The Miami Hurricanes of the ACC will head about 250 miles north to Orlando for their Dec. 29 Cheez-It Bowl matchup against Oklahoma State of the Big 12. Which way to lean at SBR’s top-rated sportsbooks?
Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Miami Hurricanes
Tuesday, December 29, 2020 – 05:30 PM ET at Camping World Stadium
It’s No. 21 Oklahoma State taking on No. 18 Miami in the Cheez-It Bowl, the first of two bowl games on Dec. 29 and televised by ESPN.
This is certainly not the bowl game either program was hoping to be in. This might have been Coach Mike Gundy’s most talented team yet at Oklahoma State, but the Cowboys disappointed with a 7-3 record and yet another defeat to bitter rival Oklahoma. Miami looked perhaps headed to the hometown Orange Bowl until the Canes laid a major egg in their regular-season finale loss to North Carolina. The Heels are Orange Bowl-bound vs. Texas A&M.
It’s only the second all-time meeting from Oklahoma State and Miami. The Hurricanes won 40-3 way back in 1991. The schools do have one major tie: Jimmy Johnson. He was the head coach at OSU from 1979-83 before being lured to Miami, where he was from 1984-88 and had a couple of legendary teams.
There are no common opponents from this season between the teams as each played just one non-conference matchup.
Cowboys’ Star RB Not Available
Oklahoma State (7-3) did close its regular season on a high note with a 42-3 rout at Baylor on Dec. 12 – a game that was originally to be played Oct. 17 but was postponed. The Pokes actually got every scheduled game in, which is somewhat rare in 2020.
Dillon Stoner had one of the best games of any wideout this season in the win over the Bears with eight catches for 247 yards (third-most in school history) and three scores. Spencer Sanders completed 20 of 30 for 347 yards, three scores and two picks. Freshman running back Dominic Richardson rushed 23 times for 169 yards and three touchdowns as OSU racked up 608 yards.
Baylor’s 156 yards of total offense were the second-fewest allowed by OSU in the Gundy era. It was the fewest points allowed by Okie State since 2013.
Richardson got a ton of carries because star running back Chuba Hubbard opted out of the rest of the season ahead of the Baylor game. Last year, he led the FBS with 2,094 yards with 21 touchdowns. Hubbard probably should have turned pro then because the Canadian’s stock has dropped with a disappointing/injury-plagued 2020 season with 625 yards and five scores on 133 carries.
Also missing the Baylor game was first-team All-Big 12 receiver Tylan Wallace with a knee injury. He was a game-time call so it clearly wasn’t too serious, but it remains to be seen if he plays here. Wallace could opt to prepare for the draft, too. He has caught 53 passes for 877 yards and six touchdowns in nine games. Offensive tackle Teven Jenkins, who was also named first-team All-Big 12, has opted out.
It’s the 31st bowl trip for Oklahoma State, which is 19-11 in the first 30. It’s the Cowboys’ third bowl game in Orlando, last playing there in 2017 and beating Virginia Tech 30-21. OSU is 14-3 ATS on the NCAAF picks in its past 17 non-conference games.D’Eriq King – Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP
Miami Off Worst Game of the Season
Miami originally was to play this past Saturday (Dec. 19) vs. Georgia Tech but that was canceled. Frankly, there was no reason to play it. The Canes (8-2) were flat-out embarrassed the last time they took the field, a 62-26 home loss to North Carolina. UM gave up a school-record 778 yards. Many believe that effort will cost defensive coordinator Blake Baker his job when the season is over.
“We got our ass kicked. It was a humiliating performance,” head coach Manny Diaz said. “Thank goodness that we have a chance to play another game and end 2020 on the right note.”
Arguably the two best players on that defense, ends Quincy Roche and Jaelan Phillips (transfer from UCLA), will skip the bowl game to prepare for the draft. Phillips had 15.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks in 10 games. He will be a 2021 first-round pick, maybe in the Top 10. Roche finished with 45 total tackles, including 14.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. He tied for the ACC lead with three forced fumbles and had two fumbles recovered. Roche probably will be a second-round pick.
Miami is still awaiting whether star senior QB D’Eriq King will return next season, but most believe he will turn pro. The Houston transfer threw for 2,573 yards with 22 touchdowns and just five picks. He also set a school record for a quarterback with 520 yards rushing.
It’s the 44th bowl in Miami history and eighth straight year the Canes have played in one. UM is 20-23 in bowls and hasn’t won one since 2016 Russell Athletic Bowl (which was what this bowl used to be called), 31-14 over West Virginia. The Hurricanes are 3-2 in this bowl. They are just 2-10 ATS on the NCAAF odds in their past 12 December games.
There will be some fans allowed at this game, about 20 percent of capacity. We are backing the Pokes as they have covered four straight bowl games, while UM has covered in just one of its past nine at the sportsbooks. The losses of Phillips and Roche are huge.
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