oklahoma State will attempt to ram it down Miami's throat after they gave up 525 rushing yards to North Carolina.
As for Oklahoma State's defense, it's a tall order to stop King, but how many of his running mates actually want to be there supporting him?
VINCE DEDARIO, FOOTBALL ANALYST
Prediction: Miami 34, Oklahoma State 28
This one should have some offensive fireworks. D'Eriq King is special at QB and the Miami offense will certainly put points on the board while Oklahoma State can also score at a pretty good clip. The problem is they turn the ball over too much to be a contender for the Big 12 this season and it will be even tougher in this game without star running back Chuba Hubbard. That makes Miami fans happy since they can't stop anyone in the run game. So which defense holds enough to win the game? I am going to say Miami because of King.
NATHAN ATKINS, IB CONTRIBUTOR
Prediction: Miami 42, Oklahoma State 37
Miami doesn’t have the best record in bowl games. They haven’t won a bowl game since they beat West Virginia in the 2016 Russell Athletic Bowl. The ‘Canes will be ready to go – D’Eriq King coming back appears to be the sign of unfinished business. King is a playmaker and should be the difference in this game. The Oklahoma State defense is nothing if not inconsistent. After giving up 639 yards to Texas Tech (3-6) and 501 yards to TCU (5-4), Miami should be able to put up plenty of points.
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